Soul Queen of New Orleans
“She remains one of America’s most distinctive and classic singers, a treasure from the golden age of soul music who remains as compelling and powerful as ever…” -Rounder Records
The Soul Queen of New Orleans is celebrating 50 years of Grammy-winning performing. A New Orleans R&B icon since the 1960s, Irma Thomas is one of the great ambassadors of Crescent City culture. She won a Grammy Award in 2007 for Best Contemporary Blues Album, the same year she was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. As she has done since the early 1960s, Thomas performs all over the world at notable blues and jazz festivals, and over 50 years into her career she is making it clear her best work is not behind her.
“The woman known as the Soul Queen of New Orleans is a national treasure.” — People
Thomas started her recording career at a young age, and her first single, “(You Can Have My Husband but) Don’t Mess with My Man,” was released in spring 1960. Working with Gulf Coast legend Allen Toussaint, she recorded a string of national R&B hits, including “It’s Raining,” “Ruler of my Heart” and “Time Is on My Side,” (a single that inspired the more famous version by the Rolling Stones). Since signing with Rounder Records in the mid-80s she’s released a series of acclaimed gospel and soul albums, including 2006’s Grammy Award-winning After The Rain, a session embodying her hometown’s resilience and enduring soul.
“Thomas is in the stylistic neighborhood of Aretha Franklin, with a spark of Southern-fried moxie.” — Wall Street Journal