Archive for the Irma THOMAS Category

Marcia BALL, Irma THOMAS, Tracy NELSON – Sing It 1998

Posted in BLUES, Irma THOMAS, Marcia BALL, Tracy NELSON on December 10, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Marcia BALL, Irma THOMAS, Tracy NELSON – Sing It 1998


Vocal duties are distributed evenly to showcase the expressive capabilities of each, particularly on smokey ballads like “He’s Mine” and “You Don’t Nothin’ About Love,” so Ball, Thomas and Nelson each get the chance to display their gifts as vocalists, to exercise their individual phrasing, intonation, and timbre. Their interaction as a trio is excellent as well, churning out thick harmonies with slinky syncopation over the solid grooves of their fine backing band. SING IT! is a rare example of the disappearing entity: a real soul album. Nominated for a Grammy in 1999.
It’s a rare treat to have 3 enormously talented divas somehow combine their original powerful distinctive voices into one song but they managed to do it with gusto and joy. Tracey Nelson steals the show, however, with her solos such as “In Tears” which dazzle the listener with her dynamic, powerful voice which makes these songs her own. I have seen her in person and I would be afraid to share the stage with her because her vocals would blow me off the stage.
A trio of R&B divas: Thomas, a long-time New Orleans songstress; Ball, a native Louisianan crooner; and Nelson, lead singer for the blues-rock group Mother Earth since the mid 60’s– team up on this solid collection of dance and sultry soul numbers. Employing Atlantic/Motown-style arrangements and girl-group backing harmonies, these three bring sophisticated craft and well-seasoned throats to the mic for such groove-inducers as “Love Maker, ” “I Want To Do Everything For You,” and the rhythmic strut of “Woman On The Move.
From Entertainment Weekly.
Why settle for one great female vocalist when you can get three, especially when they’re stylish soul diva Irma Thomas, Tracy “Mother Earth” Nelson, and swamp rocker (and roller) Marcia Ball. The talented trio take the Sing It! title seriously, belting all hues of blues with satisfying sass and sincerity. Backed by a fine and funky band of Memphis-soul stalwarts and New Orleans session stars, the ladies shine both individually and as a team. Thomas, the longtime “Soul Queen of New Orleans,” struts her stuff on the Bobby “Blue” Bland classic “Yield Not to Temptation,” while Ball puts some patented bayou boogie, powered by her slinky piano lines, into her spotlight songs. Nelson repeatedly stops the show with her enormous, wraparound voice, transforming tunes like “In Tears” from simple country-flavored ballads into cathartic emotional experiences. But it’s the combined voices that makes the session so special, and the title track, a soulfully scintillating second-line anthem, is the most enjoyable example of the vocal virtuosity of these women. It’s a quintessential New Orleans celebration of singing, well worth the purchase price by itself, and it, like the entire album, also serves as an excellent sampler of the multiple talents of the superb song stylists involved.
By Michael Point.
Sing It! is a blessed event — and a great excuse to visit New Orleans for this “summit meeting” of major minds and throats of three of the most formidable female voices on at least three musical maps today. Other triple threat records take heed: this is exactly how its done, a perfect collaboration done with honor, grace, and deep within the southern traditions of vocal licks-trading, which makes this artifact timeproof. Tracy Nelson has that earth-mother caterwaul as she summons, and we recall, the depths of the ’60s as only Tracy Nelson can remind us. Irma Thomas growls ferociously from under a streetlamp and will not let us walk on by. Her sass is matched by Marci Ball’s downtown attitude and hunker-down suggestiveness. Spinetinglers to the core, each one. These tunes romp as well as they stomp and successfully mark territories among soul singers, blues artists, country strutters and just plain funky womanity, they way we love our Memphis gals (and how they can scare the crawfish out of a fella). The songs themselves sing of familiar old territories — deadbeat dads and old lovers, less than rosy rolling in the clover, releasing those Saturday night ya-yas — but the intensity of each of these hardcore principals bring a resonance to each small moment on the record. Their backup reads like a veritable roster of first-chair Memphis originals, installing that swampy-deep backwoods, diggin-it groove. This is a fine, fine record by three brilliant, completely authentic women: a gem of backwater to runneth over.
By Becky Byrkit.
Marcia Ball- (Vocals, Piano);
Irma Thomas, Tracy Nelson- (Vocals);
Michael Toles- (Acoustic & Electric Guitars);
Ed Petersen, Joe Cabral, Derek Huston- (Tenor Sax);
Victor Goines- (Baritone Sax);
Barney Floyd, Jamil Sharif- (Trumpet);
David Torkanowsky- (Acoustic & Electric Pianos, Hammond B-3 Organ);
Davell Crawford- (Hammond B-3 Organ);
Lee Allen Zeno- (Bass);
Scott Billington- (Tambourine);
Raymond Weber- (Drums, Percussion).
01. Sing It (4:17)
02. I Want To (Everything For You) (2:39)
03. In Tears (3:11)
04. Love Maker (4:17)
05. Yield Not To Temptation (3:02)
06. Heart To Heart (4:42)
07. People Will Be People (4:50)
08. Please No More (4:15)
09. If I Know You (3:13)
10. Woman On The Move (4:01)
11. He’s Mine (2:56)
12. Shouldn’t I Love Him (3:07)
13. You Don’t Know Nothin’ About Love (4:44)

