Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1089

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Review

DON ADAMS: Watts Happening

Watts Happening

8

7.3

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UK release date 21.05.2007

From the techicolour cover photo of LA̢۪s Watts Projects circa 1969, from the tight Stax-sounding band and from the dusky, bluesy voice of Don Adams reminiscent of Otis Redding in his prime, you̢۪d be forgiven for thinking this was another re-issue of some rare, American soul, discovered by a beat-digger in a vinyl vault in Queens.

It’s also worth noting that the record’s title anticipates Marvin’s ‘What’s Going On’ by some two years. But the fact that this is the voice of one Don Adams, born in Glasgow in 1942 before moving to Munich where he recorded two albums in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, is nothing short of a revelation. A product of the Mod explosion in Britain, where kids were tuning in to the hot US sounds of Mongo Santamaria, Shirley Scott and Brother Jack McDuff, and later the soul of Stax and Motown, Don Adams has undoubtedly been influenced by his US idols, but with songs like ‘Home Again Hello’ and ‘I Can’t Stand Living Without Her’, his music needs to be heard. German super-producer Hans Wewerka pulled in some of Eastern Europe’s finest jazz musicians to provide the unique backing tracks for this amazing voice. Superbad.
Words Jez Smadja

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