Living Blues - 1-2/95, p.100
"...this album has a deep soul/blues sound that brings the emotion in Adams' singing to the fore....Adams' top-notch R&B vocals make this a recommended purchase."
Personnel: Johnny Adams (vocals); Leo Nocentelli, Steve Hughes, Walter Washington, David Douglas, Daryl Johnson, Teddy Royal, Jimmy Moliere (guitar); Clyde Kerr, Amadee Castanell, Joe Fox, James Rivers, Carl Blouin, Edward "Kid" Jordan, Lester Caliste (horns); Raymond Jones, Wardell Quezergue, Isaac Bolden, Sam Henry, Allen Toussaint (keyboards); Walter Payton, George Porter, David Bannard, Emanuelle Morris (bass); James Black, Smokey Johnston, Herman Ernest, Leroy Breaux, Stanley Stevens (drums); Ken "Afro" Williams, Raymond Jones (percussion); Nancy Fisher, Cathy Savoy, Cynthia Sheeler (background vocals).
Engineers include: Cosmo Matassa, Skip Godwin, Danny Jones.
Includes liner notes by Jeff Hannusch.
Personnel: Johnny Adams (vocals); Darryl Johnson , Teddy Royal, Steve Hughes, David Douglas, Jimmy Moliere, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Leo Nocentelli (guitar); Carl Blouin, Clyde Kerr, Edward "Kidd" Jordan, Joe Fox, Lester Caliste, James Rivers, Amadee Castenell, Jr. (horns); Raymond Jones , Sam Henry (keyboards, percussion); Isaac Bolden, Wardell Quezergue (keyboards); Leroy Breaux, Stanley Stevens, Johnston Smokey, James Black (drums); Kenneth "Afro" Williams (percussion); Nancy Fisher, Cathy Savoy (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Senator Jones; Skip Godwin.
Liner Note Author: Jeff Hannusch.
Unknown Contributor Role: Cynthia Sheeler.
The title is a bit misleading. BEST OF NEW ORLEANS RHYTHM & BLUES, VOLUME 1 is essentially Johnny Adams' album of soul covers. Adams was, of course, born in New Orleans, and he remained a big local favorite until his death in 1998. But only a few of the songs he remakes here-Aaron Neville's "Tell it Like it Is" being the best known-are associated with Crescent City artists.
In any event, this isn't Adams' best record. The sound and instrumental backing are wildly inconsistent, and the whole thing feels suspiciously like a collection of demos. That said, Adams is one of the true, unheralded masters of R&B and soul, and he's in fine form throughout the album. A faithful version of Toussaint McCall's "Nothing Compares to You" is a real spine tingler, while Adam's trademark falsetto gets a terrific workout on the uptempo "Spanish Harlem."