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Irma THOMAS – Hip Shakin' Mama 1981

Posted in BLUES, Irma THOMAS on December 2, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Irma THOMAS – Hip Shakin’ Mama 1981
CRM 2019
Thx To *terry the mr.fatass*


Sitting home alone
thinking about my past
wondering how I made it
and how long it’s gonna last

Success has come to lots of them
and a failure is always there
time waits for no one
and I wish, how I wish someone would care…
A1. You Can Have My Husband
Written-By – D. Labostrie
A2. Cry On
Written-By – N. Neville
A3. I Won’t Cry
Written-By – D. Labostrie , J. Ruffino
A4. Ruler Of My Heart
Written-By – A. Toussaint
A5. I Done Got Over
Written-By – A. Toussaint
A6. It’s Raining
Written-By – A. Toussaint
B1. Shame, Shame, Shame
Written-By – S. Robinson
B2. Hip Shakin’ Mama
Written-By – I. Thomas
B3. Lady Marmalade
Written-By – B. Crewe , K. Nolan
B4. Wish Someone Would Care
Written-By – I. Thomas

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Irma THOMAS – Wish Someone Would Care 1964

Posted in BLUES, Irma THOMAS on November 28, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Irma THOMAS – Wish Someone Would Care 1964


It’s because of powerful platters such as this that vocalist Irma Thomas would rightfully garner the crown as the undisputed Queen of New Orleans’ thriving R&B scene. She established her reputation as a no-nonsense soul sister with the attitude-driven “You Can Have My Husband (But Don’t Mess with My Man),” “A Good Man,” and the regional hit “Look Up” prior to landing at the Crescent City powerhouse Minit Records. It was there she joined forces with the musical wunderkind Allen Toussaint who provided Thomas her next batch of notable sides, specifically “It’s Raining” and “Ruler of My Heart” (aka “Pain in My Heart”). She was also among those to make the transition to the significantly larger Imperial Records after they purchased Minit in 1963. Wish Someone Would Care (1964) was the first of two long-players that Thomas released during her brief (1964 — 1966) run on the Imperial roster. The album opens with the yearning torch balladry of the title track “Wish Someone Would Care” featuring Thomas supported by the inimitable H.B. Barnum, who tempers her remarkably versatile voice in the first of several sensitive arrangements. “I Need Your Love So Bad” is reflective of the guttural and bluesy style commonly associated with the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown. Here, Thomas definitely gives the boys a run for their money. The melody of “Without Love (There Is Nothing)” bears a striking resemblance to the “Tennessee Waltz” during the languid verses. The chorus, however, finds Thomas calling on her gospel roots to really “sell” the performance to great aplomb. Her update of Percy Mayfield’s “Please Send Me Someone to Love” is a stone classic and easily takes on Odetta and Esther Phillips’ respective versions with plenty of power to spare. “Time Is on My Side” — initially relegated to a 45 rpm B-side — found its way across the Atlantic ocean where it would take on a life of its own once the Rolling Stones covered it less than a year later. Similarly, Thomas’ reading of the Jackie DeShannon co-penned “Break-A-Way” became a runaway smash throughout the bayou. And though it seemed to attract little attention elsewhere in the States, it has been remade to great effect by Tracey Ullman. Both the LP and single for Wish Someone Would Care crossed over onto the pop charts, simultaneously giving Thomas her only Top 40 single and Top 100 Album entry.
By Lindsay Planer. AMG.
Pops Powell- Bass
Squirm- Drums
Jesse Willard Carr- Guitar
Swamp Dogg- Piano
Paul Hornsby- Keyboards
Irma Thomas- Vocals
A1.  Wish Someone Would Care 2:20
A2.  I Need Your Love So Bad 3:10
A3.  Without Love (There Is Nothing) 2:57
A4.  Please Send Me Someone To Love 2:28
A5.  Another Woman’s Man 3:03
A6.  Sufferin’ With The Blues 2:18
B1.  Time Is On My Side 2:53
B2.  While The City Sleeps 2:53
B3.  Straight From The Heart 2:26
B4.  I’ve Been There 2:37
B5.  I Need You So 2:21
B6.  Break-A-Way 2:30

