I spent last week in New Orleans, celebrating my birthday, and this Blanche Thomas album was a record I put on in heavy rotation to get myself in the mood as I packed my things and made the eight-hour drive into the Crescent City.
When I first heard Blanche’s version of Am I Blue, performed with Papa French and his band, I instantly went online and ordered the entire album. When it arrived a few days later, I was not disappointed. Start to finish, the record is a gem.
Blanche sings standards here, they’re songs you’ve heard before, but her warm voice combined with the band’s brassy tones are just the thing to listen to on a chilly day when you want to pretend you’re strolling through the French quarter, catching whiffs of spicy boiled crawfish and hearing the chatter, laughter and music pouring out of the streetside bars.
New Orleans is a magical city, and to me, this album, this sound, embodies that magic.