It’s been a crooked road for Mike Downey. In the late 1990s, when Champaign, IL, darlings Wolfie were riding high on a wave of positive press and successful touring, the band landed on Kindercore Records and released an EP that should’ve pushed them to the “next level” that people love to talk about. Before it did, Downey, one of the band’s primary songwriters, slipped out the back door to go solo. “Democracy doesn’t work in rock ’n’ roll,” he explained and dissappeared into his own self-sufficient 4-track heaven. He spent the next few years under the banner The National Splits pillaging the landscapes of pop-sensible bedroom sweetness.Recordhead snatched up Downey after hearing The National Splits’ s/t debut and released the full-length Fontana in 2002 to wide acclaim. And then, with the critics still gushing about his new album and the road ahead open with possibility, he left his solo musings on simmer and put his guitar to work for Chicago pretty boys The New Constitution. For a good three years Downey fought in the trenches with TNC, but after one album the band cashed it in.Which brings us up to date. Adventure, Bless, and Don’t Be Sorry is the debut album from Downey without bandmates or monikers. He takes stock of the past few years steeplechasing the rock ’n’ roll “dream” and assembles the bits and pieces that feel right, letting the emotions and memories of his years as a songwriter come to full bloom. The album features twelve acoustically grounded compositions that dabble in the worlds of cut-and-paste glitch and lone-wolf crooning, but never lose their focus, heartfelt simplicity or crafty lyricism.