Adam Stanley
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Stanley releases debut solo album at The Blue Note.

Stanley played his first show at The Blue Note in 2004 with his former band, Simple Randy. The singer-songwriter now returns to the venue older, wiser and armed with his new album, Requisite Renaissance.

He’s played guitar at Shiloh. He’s played Forge and Vine. He even played Forge and Vine when it was still Fat Otter’s. He’s played Harpo’s on football weekends.
Singer-songwriter Adam Stanley can’t walk two blocks downtown without being stopped by an old friend, neighbor or a former roommate’s girlfriend.

He is no stranger to Columbia, which could be why he has chosen The Blue Note for the release of his first solo album, Requisite Renaissance, on Friday.
Stanley, a former MU student, began writing music when he was 15 years old. He continued to do so through his college years.
Eventually, he joined the pop band Simple Randy. In 2004, the band made an appearance at The Blue Note to release its self-titled album. “I remember the first time I got behind the microphone and looked out, I got a lump in my stomach,” Stanley says. “It was a big emotional high.”
Simple Randy dissolved in December 2005; Stanley headed back to square one and took his music into his own hands. “I had to go back to the drawing board,” he says. “I had to relearn how to play music again, how to do it on my own.”
In 2006, Stanley began writing songs for what would become Requisite Renaissance in his hometown of Joplin. Between the two albums, Stanley has changed both personally and musically. He says he now can listen to music and break down songs better. Stanley also has learned to make stronger choices in life and wiser choices in the business. These changes have given the new album a more personal feel than his first.
“I definitely take pride in my back catalogue, but I kind of view Simple Randy as Requisite’s little brother,” Stanley says.
In contrast to Simple Randy’s sound, which was reminiscent of John Mayer or Jason Mraz, Requisite Renaissance takes stock of the finer things in life and focuses on storytelling. The album represents a more mature Stanley who embraces his influences, such as Paul Simon, Van Morrison and James Taylor.
To Justin Arft, who plays mandolin on the album, Stanley’s talent shows in his songwriting. “His song craft is really strong,” says Arft. “It’s both user-friendly and deep. After some listening, you can really see depth.”
Among Stanley’s influences, one is a bit closer to home. His producer and uncle, Martin O’Flaherty, former member of early-’90s rock band Walking on Einstein, has played an integral part in Stanley’s musical development.
“He taught me about putting stories into songs,” Stanley says.
And this influence shows in Stanley’s songs. On the album, he croons out sweet ballads, but there are a few surprises up his sleeve. “By the Sea” has some blues-y harmonica, and “King and a Queen” has an electric-guitar introduction.
In a grander scheme, Stanley feels like Renaissance in the title refers to his own creative rebirth but hopes the idea will resonate. “The world’s ready for another Renaissance,” he says. “Culture is going to become important again.”
Stanley’s journey from past to present has been filled with hard work and perseverance. Stanley hopes his diligence will be portrayed in his work.
Arft says the audience can expect an intimate performance. “He doesn’t just stand up on stage in his own world,” Arft says. “He really tries to play to the audience.”
Stanley looks forward to the show on a personal level and will be supported by those who have inspired the changes that helped him create Requisite Renaissance.
“I expect to see the faces of people who have helped out with the album or who know my music — that, to me, means more than anything.” - Missourian (Vox Magazine)


Adam Stanley, once a student at MU, left the world of academia to pursue his passion for music. He has spent the last four years developing his skills and his sound and will be celebrating the release of his sophomore album, Requisite Renaissance, Friday at The Blue Note.

His debut album, Simple Randy, a self-described “journalistic album,” was released in the spring of 2004.

The new album is less about Stanley himself and more about building relationships with the audience.

“The lyrics were a log of what had happened to make me a musician,” Stanley said. “I’m hoping that this will help the audience to familiarize with the album.”

For the last two years Stanley has been scouting for talented musicians to play with him on his new album. He’s been hitting up open mic nights and local gigs looking for musicians who would be able to meld with his sound. After shows he would talk to the musicians and the conversations would either lead to a few laughs or result in that person playing on the recording.

