Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dr. John - Locked Down (Nonesuch, 2012)

Mac Rebennack aka Dr. John “The Night Tripper” has had a long and mercurial career in music from hot New Orleans session man to voodoo trickster and Duke Ellington interpreter, he’d pretty much done it all. So when Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys offered to produce his next album it offered the promise of something different. That promise turned out to be an excellent combination of the old and the new. The music references Dr. John’s early solo LP’s particularly the wonderfully swampy Gris-Gris. But vaulting this music firmly into the 21st century are the lyrics, which explore everything from gospel music and spirituality on “God’s Sure Good” and “My Angels My Children” and the temptations of The Devil on “You Lie.” The low-down Cajun blues is well represented with the title track “Locked Down”, “Ice Age” and “Revolution” which tackle head on the societal problems people face today. Add to this the swaggering chest-thumper “Big Shot” and you have what results in what is probably Dr. John’s best album in a long time. His growling vocals and keyboard work are first rate, and Auerbach’s guitar and production work are the icing on the cake. Locked Down

Send comments to Tim.