While East Nashville, Tenn. is a contemporary hotbed of musical activity, the majority of which is well separated from mainstream Music City by a distinct difference in tone and attitude.
With that in mind, it's hardly a surprise that Adrian + Meredith have their roots in the former and are fully entrenched in the latter. Adrian Krygowski was born and raised in Detroit, growing up with a distinct love of Rock and Punk and the urge to make his own music. He eventually embarked on a decade-long solo career that led him to a show in Washington, D.C. where he met Meredith Brown, a native of Ann Arbor, Mich., who had been a fixture in the city's Folk/old-time Country scene as a traditional fiddler. Three years ago, Meredith guested on Adrian's solo album, Roam, which resulted in their marriage, as well as their full professional partnership as Adrian + Meredith and their 2016 debut recording together, More Than a Little.
There is an infectious swing and a swaggering stomp that permeates every moment of More Than a Little; imagine what the Squirrel Nut Zippers would have sounded like if Jimbo Mathus had been nannied by Jack White's mother rather than Charley Patton's daughter. Adrian had already adopted an interesting clawhammer approach to playing acoustic guitar and possesses a freewheeling vocal style that sounds like a hybrid of the aforementioned Mathus and White, with hints of Pokey LaFarge and Mojo Nixon. Meredith leavens and grounds all that with traditional fiddle accompaniment and smoky vocal harmonies that quiver with angelic experience and devilish intent.
Comparisons to Th' Legendary Shack Shakers aren't out of line; Mark Robertson, the Shack Shakers’ former bassist, produced the album and provided upright assistance. Pedal-steelist and guitarist Paul Niehaus, Adrian's longtime bandmate, has an impressive CV of tour/session work, including jobs with Iron & Wine, Calexico, Yo La Tengo, Bobby Bare Jr., Justin Townes Earle and many others. Adrian + Meredith tour in duo, trio and full band configurations, and while it's hard to tell from their website which of those is on the road at the moment (a Facebook tour poster does feature a photo of the full ensemble), it hardly matters, because Adrian + Meredith play with a nuanced ferocity that works no matter how many people are on stage.