The late Johnny Adams sang with as much soul as Bobby "Blue" Bland and as much cool sophistication as Nat King Cole. Unfortunately the New Orleans native never achieved the same level of fame as either of those great artists. Adams scored a couple of regional soul hits in his younger days ("I Won't Cry," "Reconsider Me") but didn't realize his full potential until he hooked up with Rounder Records producer Scott Billington in 1983. This CD is an overview of the final 15 years of Adams' life, the most fertile of his career.
Billington surrounded Adams with some of the finest musicians in the Crescent City and helped him choose material that accentuated the warmth and elegance in his delivery. The two collaborated on a total of nine albums, most of them excellent, at least half of them in a jazzy blues vein. This retrospective CD includes 13 tracks from all nine releases, plus a duet with Ruth Brown ("I Don't Know") and a previously unreleased Doc Pomus-Dr. John composition ("Happy Hard Times"). It's about as diverse a CD as you'll find in the blues bin, offering mellow jazz ballads, funky blues cuts, plenty of horn-fueled R&B tracks, some organ-steeped numbers, and a gorgeous gospel cover.
Adams' voice is constantly compelling on this CD, but credit also goes to the top-flight blues and jazz players who back him, including Dr. John, Aaron Neville, Harry Connick Jr., and Walter "Wolfman" Washington.
Johnny Adams was one of the classiest blues and R&B singers of all time. If you're a fan of sophisticated R&B, There Is Always One More Time belongs in your collection.