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Irma THOMAS – After The Rain 2006

Posted in BLUES, Irma THOMAS on November 21, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Irma THOMAS – After The Rain 2006


Although Irma Thomas reportedly chose the songs for her 2006 album, AFTER THE RAIN, prior to Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of her hometown of New Orleans, there is simply no avoiding the specter of that disaster as it looms over the performances on this collection. The very best R&B has always been built around both a response to heartache and a refusal to be defeated by it, and that notion is clearly evident in Thomas’s moving, soul-deep renderings of the 13 tracks here. Standouts include her take on Arthur Alexander’s aching “In the Middle of it All”; a spare, bluesy reading of Blind Willie Johnson’s “Soul of a Man”; and the simple, gospel-tinged piano-driven closer, “Shelter in the Rain.”
A rumor circulated after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast at the close of summer in 2005 that Louisiana soul great Irma Thomas was one of the missing. The rumor, fortunately, turned out to be false — she was gigging at the time in Austin — but Thomas’ New Orleans home was completely destroyed. The shadow of Katrina hangs large over After the Rain, Thomas’ first new album in six years, and several of the songs take on an added poignancy because of the tragedy, most tellingly the cover of Arthur Alexander’s “In the Middle of It All” which opens this set and a stunning version of the traditional blues spiritual “Another Man Done Gone” with its telling line “another storm has come.” It would be easy to call this album Thomas’ response to the devastation, and to a great extent it is, but except for “Another Man Done Gone,” all of the songs here were chosen for the recording sessions well before Katrina developed. Coincidence or not, though, the dominant image in these tracks is one of rain, of storms washing things away, and Thomas gives each song a kind of elegant resignation with her low-key vocal approach, until the whole album seems like one long whispered effort to recapture hope in the future. Storms wash things away, often things we dearly love, Thomas seems to be saying, and here is what we’re left with, ourselves and our need to believe that there’s a reason for all of the pain we’re forced to carry. Mostly muted and acoustic, After the Rain cautiously stretches out like a slow train pulling away from the platform, and tracks like “Another Man Done Gone,” the old blues nugget “Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor,” and a stripped-down (just acoustic guitar, banjo, and percussion) version of Blind Willie Johnson’s blues gospel classic “Soul of a Man” all share a certain restless searching for answers. Maybe there aren’t any answers. Another storm has come. Not everything can be washed away. That, at least, is something to cling to, and After the Rain, in the end, is gently hopeful.
By Steve Leggett, All Music Guide.
This review is part of a series of albums and artists nominated for the 2007 Blues Music Awards (full list of nominees). This album is nominated for Album of the Year and Soul Blues Album of the Year.  Thomas is nominated for Soul Blues Female Artist of the Year.

There are a lot of people who associate U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind with 9/11. The anthems, the themes, and some of the lyrics seem to speak perfectly to the aftermath of that terrible day in our nation’s history. That connection is further cemented by the way they rose to the occasion. No American band on the scene was capable of the galvanizing performance U2 gave at the Super Bowl that followed a few months later. When America needed a band and a soundtrack for a moment of grief and healing, it borrowed U2.

In that same way, it may be forever impossible to listen to Irma Thomas’ beautiful After The Rain and not be flooded with images of Hurricane Katrina and its devastating tangible and psychological impact on the country. It was feared that Thomas, a New Orleans native, might have lost her life in the storm. This was quite obviously not the case; she was on tour at the time of the storm.

