Q - 1/93, p.924 Stars
- Excellent - "...Without a duff track, TRUE BELIEVER is arguably the best soul album of the year...maybe time really is on her side..."
Living Blues - Jan/Feb 93, pp.59-60
"...the nuances of Thomas' full, smooth voice with its slightly coarse timbre are best exemplified on the ballads....the session players are some of the Crescent City's best musicians..."
Personnel: Irma Thomas (vocals); Cranston Clements (acoustic & electric guitars); Amadee Castenel, Bill "Foots" Samuel, Alvin "Red" Tyler (saxophone); AJ Pittman (trumpet); Chris Belleau (trombone); David Torkanowsky (piano); Sammy Berfect (Hammond B-3 organ); Herman Ernest III (drums); Earl Smith, Jr, (background vocals).
Personnel: Irma Thomas (vocals); Cranston Clements (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Bill "Foots" Samuel (tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Amadee Castenell, Jr. (tenor saxophone); Frank Parker , A.J. Pittman (trumpet); Chris Belleau (trombone); David Torkanowsky (piano, electric piano); Chris Severin (acoustic bass); Herman V. Ernest III (drums, percussion); Earl "Chinna" Smith , Charles Elam III, Pamela Landrum, Earl J. Smith, Jr. (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: David Farrell .
Liner Note Author: Ted Drozdowski.
Recording information: Ultrasonic Studios, New Orleans, LA (05/1992-06/1992).
Photographer: Rick Olivier.
Like her first two efforts for Rounder, True Believer is a stellar collection of contemporary soul performed in the classic '50s New Orleans tradition. The difference is in conception. True Believer focuses on heartbreak songs, and there is genuine anguish in Irma Thomas' voice, making new songs by the likes of Dan Penn, Dr. John, Tony Joe White, Allen Toussaint, and Doc Pomus sound like instant classics. Another excellent effort from a woman who has plenty to her credit. ~ Thom Owens