Todd Adelman may not be the biggest name on the marquee, but his ongoing efforts have reflected his status as a road weary journeyman with a squint-eyed view of both his subjects and his craft. "Time Will Tell," credited to Adelman and his band The Country Mile, conveys that jaded perspective in songs that are both restless and worn. The titles alone attest to that well-worn intent - "Tired of Being Tired," "All My Tears (Belong to You)," "Road of Time," "I'm Not Young Anymore," "All That's Left is the Blues," "Underdog" et. al. - all indicative of some obvious anguish and a downtrodden disposition.
These days of course, many individuals can relate to his predicament. Life is challenging to say the least, and the divide between people, political parties and even friends and families is clearly pronounced. On the aforementioned "All That's Left is the Blues" and "Road of Time," Adelman's somber melodies and melancholy musings reflect his rejected demeanor, adding to the album's defeatist attitude overall.
Still, all is not lost. The restless and resilient "If It Weren't For You" and "Not a Day Goes By" offer indication that that there's still some hope stashed away within that wilderness Adelman currently calls home. They're bolstered by a drive and deliver that suggests - as indicated by Tom Petty in his classic "I Won't Back Down" - that indeed arched defiance is ultimately at least part and parcel of his musical make-up. Or is it? The telling "I'm Not Young Anymore" seems to say it all:
"I was strong for awhile
Carried in mile after mile
Now I'm tired, old and sore"
Happily then, the final track - the rollicking "Wild Women, Whiskey & Weed" - seems to bring it all back to the beginning, when rock 'n' roll was the stuff of daydreams and/or delusion. Eternal optimism? Or simply misplaced immaturity? Whatever the impetus, let's hope it can still sustain him.
Lee Zimmerman is a freelance writer based in Maryville, Tenn. He writes about music on his web site Stories Beyond the Music.