Thursday, October 13, 2022

Album Review: Johnny Adams - After All The Good Is Gone

Johnny Adams
After All The Good is Gone
***and1/2 out of *****

The newest vinyl offering from the fantastic Tipitina's Record Club is of Johnny Adams After All The Good Is Gone, originally released in 1978 on Ariola Records. The music is presented on heavyweight 180g gold colored vinyl with linear notes regarding Adams music for this release and beyond, written by multi-Grammy winning producer Scott Billington. 

After All The Good Is Gone was produced by Senator Jones and the music is a mix of blues, country, funk and soul, all formulated in the gumbo sound of New Orleans backing musicians. Adams vocals are always front and center as the artist digs into his gospel roots, sings sweetly, rising to the heavens while also letting a raw, hurtful tone touch the blues numbers in expert fashion. 

Opening with the first of two covers from country artist Conway Twitty, the title track adds super rich bass, brass and strings which ease in an and out, developing a country/soul hybrid track as Adams sings some of his strongest, vibrating vocals right from the drop.  Unfortunately the following "Somewhere" finds Adams slipping into his hokiest wedding singer like tone with overly dramatic strings and pomp. 

Things slowly improve on the babies having babies blues tale "She's Only A Baby Herself" and "Selfish" which finds Adams strong vocals the star, while being supported by more nuanced strings and squiggly guitar. Excitingly the album switches gears to end side A with a Sly and Family Stone influenced slippery funk outing, complete with chicken scratching guitars and huge horns.  The short track shows that the crooning Adams could get funky when called upon and more of this would have been a delight.      

Things return to the country/soul hybrid for his second Conway Twitty cover on the album "(I Can't Believe) She Gives It All To Me" as the musicians smoothly back Adams vocals. Reserved blues color the lamentable tale about bad women on "The Image Of Me" while the sweet rolling makeup song "Stay With Me And Stay In Love" is a joy and fits Adams (and the musicians) perfectly with strong horns and drumming.

The album wraps with the solid "One Fine Day" and another super cool, yet brief, funk outing "It's Been So Long" that grooves before bad ass brass horn breaks. While Adams focus was on the country/blues these two brief funk jams are a delight as they end both sides of the record.

The multifaceted vocalist Adams was a regional player, never breaking out of the New Orleans scene, perhaps because he was tough to market as he did a little bit of everything, all of which is displayed on the strong After All The Good is Gone, now re-released to a new generation of fans via Tipitina's Record Club.      
A super cool record. Join the club if you haven't already.   

No comments:

Post a Comment