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Carlo Ditta, Hungry for Love. “Swampy” is the first word that may come to mind when you listen to this terrific release from New Orleans producer-turned-singer/songwriter Carlo Ditta. Killer sax work punctuates originals like “La Muchacha Chacha” and “Pass the Hatchet,” which are interspersed here with well-chosen covers, including one of the grittiest and best versions of “House of the Rising Sun” I’ve ever heard; a bouncy, organ-spiced reading of Eddie Powers’s “Gypsy Woman Told Me”; and “Agnes English,” which was a 1967 single from the late John Fred, a fellow Louisianan who is best known for “Judy in Disguise (with Glasses).” This stuff is as soulful as Dr. John and as party-ready as Fats Domino. Ditta is known primarily as the Grammy-nominated producer of a Guitar Slim Jr. album who has also produced such artists as Willy DeVille, but Hungry for Love makes clear that it’s time for him to move to center stage.

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