In a city filled with country cowboys and sit-on-a-stool songwriters, Adrian + Meredith make a different sort of rootsy racket. More Than A Little, the pair's debut, finds the Nashville-based duo putting its own spin on Americana music, roughing up the genre's edges with the rule-breaking spirit of punk, the vintage twang of old-timey folk, the sneer of rock & roll, and even the "oompah" bounce of Eastern European Gypsy-Jazz and swing.
Produced by Mark Robertson, More Than A Little marks Adrian + Meredith's first time working with Daniel Lanois' streaming company, UpRise.FM. The album also brings together two performers who grew up on opposite ends of the musical spectrum. Before meeting his future wife at a show in Washington, DC, Detroit-born Adrian was raised on rock and punk, with a carnival barker's croon and an off-the-wall "clawhammer banjo" approach to playing the acoustic guitar. Meanwhile, Meredith was an Ann Arbor native who cut her teeth in the old-time music scene, where she played traditional fiddle and clogged. Those two approaches come together with Adrian + Meredith, a project that honors the tradition of Folk and Americana music while still pushing beyond those genres' boundaries.
Adrian was already 10 years into an acclaimed solo career when Meredith made a guest appearance on his 2014 release, Roam. Since then, the pair's partnership has grown into a full-time collaboration, with the two swapping harmonies, trading solos, and acting as co-pilots throughout their debut album. Returning from Adrian's previous record is five-year bandmate Paul Niehaus on pedal steel, while JD Wilkes of the Legendary Shack Shakers and Fats Kaplin of Jack White's touring band make guest appearances.
The result is a record influenced by the group's time on tour, with songs that both celebrate the joy of hitting the highway with your romantic partner ("Birthday Cakes," "Old Midwestern Home") and examine the darker corners of an entertainment industry that's rarely, if ever, fair ("Bank," "Fixer," "More Than A Little"). Equal parts defiant and driving, More Than A Little is a rally-cry from two road warriors who, after more than a dozen combined years in the music business, are too smart to play by the industry's rules and too enthralled to turn their backs. It's a record about fighting the good fight, offering up plenty of southern stomp along the way.