It makes for a better story if All That You Can’t Leave Behind is a post-9/11 album and if After The Rain is a Hurricane Katrina record. Unfortunately, those stories aren’t exactly true. ATYCLB was released almost a full year before the terrorist attacks on NYC and Washington D.C. All but one of the songs for After the Rain had been chosen before Katrina pummeled the shores of the Gulf Coast region. Both records make such powerful statements that they transcend timelines. These are special albums made for trying times.
The chasm between Thomas and contemporary pop-R&B singers could not be any wider. The overwhelming majority of contemporary singers rely on bombast, and big, tremolo voices. There’s no reason to feed any specific names to the lions because everyone is doing it. I don’t know if that large, overwrought bluster passes for emotion with today’s audiences or if it bludgeons emotion into submission to the point where audiences don’t know or don’t care about the difference.

Big sounds and vocal calistenics now pass for talent, as well. Listen to people talk about American Idol contestants (I’m not singling any one of them out) or established pop stars and you’re likely to hear the following: “Whether or not you like [insert name here], you have to admit they really can sing.” I go apoplectic every time I hear that and am overtaken by an immediate urge to hurl someone in front of a speeding bus. Loud shrieking and the ability to trill through 1,000 notes is the vocal equivalent of an Yngwie Malmsteen guitar solo. Can the guy play at speeds that defy the laws of physics? Yes, but damn him for doing it because there’s nothing pleasing or special about the music that produces.

After The Rain is beautifully played relying mostly on acoustic instruments. The understated music leaves space for Thomas’ deep, rich voice. Her age, experience, restraint, and nuance bring the stories, characters, and emotions in these songs to life.

I created a MayFlower playlist at Fanboy and included on it were songs by Etta James and Irma Thomas. In talking about the James track, I said, “Whenever I get ready to say, “I don’t like R&B,” an alarm goes off in my head. Etta James reminds me of what R&B is, was, and could be again.” I could have, and probably should have, repeated those comments when I discussed Thomas’ entry, “Flowers.”
The first song I recognized on this album is “Make Me a Pallet On Your Floor.” I recognized it because Gillian Welch performs a version of the song on her Soul Journey album. Naturally, I had to compare the two. I am happy to report I like both versions of the song. Gillian Welch’s version is filled with a pitiful, innocent sadness. In Thomas’ hands, the song takes on a tired, worldweary feel peppered with dignity, resignation and a hint of anger. Thomas’ interpretation of “Make Me a Pallet On Your Floor” seems to perfectly embody the plight of the Katrina victims — perhaps even more than other songs on the record that specifically mention storms or rain.

“Flowers” combines elements of country, gospel, soul, and R&B and that combination works better than I ever could have imagined. I don’t know which is the match and which is the gasoline, but the mixture creates a blazing fire. “These Honey Dos” sprinkles elements of jazz with some fine piano work. Thomas sounds completely at home even as different musical elements and sounds are incorporated. She is always center stage on these songs without ever sounding like she’s competing for it.

After The Rain is my darkhorse pick to walk away with Album of the Year at tonight’s BMAs. It wasn’t the nominee I voted for, but I wouldn’t be all that upset if it did win. This is a beautiful, deep, moving record that stands on its own and simultaneously stands for something greater.
By Josh Hathaway.
Irma Thomas- (Vocals)
Dirk Powell- (Electric Guitar, Fiddle)
Sonny Landreth- (slide Guitar)
David Torkanowsky- (Electric Piano, Hammond B-3 Organ)
James Singleton- (Acoustic Bass)
Stanton Moore- (Drums)
Charles Chucky C Elam, III, Marc Broussard, Juanita Brooks- (Background Vocals)
01. In The Middle Of It All 4:45
02. Flowers 4:22
03. I Count The Tears 3:03
04. Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor 4:30
05. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free 3:03
06. If You Knew How Much 2:27
07. Another Man Done Gone 3:49
08. Till I Can’t Take It Anymore 3:27
09. These Honey Do’s 4:27
10. Another Lonely Heart 4:20
11. Soul Of A Man 3:01
12. Stone Survivor 3:49
13. Shelter In The Rain 4:14

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