Carlo Ditta is no stranger to the New Orleans music scene. Ditta is a Grammy-nominated R&B musician, composer and producer whose talent has taken him to Nashville, Los Angeles and New York City. But he always felt his city calling back to him. He returned to New Orleans where he founded Orleans Records to help overlooked New Orleans artists record and release their music. After years of recording other artists, Ditta began releasing his own recordings, the most recent of which are “Pass the Hatchet” and it’s b-side, “Life in Heaven,” on his own label.
On “Pass the Hatchet,” Ditta’s deep, soulful voice is accompanied by horn instruments and lyrics like “Sharpen that blade” and “Chop it up” followed by “Lookin’ good girl” that make for a dark yet romantic take on traditional R&B. He uses music to tell the story of his life, which is inextricably bound to the history of New Orleans music and indigenous R&B. It was recorded here with original songwriter and bassist Earl “Stereo” Stanley Oropeza, who first cut it in the 1960s with Roger & the Gypsies along with Johnny Peninno on saxophone. The flip side is a Ditta original featuring sax legend Jerry Jumonville (Dr. John, Captain Beefheart, Bette Midler) and a host of Crescent City. “
The Grammy-nominated musician’s talent was first recognized in the 1970s when soul singer Mighty Sam McClain recorded his original composition, “Pray” which was voted “Best Gospel Song” at the American Song Festival. He has since worked with Danny Barker, Marva Wright, Lenny McDaniels, Roland Stone, Coco Robicheaux, Little Freddie King, “The President of Soul” Rocky Charles and many other legendary musicians.
“[Carlo Ditta is] a true acolyte of the church of second line and a keeper of the flame of funk” Jerry Wexler, the Atlanic Records executive who coined the term “rhythm and blues,” said.
“Pass The Hatchet” will be available on streaming services, as a paid download and on translucent white vinyl 7”, September 7 on Orleans Records (distributed by Select-O-Hits).