What I’m Talking About
Carlo Ditta is a hipster poet from New Orleans. He’s also a record producer and owner of Orleans Records. He’s also an archivist who helps keep careers going for the likes of Danny and Blue Lu Barker, Little Freddie King, Mighty Sam McCLain, Coco Robicheaux, CP Love, Guitar Slim, Jr. and others. He’s also a singer-songwriter. He also performs regularly with poet-performer John Sinclair when Sinclair performs in New Orleans. Ditta has more hats than a tree full of monkeys. On this second full length album, following 2010’s Try A Little Love, Ditta explores the many nuances of life and love. The opening title track is an extended pick-up line complete with Steve Allen’s flute and baritone. This is talkin’ stuff brought to a new level. It isn’t politically correct and it’s more fun than skinny dipping. This segues directly into Go On Fool (“don’t you roll those eyes/love is a fool all the way until you die”), with an ultra-hip trumpet from Charlie Miller. As The World Turns is an antiwar piece buoyed by David Rebeck’s accordion and Ditta’s guitar. He sings/recites “Some men they fight for religion/some men they fight for their women/and some people they die for their country/and some of them die because they’re hungry/and all war is bad for peace/all wars never seem to decease/and they say this is all good for our economy.”
Beating Like a Tom Tom sounds like and reads like a Tom Waits with Andrew Bernard’s subtle farfisa supporting the monologue. Pretty Acres is an ode to Louis Prima and second line dancing in the streets. Great tenor from Steve Allen and fine guitar from Vic Larocca. His take on Aaron Neville’s classic Tell It Like It Is approaches the tune from a new, less musical angle. Try A Little Love features vocals in the right track and Larocca’s slide guitar in the left. (“We could go by the ocean or the Gulf of Mexico/we could go by the ocean and talk about love/I got a problem/got to do with you/but I’ll give in/it’s the right thing to do”).
I’m Leaving You is a straight up leaving song (“My bags they’re all packed/I’d like to say I’ll be back/but that’s not true/I made my mind up all the way/and though it tears me up to say/ I’m leaving you”). This could have been a re-worked Sinatra ala One More For The Road.
On Walk That Walk, opening with rattle snake percussion and cymbals, courtesy Anthony Donado, Carlo plays and recites “I want you to listen to me right now/go on walk that walk and talk that talk/you looking good baby/do that strut…” more of that stuff talkin’ set to a groovy back drop of guitar and baritone from Bernardo. The final tune, a re-work of Many Rivers To Cross, is a glimpse into the artist’s vision. Carlo Ditta is an artist. This is a work of sometimes ferociously powerful art.
By Mark E. Gallo – Big City Blues Mag