GRAMMY Award winner Irma Thomas is also known as the Soul Queen of New Orleans and is one of New Orleans’ most beloved and iconic entertainers. Her version of “Ruler Of My Heart” was re-interpreted by Otis Redding as “Pain In My Heart” and her version of “Time Is On My Side” was covered by The Rolling Stones. In 2008 Irma was honored as the subject of the prestigious New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival poster. She appeared on HBO’s hit series Treme, in which she sang with an All Star backing band including Allen Toussaint, who produced some of her best known work.
“…the woman known as the Soul Queen of New Orleans is a national treasure. More than that, she remains at the top of her talent: If anything, her lush voice, with its earthy tones and full-note roundness, has grown more nuanced and emotionally resonant with time.” – Associated Press
“It’s easy to read Hurricane Katrina metaphors into everything New Orleans musicians record, but that tragedy runs deep through this set of understated piano-based songs by Crescent City’s long reigning queen of soul…Thomas’ versions of these stark, powerful tunes help Simply Grand live up to its title.” – Rolling Stone
“Her head-tilting takes on R&B standards since the early 1960s place her in the stylistic neighborhood of Aretha Franklin, with a spark of Southern-fried moxie…Irma Thomas plus piano is Simply Grand.” – The Wall Street Journal
“…lets her put the grand in grand dame.” – People
“Ms. Thomas sings warmly and forthrightly amid the two-fisted rumbas, R&B vamps, jazz ballads and barrelhouse flourishes. And without getting heavy-handed the song choices haven’t forgotten what happened to her beloved city…” – The New York Times