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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Locked Down: Dr. John - Revolution as the Doctor comes full circle,
This review is from: Locked Down (Audio CD)I have long been a fan of Dr. John, especially his early albums under that moniker, where he created a funky blues/voodoo mixture that just spoke to the soul. His output has been of variable quality over the years, so it was with a bit of excitement that I read that he was aiming to return to that sound with his latest release. I was even more excited to hear that Dan Auerbach, whose work the Black Keys I love, would also be heavily involved.
And the album does not disappoint. It really manages to deliver that dense funky sound one associates with early Dr. John, with that languid drawl hovering just above the music drawing us into some classic songs.
As well as a superb production, Dr. John is on fine song writing form. As with Sippiana Hericane he manages to take inspiration from things that impassion him, with either love or hate, and this spurs him on to produce some of his best songs in years. He describes the world from the perspective of someone who has lived in it for 70 years, and has seen all that life has to see. There is bewilderment at the modern world, and a mourning for some things that have been lost, and an anger that there is still so much inhumanity in the world. It is perhaps his most mature and well rounded work lyrically. Added to which vocally he is on top form, his voice never sounding better. It totally belies his age.
This album is a joy to listen to, and is really worth 5 stars. It is easily the Nite Tripper's best since Anutha Zone. In the same way as Cash, Solomon Burke and Tom Jones enjoyed late career artistic revival with a sympathetic producer it seems as though Dr. John has achieved the same here, and I sincerely hope there is more to come from this pairing of artist and producer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant album - Dr John at his best,
This review is from: Locked Down (Audio CD)Having a number of Dr John's albums, when I spotted this new one on his website, a play of the sample track - Revolution - was a must. I was immediately hooked. A fine, balanced sound. I have only heard this quality of music previously from the good Doctor when he worked with the late Wardell Quezergue. If you don't know Dr John's music, this would be a very good place to start. Then move on to "N'Awlinz - Dis Dat Or D'Udda" for a great range of different styles.
30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steamy, greasy, raw : its grooves are tight but immediate...,
This review is from: Locked Down (Audio CD)Between 1968 and 1972, New Orleans-cum-L.A. session musician Mac Rebennack transformed himself into Dr. John, The Nite Tripper.
He recorded a series of albums for Atlantic, most importantly "Gris-Gris", but also "Babylon", "Remedies", and "The Sun, Moon, & Herbs"; they seamlessly wove a heady, swampy brew of voodoo ritual, funk, and R&B, psychedelic rock, and Creole roots music.
The Black Keys' guitarist Dan Auerbach admitted upon meeting Rebennack that he wanted to produce a Dr. John album and to revisit the Nite Tripper's musical terrain on record.
The pair worked in Auerbach's Nashville studio with a group of younger players to explore the rawer, spookier elements in Dr. John's music.
"Locked Down" is not an attempt to re-create "Gris-Gris", which remains his classic; it -- and the other three records -- resembled nothing that existed before.
Auerbach and Dr. John wanted to make a modern recording that drew on the spontaneous, more organic feel of those records; they succeeded in spades.
"Locked Down" isn't quite swampy, but it is humid, even steamy. Its grooves are tight but raw and immediate. Its lyrics and music are charged with spiritual energy, carnal desire, and righteous indignation. It melds primal rock, careening R&B, and electric blues in an irresistible, downright nasty brew.
The fingerpopping horn chart that announces "Revolution", is underscored by a fat baritone sax, an urgent, shake-your-ass bassline, and pulsing guitars.
Drum breaks are constant in accompanying Rebennack's screed against corruption, "religious" hatred, and violence, which degrade humanity.
His Wurlitzer solo is brief yet searing.
"Ice Age"'s guitar, drum, and percussion vamp are deadly infectious. Rebennack's voice growls about collusion between the CIA and KKK and the end of an era, as the McCrary Sisters complement the vocals with an R&B chorus line in affirmation.
His organ drones and wheezes to complete the picture, yet turns the last line into possibility: "If you ain't iced/you got the breath of life within".
The electric piano on "Getaway" sets up a funktastic, bluesed-out swing. The guitars and Nick Movshon's hyper bassline drive it urgently with clusters of surf-like chords, reverb, and effects, completed by a roiling, over-the rails Auerbach solo.
"Eleggua" is pure spaced-out Nite Tripper, a cosmic funky butt strut; its chanted mystical prayers come from the world of flesh and spirit; it's populated by slippery, watery guitars, wailing B-3, broken snare beats, and even a flute.
That feel is underscored in the nocturnal shift and shimmer of "My Children, My Angels", driven by Rebennack's Rhodes, guitars, and a skittering snare.
It's greasy yet somehow in synch with this love letter from a repentant father to his kids.
Rebennack and Auerbach send it off, appropriately enough, with rock & roll gospel in "God's Sure Good" and a joyous chorus from the McCrary's behind-the-lyric's gratitude, highlighted by a swelling B-3 and backbone-slipping grit.
No matter which era or what record you prefer, as an album, "Locked Down" stands with Rebennack's best. T. Jurek
5.0 out of 5 stars great album,
This review is from: Locked Down (Audio CD)i am more than happy with this album, love all the tracks good album cover too, one of my best purchases
4.0 out of 5 stars Dr.John with authority,
This review is from: Locked Down (Audio CD)This is Dr.John close to his best, with an excellent band. A lot less meandering than he can be, these tracks have the stamp of New Orleans authority.
5.0 out of 5 stars locked down,
This review is from: Locked Down (Audio CD)bought this album for my husband a long standing dr john fan an he loves it every track pure genious
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks wierd - sounds normal,
This review is from: Locked Down (Audio CD)The sound is more mainstream than his Capital recordings but still a good album. Fans will want it anyway, those who have not come across the earlier recordings will I feel enjoy this album but those who have only encountered his 70's recordings may be disappointed
5.0 out of 5 stars Six star album,
This review is from: Locked Down (Audio CD)I love this album, no I REALLY love this album. I play it in the car and at home' brilliant
5.0 out of 5 stars nueva Orleans,
This review is from: Locked Down [lp+cd] [VINYL] (Vinyl)un sonido extraordinariamente pantanoso, canciones muy diferentes unas de otr.as si Dr John es un grande, con esta ayudita del black key Dan la cosa se ha puesto de pm
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Stuff,
This review is from: Locked Down [+Digital Booklet] (MP3 Download)I am not hugely familiar with Dr John. I do own a "Best Of" album with some of his better known stuff and also "Gris Gris". I really like this record. It has typically laconic Dr John delivery against a hard driving, spikes, bluesy rock band. The songs are strong and the musicianship superb.
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