When a singer makes a stage entrance walking through the crowd belting out "Dancing in the Streets" with all the effort normally associated with, oh, window shopping, it's safe to say you're in for a pretty fair evening's worth of entertainment. So it was when Irma Thomas made her local debut at Club Lingerie over the weekend.
Truthfully, it was better than that. A lot better. Tightly backed by her own septet, the 47-year-old vocalist more than lived up to her rep as the "Soul Queen of New Orleans."
Her Saturday night show encompassed everything from soul standards to traditional N'Awlins tunes to contemporary R & B and pop to a handful of her minor hits from a 29-year recording career.
Thomas has never been a flamboyant singer. What she does have is a brandy-like warmth of tone, marvelous control, impeccable phrasing, an intimate vibrato and the ability to color everything she sings in shades of misty blue.