“It’s a cool process,” Stanley said. “You familiarize yourself with the music and them, which establishes you as a musician instead of a socialite.”

His new album features an array of musicians and instruments including drummers Ryan Hurn and Brady Fisher, bassist Thom Hoglen, guitarists Martin O’Flaherty and Mike Evans, Justin Arft on mandolin, and harmonica player Jeff Youngblood.

Stanley dealt with the problem of the musicians living in various cities by using overdubbing to record the majority of Requisite Renaissance. The guitars were recorded first and the rest of the band came in later to record the rest of the song. All recording was completed at Facet Sound Recording Studio in Joplin, Mo.

“It’s really interesting,” Stanley said. “You want to work with the highest caliber musicians.”

Stanley has been on the search for more permanent band members and said that this album really helped him find musicians that he can rely on and work well with.

Seth White, one of the drummers Stanley has worked with, said he thinks the CD turned out great.

“A good friend of mine is the drummer on it, Ryan Hurn,” he said. “Dude’s amazing. But that’s not to take away how good this band is. The material we’re working with is great stuff, and I think we’re gonna rock the house.”

When Stanley was a student at MU, he was involved in several activities including Beta Theta Pi fraternity. The Beta house was where Stanley met one of his pianists during his early days with the band Simple Randy.

Stanley calls himself a student of life rather than the classroom. As Stanley got more involved in his music and spent more time playing gigs, he realized that he could make a career out of his music, so Stanley made up his mind to leave school and develop his skills as a singer/songwriter.

Once he started working with Facet Sound Recording Studio, Stanley “never looked back.”

Now with two records finished, Stanley wants to return to Columbia to play at hubs like The Field House and Shiloh Bar and Grill, where he got his start.

“I’m not trying to kiss Columbia’s ass,” he laughed, “but it’s one of Missouri’s coolest cities.”

Stanley plans to head west after spreading the new album in hopes of spreading his name. He said he could use 20 to 30 fans in all the major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. - The Maneater


Singer-songwriter Adam Stanley prepares for new album release.

There’s a cyclic nature to music, says Adam Stanley; a time to harvest and a time to sow.

The time spent preparing for the upcoming release of his second album, “Requisite Renaissance,” has been a sowing period.

“With the album, I’ve been sowing a lot and cultivating my sound,” the 28-year-old Joplin native said. “And now, I’ll go back out and play.”

A 13-song collection of intimate and personal works, the album was produced at Facet Sound in Joplin. It’s a showcase for the singer-songwriter ranging from soft ballads like “From the Nest,” to the blues-inflected “By the Sea” and the more exploratory opener, “Round We Go.”

As he gears up for the hometown release party for “Requisite Renaissance,” set for 9 p.m. Saturday, April 4, at the Kitchen Pass, Stanley is excited about the opportunity to show off his “13 babies” to the fans he’s grown in Southwest Missouri. As he sits down to talk about the new album, the passion that he has for his craft shines through every bit as much as when he sits down to perform.

Q. What is the significance of the album title?

A. The title is a real personal thing for me. On one hand, you have renaissance, which means to be reborn. And I feel that creatively I’ve been reborn. I feel like I have a real hold on where I want to go with my writing. I really feel like I’ve got my whole life ahead of me in music. Also, “Requisite Renaissance” is a call to whoever would listen to the album that this world is filled with this strength of culture. You can go online and find people that have a focus on the purest essence of culture and all the different spectrums of art, from sculpture to song. To me, it’s so available. When the Renaissance first came around, it wasn’t available to the people. When they made culture available to the people, that’s when there was this influx of art and music and really a progression within the human race. I just feel like everyone feels like they’re right on the edge of something great, or something disastrous.

