Entertainment Weekly - 11/3/00, p.83
"...Reminds us, agian, that some of pop's greatest singers have lived and died far away from the publicity mills." - Rating: A-
Living Blues - 1-2/01, pp.76-7
Personnel includes: Johnny Adams, Ruth Brown, Aaron Neville (vocals); Duke Robillard, Wayne Bennett, Michael Toles, Walter "Wolfman" Washington (guitar); Bill Foots (alto & baritone saxophones); Ed Petersen, Alvin "Red" Tyler (tenor saxophone); Terry Tullos (trumpet); Craig Wroten (piano, Hammond B-3 organ, synthesizer); Mac "Dr. John" Rebennack (piano, Hammond B-3 organ); Harry Connick, Jr., David Torkanowski, Jon Cleary (piano); Dr. Lonnie Smith (organ); James Singleton, David Berard, George Porter, Jr., Darrell Francis, Sr. (bass); Johnny Vidacovich, Shannon Powell, Herlin Riley (drums); George "Geeje" Jackson, Jr. (congas).
Principally recorded at Ultrasonic Studios, New Orleans, Louisiana. Includes liner notes by Scott Billington.
Digitally remastered by Laurie B. Flannery (Northeastern Digital Recording, Southborough, Massachusetts).
This is a wonderful anthology celebrating the last decade and a half of recordings by the New Orleans singer Johnny Adams. Though his first recordings were already 25 years behind him at the time, Adams enjoyed a career resurgence when he signed with Rounder in the '80s. He explored his remarkable gifts fully over the series of recordings he made for the label, devoting a couple of entire releases to specific writers such as Doc Pomus and Percy Mayfield.
His bluesy depth resonates whether he's performing New Orleans funk, soulful balladry, jazzy strutting, or even making forays into the world of pop, such as 1986's AFTER DARK, and he is at home with a wide variety of composers. His version of George and Ira Gershwin's "But Not for Me" is a showstopper and should be heard by any fan of Tony Bennett's. The set includes one previously unissued number, the Pomus/Rebennack original "Happy Hard Times." This collection is a wonderful introduction to a great singer.