Today AST is proud to premier the new album from New Orleans producer, performer, and mainstay Carlo Ditta. Ditta’s Hungry For Love is that explicit brand of New Orleans cool, a sound that couldn’t be made anywhere else. A journeyman of R&B Ditta understands that the mysteries of the night can only be unlocked with soul, rhythm, and blues. On his latest record flashes of brass rebuke forlorn love, while Ditta assumes lead as delta story teller, his gift coming through as his voice purrs. He also invites plenty of his talented friends to help him cover tunes and compose originals.
Crescent City Classic Carlo Ditta has spent most of his career generously producing records for other, overlooked New Orleans acts. His record label Orleans records claims releases from greats like Roland Stone, the Original Pinstripe Brass Band, Ironing Board Sam, Coco Robicheaux, Little Freddie King, and “The President of Soul,” Rockie Charles, but he’s a songwriter, too.
Ditta’s persona on record is somewhere between tomcat and hoodoo man, his originals could easily be taken for canon. “La Muchacha Cha Cha” combines Cuban rhythm and American soul in a song about his unconditional love Cha Cha, a woman of the night. The title track is a gris-gris bag of soul; guitar and saxophone snake woozily around percussion as Ditta growls about love and hunger. Ditta is able to connect to the deep well of sad stories, religious reflection, and extended history of New Orleans on original songs like “Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail”, and “Life In Heaven”.
Ditta’s covers are aces, too. John Fred and The Playboys “Agnes English” gets an incredibly cool treatment. Ditta also provides faithful rework of Roger & The Gypsies “Pass The Hatchet”, and Eddie Powers “Gypsy Woman Told Me”. What’s more, these covers feature original writers and players from the original 60s recordings.
From the press release:
Carlo presents himself and the area’s soulful rhythm-and-blues legacy through five originals, colorful remakes of regional R&B and Funk classics, and imaginative interpretations of traditional songs, drawing on his decades of experience producing amazing albums for some of New Orleans’ most powerful if underappreciated talents.
Hungry for Love features performance by saxophonist and keyboardist Andrew Bernard (John Fred and the Playboys); bassist Earl Stanley (Dr. John, Roger and the Gypsies, Earl Stanley and the Stereos); keyboardist Rick Stelma (Dr. Spec’s Optical Illusion); bassist David Hyde; and drummer Chewy “Thunderfoot” Black all of whom appeared on Ditta’s 2014 solo debut What I’m Talkin’ About. Other local legends who contribute to the new album include saxophonists Jerry Jumonville (Captain Beefheart, Bette Miller, Rod Stewart); saxophonist Johnny Pennino (Skip Easterling, Freddy Fender); and drummer Freddy Staehle (Dr. John, Al Hirt, Eric Clapton).