Q. How long has the album been in the works?

A. In the works creatively? Four years. And production-wise, two years. We have gone through this recording process in a real unique way. The songs were written acoustically, then we tried to think about where they needed to go — what the song needs to really get momentum with the listeners. You start with one layer and you take it all the way to the end and you can either hear that first layer in the song, or the song takes a completely different character and rolls over into this other song — sometimes a rocking direction or a real ethereal, non-uniform song.

Q. Is there a feeling you were trying to address with the songs? “From the Nest” talks about leaving the nest, and in another song, “Captive,” you talk about freedom. Was that a theme when you were writing these songs?

A. It’s very linear. My songs on the albums are 13 different characters. But if you just read the lyrics, they really do remind you of one another. Not only in meter and rhythm, but also in the context of the music. They very much had a personal appeal to me, but it has what I feel like is a mass message to anyone that would be in the same place I’m in, or a place of their own where they feel like nothing is speaking to them. “Captive” to me is a story about feeling like you can’t break free, but you always have a medium you can connect to that you’re completely at one, completely yourself in your own skin.

Q. With these songs, did you start with the lyrics first or do you have a musical idea going in that spurs the direction the lyrics take?

A. Usually the way I write is I write the music. I feel the way the music moves; from there I can get a visualization in my head of who would exist in this world. Sometimes I’ll think of a Lewis & Clark kind of environment where nothing has been discovered, and there you can color yourself into the song. And sometimes the song will just tell you exactly what it’s about. Sometimes you’re humming to a melody and a word pops out of your mouth, and then from there everything else connects.

Q. Who are your influences?

A. James Taylor has been my influence since I was very young. And Paul Simon since I was young as well. Van Morrison, I’ve gotten into as I’ve become more understanding of what song structure is. Jim Croce was always there — kind of that 1960s, 1970s songwriter movement. But then we have these really great musicians now. John Mayer, of course is a really good musician, but I really try to step more in the Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins realm of singer-songwriter than into that one kind of sound John Mayer has. I really like the idea of being able to move in all directions and still have my own voice.

Q. When you finish a project like this, do you immediately set your sights on what you’re going to do next, or will you cultivate this a little bit before looking ahead?

A. I am really excited about the next project. I have enough songs now to start working on it, and I look forward to it with great anticipation. I really am excited about getting back in the studio — there is something about it. It’s a torture, but also a very pleasurable experience. You get in there, and it’s so quiet in the studio, and you want to fill it up with warm sounds and very good music. I feel like I’m in this whole creative pocket, and I have to keep moving forward. - The Joplin Globe


Discography

(*streaming)
Simple Randy:
No Control
Last Name*
Caspian
Stronger
Forget About Me
Memory
Leave
Highway Home
Pop Princess
Proof
Stay Beutiful

Requisite Renaissance:
Round We Go
Captive
From the Nest*
Beneath Me
Lovely Day
It Could Be
Let it Rain*
King & Queen* (Featured Song @ DC Jam Records)
Today
By the Sea*
My Time. My Life
Celebrate
Sing to Me

Photos

Bio

Adam Stanley is an accomplished singer/songwriter that has toured from Brooklyn, NY to Austin, TX.
He has opened for such National acts as Cody Chestnutt and Big Smith. He has been a featured artist for DC Jam Records and LiveFeed and the recipient of a Gold Addy Award.The band Adam has been touring with is made up of some of the best talent in the Midwest. “The Project” is comprised of Mike Evans of Ilijah on electric guitar, Robert Terry on the jazz bass and the tasteful percussion of Seth White—three powerhouses of raw yet refined sound. Stanley rounds out the foursome with his soulful voice and steady guitar work.

“The band and I are taking a swing at these great venues and prominent bands on the national scene. I have been able to release two albums over the past 4 years: Simple Randy and Requisite Renaissance. We are working toward our third with some real heavy hitting new music. If you like rock, folk and soul music, solid song writing and a commanding performance, you will really like what you hear. I’m exited for what’s happening for us these days. We hope to keep this going for some time to come.” —Adam Stanley

For more information, visit www.stanleymusic.com