Q - 9/01, p.1383 stars out of 5
- "...There are none warmer and few more conversational of tone...."
Personnel includes: Irma Thomas (vocals); Dan Penn, Michael Toles, Renard Poche, Guillermo Ladut, Leroy Aych (guitar); Bill "Foots" Samuel, Joe Saulsbury, Jr., Alvin "Red" Tyler, Amadee Castenell (saxophone); Terry Tullos, Laurence J. Weber, Frank Parker, A.J. Pittman (trumpet); Ernie Gatreau, Chris Belleau (trombone); Sammy Berfect (piano); David Torakanowsky (Hammond B-3 organ); Craig Wroten, Glenn Carvin, Walter Williams (keyboards); Carson Whitsett (Wurlitzer piano); Harold J. Scott, George Porter, Jr., Chester Henry, Lee Allen Zeno, Chris Severin (bass); Herman V. Ernest III, Raymond Weber, Wilbert J. Widow (drums, percussion); Elaine Foster, Lisa Foster, Sharon Foster, Marcia Ball, Tracy Nelson (background vocals).
Producers include: Scott Billington, Irma Thomas.
Compilation producer: Scott Billington.
Recorded between 1985 & 1992. Includes liner notes by Scott Billington.
This is part of Rounder Records' Heritage Series.
Personnel: Irma Thomas (vocals); Cranston Clements (guitar, acoustic guitar); Guillermo Ladut, Leroy Aych, Renard Poch‚ (guitar); Michael Toles (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Dan Penn (acoustic guitar); Scott Billington (harmonica); Jim Spake (saxophone, tenor saxophone); Bill "Foots" Samuel (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Charles Elam III (tenor saxophone, background vocals); Joe Saulsbury, Jr. (tenor saxophone); Alvin "Red" Tyler, Victor Goines (baritone saxophone); Terry Tullos, A.J. Pittman (trumpet); Howard Lamb, Chris Belleau (trombone); Ernie Gautreau (valve trombone); Marvell Thomas (piano, Fender Rhodes piano); David Torkanowsky, Sammy Berfect (piano); Carson Whitsett (electric piano, Wurlitzer organ); Glenn Carvin, Craig Wroten, Warner Williams (keyboards); Chris Severin (acoustic bass); Herman V. Ernest III (drums, percussion); Wilbert Widow, Steve Potts (drums); Sharon Foster, Elaine Foster, Lisa Foster, Pamela Landrum, Marcia Ball, Tracy Nelson (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: David Farrell ; Scott Billington.
Liner Note Author: Scott Billington.
Recording information: Recording Studio, Metairie, LA; Sounds Unreel, Memphis, TN; Southlake Recording Studio, Metairie, LA; Studio Solo, Slidell, LA; Ultrasonic Studios, New Orleans, LA.
Editor: David Farrell .
Photographers: Barbara Roberds; David Gahr.
Arrangers: Alvin "Red" Tyler; Warner Williams.
It's a crime that soul singer Irma Thomas isn't a household name. Her recordings for the Minit and Chess labels in the 1960s and 1970s remain classics of the genre, and one of her compositions, the torchy "Time Is on My Side," was a big hit for a young British band called the Rolling Stones. She took some time off to raise a family, but came back on the scene in the late '70s, and in 1984 she teamed up with producer Scott Billington to make a series of albums for the Rounder label. The songs collected here were all recorded between 1985 and 1999, and all but one were previously released on those earlier albums. Thomas' singing style and the playing of her various backing musicians is so consistent, though, that it's almost impossible to tell which tracks were recorded when; every one partakes of that joyful mix of New Orleans steam and chugging Memphis soul that has become her trademark. The songs are all classics -- the Dan Penn composition "If You Want It, Come and Get It," Paul Kelly's "The New Rules," Doc Pomus and Dr. John's "I Never Fool Nobody but Me." And there's even a gospel tune, the exuberant "Yield Not to Temptation" (with backing vocals by Marcia Ball and Tracy Nelson). Any fan of soul music ought to own all of the albums from which this collection was taken, but this disc is a good place to start. ~ Rick Anderson