Johnny Adams, Introduction To Johnny Adams

John Morthland

By John Morthland

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
The early work of New Orleans’ “Tan Canary,” collected.

The greatest pure singer in New Orleans, “the Tan Canary” eschewed the city's second-line sound in favor of ballads — often country ballads like Mel Street's “Hell Yes I Cheated” — that showed off his incredible range and sophisticated technique; he could float effortlessly up into a spine-tingling falsetto. These essential mid-'70s to early '80s R&B/soul sides on a local label came just before Rounder slicked him up, sometimes to his detriment.