When Johnny Adams does the blues, he does it big. In the 1960s Adams brought a loud style with a showboating voice and plenty of brass to a genre that was then known mostly for its minimalism, with blues artists often having just a guitar and a broken heart in recordings.
It’s Adams’ voice that stands out most on Heart & Soul, a 1969 collection of some of his best hits from the 1960s. It's a powerful, bellowing voice that shines because of its imperfections -- not in spite of it.
He has a rocking version of “You Made a New Man Out of Me” here and the best version of “Reconsider Me” ever put to wax, showing off his ability to switch from bass to tenor to flat-out screaming in a single breath. And “Your Woman” and “Georgia Morning Dew” test his deft guitar skills at playing with a bit of funky flair, which he passes with flying colors.
Adams would go on to release several solid studio albums in his career – the 1984’s “From the Heart” and 1988’s “Room With a View of the Blues” come to mind – but Heart & Soul features him at his wailing best.