Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Alberta Adams: Detroit's Queen of the Blues

Vocalist Alberta Adams, Detroit's longtime Queen of the Blues, performs a free concert at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Oak Park Public Library, 14200 Oak Park Blvd. (248- 691-7480). She'll be joined by the RJ Spangler Trio (drummer RJ Spangler, guitarist Ralph Tope and organist Duncan McMillan).

Adams began her career as a dancer in the 1940s, but soon switched to singing, touring with big name musicians such as Duke Ellington, Louis Jordan, T-Bone Walker and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson.

Her solo career enjoyed a resurgence starting in the 1990s with her association with manager/musician RJ Spangler. She recorded two CDs for the now defunct Cannonball Records label and then moved to Detroit-based Eastlawn Records. Her third record with Eastlawn, "Detroit Is My Home," features collaborations with pianists Mark "Mr. B" Braun, Al Hill (Bette LaVette) and Ann Rabson (Saffire). Alberta has also recorded for the Chess, Savoy and Thelma (Gordy) labels.

Despite her advanced age, Alberta continues to tour. Check out her performance Sunday at the Oak Park Library and pick up one of her CDs. She's a true original.


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