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The Cardinals are featured on the albums Cold Roses, Jacksonville City Nights, Follow the Lights and, most recently, Cardinology as Adams' backing band. Though credited as a solo Ryan Adams release, the 2007 album Easy Tiger also features The Cardinals, as does the Willie Nelson album Songbird.
Regarding the band's name, Adams states that he: "suggested the Cardinals because it was my high school football team, I thought it would be very funny, considering those people wanted to beat the shit out of me. I'd go to school with Danzig shirts on. My nickname at school was literally 'Satanic.' I fucking really wanted to play football."
According to Pitchfork Media, Ryan Adams & the Cardinals may be known as simply "The Cardinals" from now on.
Initially, The Cardinals consisted of Ryan Adams, Brad Pemberton, JP Bowersock, Catherine Popper, and Cindy Cashdollar. The band toured in 2004 and recorded Cold Roses. Cashdollar left in 2005 and was replaced by Jon Graboff.
The band toured worldwide without Cashdollar to promote Cold Roses, and during this period returned to the studio to record their second album, Jacksonville City Nights. Bowersock left after the album was recorded, and was replaced by Neal Casal.
In 2006, Popper left the band and was replaced by Chris Feinstein prior to a European tour in 2006. In 2007, The Cardinals joined Ryan Adams to record his new album, Easy Tiger, and the album's producer, Jamie Candiloro, was added to the lineup on piano. Follow the Lights appeared later in the year, once again produced by Candiloro.
Their latest album, Cardinology, was released in October 28, 2008.
* Ryan Adams — vocals, guitar, piano, banjo (2004-2009)
* Chris Feinstein — bass (2006-2009)
* Jon Graboff — pedal steel and vocals (2005-present)
* Brad Pemberton — drums, percussion (2004-present)
* Neal Casal - guitar and vocals (2005-present)
* Jamie Candiloro — piano, keyboards (2007)
* Catherine Popper — bass, vocals, piano (2004-2006)
* J.P. Bowersock — guitar (2004-2005)
* Cindy Cashdollar — steel guitar, lap steel, resonator guitar, vocals (2004-2005)