Despite the fact he has six albums to his credit, each of which with a different ensemble, Colorado-based singer/songwriter Todd Adelman hasn’t gotten very much notice up until this point. It’s especially strange that he hasn’t struck more of a chord with Americana audiences, especially since his music brings to mind the weary resilience of such revered individuals as Gram Parsons, John Prine, Townes Van Zandt and the grandaddy of them all, Hank Williams. Like those forebears, Adelman’s songs hint at a certain sadness that’s all but unshakeable throughout. It’s the sound of a man who’s been beaten down and yet still struggles to find his footing, despite the emotional shackles that appear to hold him down.
If there’s any doubt about his sad state of mind, a listen to “Tired Of Being Tired,” Time Will Tell’s lead-off track, absolutely ought to convince. “Same old state of mind,” he moans. “Sick of getting left behind.” Much of what follows bears an equally sorrowful stance — indeed, songs with titles like “All My Tears (Belong To You)” and “All That’s Left Is The Blues” are nothing if not descriptive. Fortunately, Adelman hits his stride midway through by scuttling the self-pity amplifying his energy. He finds his groove near the end with “I’m Not Young Anymore,” still lamenting his circumstance, but also projecting an abject determination that brings the music to a higher peak. It doesn’t quite qualify as a determined rallying cry, but it does demonstrate the kind of resolve that implies he’s not quite ready to give in just yet.
Time Will Tell bears a descriptive title, certainly in terms of Adelman’s struggle to express his problems, and also as it applies to finding an appreciative audience. Time will tell indeed, then again, we’re all struggling with uncertainty these days, and finding some glimpse of hope on the horizon is the greatest gift that time could give us.