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Soul Queen of New Orleans: 50th Anniversary

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
For a half century, Irma Thomas has been firmly established as the undisputed queen of New Orleans soul, and over the years has issued several standout recordings for the Rounder label. This collection features 15 of her very best works with no filler or sub-standard tracks, and includes three previously unissued tracks. Thomas taps on the deep wellspring of songwriters and performers from the Crescent City, including David Torkanowsky, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, Doc Pomus, Doyle Bramhall II, Sonny Landreth, James Singleton, Stanton Moore, and Henry Butler among many others. This compilation, organized from her 25 years on the Rounder label, comes from six of her ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
For a half century, Irma Thomas has been firmly established as the undisputed queen of New Orleans soul, and over the years has issued several standout recordings for the Rounder label. This collection features 15 of her very best works with no filler or sub-standard tracks, and includes three previously unissued tracks. Thomas taps on the deep wellspring of songwriters and performers from the Crescent City, including David Torkanowsky, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, Doc Pomus, Doyle Bramhall II, Sonny Landreth, James Singleton, Stanton Moore, and Henry Butler among many others. This compilation, organized from her 25 years on the Rounder label, comes from six of her eleven albums, tacking on tunes from the Rhino collections I Believe to My Soul and 'Till The Night Is Gone; A Tribute to Doc Pomus, as well as the Nonesuch label collection Our New Orleans. The CD is highlighted by three selections from her all-time best and Grammy-award winning recording After the Rain, a post-Katrina anthem for the ages in and of itself. On a pure blues side, there's the raunchy, Bayou-humid thick "Another Man Done Gone" from After the Rain, and Bessie Smith's "Back Water Blues" via the compilation Our New Orleans -- both classics. Gospel-soul is always a part of the repertoire as heard on the confirmational tune "Let It Be Me" or "There Must Be a Better World Somewhere," co-written by Dr. John and Doc Pomus. Thomas specializes in downtrodden, brokenhearted songs such as the confused, sad ballad "What Can I Do?," "I Count the Tears" (from After the Rain) with a supportive chorus amid the gloomy mood, and the regretful ballad "Loving Arms." There's a funky, more commercial cover of the Purify Brothers' hit "I'm Your Puppet" with a horn section and popping electric bass guitar, a good-time rocker "The New Rules" affirming woman power, and the song of hope "River Is Waiting" with Butler's lively piano urging the band and singers to stand up and be counted. Thomas owns the kind of voice that is universally likable, never straining for high notes, unwavering in her soulful content, and as precise as any vocalist could dream of. She's simply precious, direct, stirring, and exciting no matter the style or lyric content. Though all of her individual CD's are easily recommended, this one is a must-have for collectors of greatest-hits packages, and especially those who for some reason have not yet discovered this brilliant American artist -- truly one of a kind.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/25/2009
  • Label: Rounder / Umgd
  • UPC: 011661221420
  • Catalog Number: 612214
  • Sales rank: 26,954

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Irma Thomas Primary Artist, Vocals
David Torkanowsky Piano, Hammond Organ, Electric Piano
Don Bryant Background Vocals
Sonny Landreth Slide Guitar
Leroy Aych Guitar
Chris Belleau Trombone
Sammy Berfect Hammond Organ
Scott Billington Harmonica, Tambourine
Juanita Brooks Background Vocals
Glenn Carvin Keyboards
Cranston Clements Guitar
Tara Darnell Background Vocals
Elaine Foster Background Vocals
Ernie Gautreau Valve Trombone
Emile Hall Tenor Saxophone
Niki Haris Background Vocals
Guillermo Ladut Guitar
Pamela Landrum Background Vocals
Jean McClain Background Vocals
Spooner Oldham fender rhodes
Kim Phillips Hammond Organ
A.J. Pittman Trumpet
Renard Poché Guitar
Dirk Powell Electric Guitar, Fretless Banjo
Alfred "Uganda" Roberts Conga, Tambourine
Bill "Foots" Samuel Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Chris Severin Bass
James Singleton Bass, Acoustic Bass, Pizzicato Bass
Jim Spake Tenor Saxophone
Marvell Thomas Hammond Organ
Michael Toles Electric Guitar
Allen Toussaint Piano
Terry Tullos Trumpet, French Horn
Warner Williams Piano, Tenor Saxophone
Craig Wroten Keyboards
Jay Bellerose Percussion, Drums
Doyle Bramhall II Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar
Howard Lamb Trombone
Harold J. Scott Bass
Stanton Moore Drums
Percy Williams Percussion, Trumpet
Arthur Bell Guitar
Frank Parker Trumpet
Marc Broussard Background Vocals
Kristen Miller Cello
Paul Rayner-Brown Background Vocals
Patricia Doucette Viola
Hannah Thiem Violin
Technical Credits
Bessie Smith Composer
Arthur Alexander Composer
John Fogerty Composer
Irma Thomas Composer, Producer
Mort Shuman Composer
Burt Bacharach Composer
Kim Wilson Composer
Tom Jans Composer
Dan Penn Composer, Producer
Scott Billington Composer, Producer, Remixing
David Farrell Engineer, Remixing
Rick Giles Composer
Jeff Hannusch Liner Notes
Kevin Killen Engineer
Steve Krikorian Composer
Spooner Oldham Composer
Doc Pomus Composer
Bill "Foots" Samuel Horn Arrangements
Allen Toussaint Composer
Warner Williams Composer
Jonathan Wyner Mastering
Mac Rebennack Composer
Adam Taylor Engineer
S. "Husky" Hoskulds Engineer
Joe Brucato Composer
Dawn Hopkins Engineer
Traditional Composer
Paul Dalen Executive Producer
David Whitehead Executive Producer
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