Living Blues (p.36) - "It's perhaps the most subtle recording of her long career....The use of acoustic bass, in place of the usual electric, also helps give the proceedings a laid-back feel."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.90) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[The songs] have taken on an added poignancy....Brimming with perspicacity and faith."
Personnel: Irma Thomas (vocals); Irma Thomas; Corey Harris (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); David Torkanowsky (piano, electric piano, Hammond b-3 organ); David Egan (piano); Scott Billington (tambourine); Charles "Chucky C" Elam, III (background vocals); Dirk Powell (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, fretless banjo, fiddle); Sonny Landreth (slide guitar); James Singleton (acoustic bass); Stanton Moore (drums, percussion); Marc Broussard, Juanita Brooks (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Adam Taylor; Paul Q. Kolderie.
Recording information: Dockside Studios, Maurice, LA (12/2005-02/2006); Storyville Studio, New Orleans, LA (12/2005-02/2006).
Photographer: Rick Olivier.
Although Irma Thomas reportedly chose the songs for her 2006 album, AFTER THE RAIN, prior to Hurricane Katrina's devastation of her hometown of New Orleans, there is simply no avoiding the specter of that disaster as it looms over the performances on this collection. The very best R&B has always been built around both a response to heartache and a refusal to be defeated by it, and that notion is clearly evident in Thomas's moving, soul-deep renderings of the 13 tracks here. Standouts include her take on Arthur Alexander's aching "In the Middle of it All"; a spare, bluesy reading of Blind Willie Johnson's "Soul of a Man"; and the simple, gospel-tinged piano-driven closer, "Shelter in the Rain."