Soul Queen of New Orleans: 50th Anniversary

Soul Queen of New Orleans: 50th Anniversary

by Irma Thomas
     
 

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… See more details below

Overview

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:
08/25/2009
Label:
Rounder / Umgd
UPC:
0011661221420
catalogNumber:
612214
Rank:
13830

Tracks

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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   Acoustic 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
Dr. John   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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