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Arthur Adams - Stomp The Floor
12 songs; 46:46 minutes; Splendid
Styles: Rhythm and Blues; Blues
Let’s leave the south pole from last week and head up to the north pole for this week’s review. I can’t remember two consecutive reviews with near polar diversity. From the rough and raw to the silky smooth, from 100 proof whiskey to Bailey’s Irish Cream, from stomp to strut, last week’s Moreland and Arbuckle and this issue’s Arthur Adams allow the listener to choose a CD for distinct and separate moods.
Having written or co-written all twelve songs on the new CD, Arthur Adams has been a popular mainstay of the blues scene in Los Angeles for many years. “As the featured house bandleader at B.B. King’s blues club in Universal City, Arthur exposed patrons night after night to his soulful blend of silky rhythm & blues combined with his searing guitar and buttery smooth vocal delivery,” reports the Delta Groove Music website.
And, check Adams’ accomplishments: Arthur has played and recorded with B.B. King, writing the songs "Mean and Evil" and "Something Up My Sleeve" for B.B. King. He also wrote the song "Love and Peace" for Quincy Jones' Grammy award-winning "Walking In Space" album, "Somebody Is Gonna Miss Me" for Sam Cooke on the "Twistin’ the Night Away" album, and "Truck Load of Loving" for Albert King. He played guitar on the "Nick of Time" album for Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Smith's album, "Root Down," Jerry Garcia's "Garcia," the Crusaders' "Street Life," and he played for Johnnie “Guitar” Watson, Dr. John and many more. Arthur appears in the movie "Town & Country," starring Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn where played and sang the song "I Can't Stand the Rain."
The title track comes first, and while, indeed, as intended, the opening bass and organ notes plus hand claps make me want to get on the dance floor, the music does not make me want to “stomp.” Perhaps there are different definitions for “stomp” (meaning dance), but Adams’ song entices me to slide and glide with my baby in my arms. It was last week’s “Flood” by Moreland & Arbuckle that invited doing a liquor fueled stomp until a hole is kicked through the floor. It’s “watch my footwork” vs. “watch out.” At two minutes into the song, Adams’ solo shows off that impeccable guitar work.
“You Can’t Win For Losing” seems the perfect song for the Great Recession in which we are mired. The lyrics tell many a sad tale, but the horn laced music is upbeat throughout to carry the theme and final line of each verse: “...But, you got to keep trying - if you want to get by.”
In the Bluesiest number, “Don’t Let The Door Hit You,” Arthur uses a polite version of that old humorous saying used when you are eager to see someone go. It’s usually expressed, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.” Most doors have automatic pneumatic closers and would hit a person if he / she left too slowly. So, Adams explains to his misbehaving mistress what the phrase means, “Don’t Let The Door Hit You - that means you got to get out quick, baby ... go on lickety split....” This mid-tempo guitar and horn fueled smoker will get air-play first on our “Friends of the Blues Radio Show.”
My first earworm that I caught my self singing later is “Callin’ Heaven.” Adams’ sweet, soulful vocals are at their finest here as he implores for Divine help in life’s earthly injustices.
There are also wonderful harmony vocals, but only Adams is listed in the liner notes as singing, so perhaps he is harmonizing with himself through multi-tracking.
To allow concentration solely on Adam’s guitar work and his competent studio band’s contributions, there are three instrumentals. “You Got That Right,” “Around the Sun,” and “Blue Roots” are all mid tempo numbers full of catchy, melodic hooks, bass lines, and classy arrangements that invite more dancing. These three are definitely headed for air play, possibly one to open the show.
The choice is yours, but, fellas, when it’s date night, as opposed to a night out with the boys, then Arthur Adams’ latest CD will enhance your chances of the evening ending up the way you hope it will.
Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and longtime Blues Blast Magazine contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Thursdays from 7 - 8 pm and Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at www.wkccradio.org in Kankakee, IL
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