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Walk Around Heaven - New Orleans Gospel Soul

Irma Thomas

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Album Review

During R&B's glory years — the 1950s, '60s and '70s — the African-American church provided one great singer after another. Church choirs served as a magnificent training ground for so many of the great soul shouters, and it clearly had a positive effect on Irma Thomas (arguably the greatest female soul singer to come out of New Orleans). At 52, Thomas celebrated her gospel heritage with this solid, heartfelt CD. Thomas' voice had held up quite well since the 1960s, and she brings an impressive range and a seemingly endless supply of emotion to songs like "Where We'll Never Grow Old," "Ask What You Will" and "Careful Hands." Walk Around Heaven reminds us that as impressive as her contributions to secular soul have been, Thomas hasn't forgotten the church.

Biography

Born: 18 February 1941 in Ponchatoula, LA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The unrivaled Soul Queen of New Orleans — a title officially bestowed by local officials, no less — Irma Thomas ranks among Crescent City R&B's greatest and most enduring musical ambassadors, never enjoying the coast-to-coast commercial success of contemporaries like Aretha Franklin and Etta James but nevertheless breathing the same rarified air in the minds of many soul music aficionados. Born Irma Lee in Ponchatoula, LA, on February 18, 1941, as a teen she sang with a Baptist church...
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