And here I am once again in New Orleans, to tell a story that has to do with the pleasantness of music as only in the Big Easy can prepare. Probably the name of Carlo Ditta does not tell you anything, it reminds me of the joy of finally seeing a Willy Deville record after at least three years of difficulty with record and personal houses.
Ditta has put its imprint in the music field with the song “Pray” which was voted “Best Gospel Song” at the American Song Festival in 1970. It was then taken to success by Mighty Sam McClain and thanks to this Carlo starts his brilliant career of producer. He tried to continue his work as a songwriter in New York, Nashville and California, but the call of New Orleans was too strong, so he concentrated on helping musicians rejected to record and get brilliant recognition. I like to remember, among many others, Danny Barker for the album “Ham & Eggs”, Guitar Slim Jr. for which he received a Grammy nomination for “Story of My Life”, Willy Deville for Victory mixture “which won a disc of gold in France, Marva Wright and Lenny McDaniels of which he produced albums for Virgin Records, besides, of course.
After so many productions the time has come to make one’s voice heard by releasing her second solo work entitled Hungry For Love. The album moves in the wake of the music of southern Louisiana, mixing the R&B rich in soul influences with folk-rock, cajun with Reggae and Latin with Blues remaining tied to its natural habitat, as well as to that of Deville. The disc contains five autographed pieces, while the remaining part of the program covers imaginative reinterpretations and new colors of regional classics and traditional songs.
The track that does justice to ours is the final piece, a cover of an almost unrecognizable version of “The House of the Rising Sun,” whose rendering is a condensation of all the moods present in the Crescent City, including Voodoo Soul, Folk-Rock and improvisation typical of those used to performing in the local quarter of the French Quarter.
“Pass The Hatchet” recalls my beloved Willy even if at first the hissing of the night, the drawling and the voodoo trend is all Dr. John of “Gris Gris.” The instrumentation behind sees a combo playing a Swamp-Rock shaken with the funky giving rise to a sound with a high sensual charge.
The marshy atmosphere is repeated again in “Life In Heaven” with muddy keyboards and guitars in the background and a voice that refers to Tom Waits. The song of the same name, with nocturnal cadences, recalls the style of Tony Joe White.
Accompanying him is a series of musicians from the Neorlinsian undergrowth who play as best they could. A record that shows a deep love for the material, not a masterpiece, but what we need to reconcile ourselves with the frenzy that surrounds us !!!