Live from New Orleans
Artists Only! Records
Curvaceous coquette Ingrid Lucia could swing her mean thing with the Flying Nutrias-you know, those bog-dwelling rat things taking over the Big Easy-and she'd still be flat-out fun to listen to. And I'm telling you: I hate rats. Of course, backed by those five brass-blasting human Neutrinos, Lucia, marking her 13th year leading these swing bandits, is even better equipped to burn it up all night long. A doe-eyed, big-voiced wonder who manages to channel Betty Boop, Bettie Page and Billie Holiday, Lucia is throwback flirty with a pooched bottom lip and a pleasant penchant to let the men in her life solo till they're red in the face.
On the group's third album, Ingrid & Co. pay rowdy homage to all those beloved people and places in their hometown New Orleans. (The show was recorded in the historic Old Point Bar, which is a nice step up from the group's original jam space: a rickety houseboat that threatened to sink into the Ol' Muddy.) The only thing better than listening to Lucia is watching her-but this ain't a DVD, so too bad, buster. Of course, the brunette beauty sounds quite splendid leading her boys through such Dixieland stomp and jump-blues numbers as "Bourbon Street Parade," "Caldonia" and "Blues Around Midnight." She's also smart enough to know that hard-blowin' trumpeter James Andrews and super-fingered guitarist John Fohl should be allowed to show off whenever they damn well please. If she only had some nutria up there with her, now that would be a show.