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Live! - Simply the Best

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Album Review

Irma Thomas has long been an institution in New Orleans-based R&B. This live CD is both a strong introduction to her powerful voice and a summation of her career up to 1990, mixing together remakes of some of her mid-'60s recordings with more current material. Cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd, Thomas sounds inspired and in her prime throughout the consistently passionate set. Of the highlights, "Hip Shakin' Mama" is a humorous blues, "I Needed Somebody" is especially soulful (if overly repetitive near its conclusion), "It's Raining" is memorable, and "Second Line Medley" effectively mixes in a touch of Dixieland with R&B. An excellent introduction to the talented Irma Thomas.


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 choir, even...
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Live! - Simply the Best, Irma Thomas
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