Irma Thomas talks rapping, acting and collaborating; plus a guide to Tampa Bay Blues Fest
She's known as the Soul Queen of New Orleans. But blues legend Irma Thomas doesn't pay much attention to labels.
"I don't worry about what genre the song is in," Thomas said recently by phone. "I think singers sell themselves short when they try to categorize what they do. I sing rhythm and blues, I sing a little jazz, I sing a little pop, a slight bit of hip-hop with Galactic. I even like country. If it's telling a good story and it has a good feeling, why not let them know there's another side to you?
"You probably won't ever hear me rapping, though."
Thomas is one of the headliners of this year's Tampa Bay Blues Fest, Friday through Sunday at Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg. Tickets are $30 at the gate.
Click here for Philip Booth's full interview with Thomas, plus a look at the rest of this year's Tampa Bay Blues Fest Lineup: Jonny Lang, Trombone Shorty, Tab Benoit, James Hunter, Robert Cray and much more.