dr john

Recent content on Elsewhere by Graham Reid tagged as dr john.

JJ Grey and Mofro; Country Ghetto (Southbound) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

JJ Grey and Mofro; Country Ghetto (Southbound) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Of course there is white country soul -- and here is the evidence, a voice from the white trash ghetto which aches like a Southern soul singer. There is a backwoods quality here -- real steamy Georgia funk -- but it is offset by the spirit of Memphis soul, the Allman Brothers, James Brown and the blues. Quite a meltdown and if it isn't...

Tab Benoit: Power of the Pontchartrain (Elite)

Tab Benoit: Power of the Pontchartrain (Elite)

Bluesman Benoit teams up again with Lousiana's LeRoux, the rockin' outfit he worked with on his swamp-lightnin' album Brother to the Blues of last year which was nominated for a Grammy. This is more of the same, but better: Benoit's guitar has a sharp and stinging quality, he digs into some Cajun-flavoured blues, and on the title track...

Various: A Tribute to Fats Domino (Tipitina's/Shock)

Various: A Tribute to Fats Domino (Tipitina's/Shock)

In the days after Hurricane Katrina it was believed that this great New Orleans r'n'b singer had been washed away. Fortunately he had been rescued although his home, like much of that wonderful city, had suffered extreme damage. The interesting thing about the rumours of his death was the sudden recognition of his talent in the wider...

James Luther Dickinson: Killers From Space (Memphis/Elite) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

James Luther Dickinson: Killers From Space (Memphis/Elite) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

In a cover which looks like it was thought up by a couple of drug-addled on-line kids -- and with a title from a B-grade movie -- comes the latest album by one of the great ignored/overlooked/wayward talents from the South. This is a man for whom a never-recorded, whiskey-soaked Sun session overseen by a voodoo priestess with Mick'n'Keith (c...

Pinetop Perkins: Pinetop Perkins and Friends (Elite)

Pinetop Perkins: Pinetop Perkins and Friends (Elite)

On paper this may look like just another celebrity collision around an old bluesman -- and singer/pianist Pinetop is a very old bluesman. He's 95. And yes, of course Eric Clapton and BB King are here, but outside of those two (both on excellent form) the blues players who line up for this thoroughly enjoyable outing aren't really big name...

Tab Benoit with Louisiana Leroux: Night Train to Nashville (Elite)

Tab Benoit with Louisiana Leroux: Night Train to Nashville (Elite)

Blues singer/guitarist Benoit recorded this album live in Nashville in 2006 with his band Louisiana Leroux the night before he picked up the BB King award for entertainer of the year and best contemporary performer. Guests on stage included Jim Lauderdale, Kim Wilson of the fabulous Thunderbirds and Jimmy Hall of West Willie. Benoit can play...

Marie "Queenie" Lyons: Soul Fever (Vampi/Southbound)

Marie "Queenie" Lyons: Soul Fever (Vampi/Southbound)

Queenie Lyons was one of the many soul singers from the late 60s/early 70s whose career was as short as it was impressive: one album, this one, and gone. The little that is known about her is this: she came out of Louisiana on the chitlin' circuit, sang with King Curtis' band, and opened for the likes of Jackie Wilson, Fats Domino and James...

Eddie Bo: In the Pocket With Eddie Bo (Vampi through Southbound)

Eddie Bo: In the Pocket With Eddie Bo (Vampi through Southbound)

The reissue label Vampi appeared on Elsewhere previously with the Mary "Queenie" Lyons and Quinteplus albums from the cusp of the 70s -- and this r'n'b soul-funk singer from New Orleans comes from the same kind of obscurity to those outside an inner circle. According to the extensive liner notes on this 28 track collection of Bo...

Sonny Landreth: From the Reach (Shock)

Sonny Landreth: From the Reach (Shock)

Having once stood in torrential rain and mud up to my boot-tops at a New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival to watch guitarist Sonny Landreth, I have always felt a strange loyalty to him. I have faithfully reviewed his many albums but always came to the same conclusion. Gifted though he obviously is -- and conceding his career performing...

Dr John: Gris Gris (1968)

Dr John: Gris Gris (1968)

Long careers generally mean the raw and rough edges of the early days are smoothed out, and that audiences forget just how edgy and unusual the artist’s music actually was. So it is with Dr John whose career reaches way back to playing piano in bars as teenager in New Orleans during the 50s alongside legendary figures such as Professor...

Various: Albums from the Smithsonian Folkways series (Folkways/Southbound)

Various: Albums from the Smithsonian Folkways series (Folkways/Southbound)

The Smithsonian is one of those great American institutions which, if it says "we're here to help" actually is. In their Smithsonian Folkways collection they have short audio examples of 40,000 tracks and through their Global Sound website they are all available for download. And they have the original liner notes for the relevant...

Dr John and the Lower 911: City That Care Forgot (Shock)

Dr John and the Lower 911: City That Care Forgot (Shock)

The good Doctor's voice can be an acquired taste and there is no doubt he lost many loyalists when he went schmaltzy and kinda boring in the late 80s/early 90s. It was almost as if he had run his course when he started doing live albums and standards.Now of course this son of New Orleans has plenty to write about post-Katrina, and this album...

Chuck E Weiss: Old Souls and Wolf Tickets (Ryko)

Chuck E Weiss: Old Souls and Wolf Tickets (Ryko)

Some people are more rewarded for what they don't achieve rather than what they do. There are politicians whose gift is to keep their heads down, make no mistakes but do nothing of consequence, and wait for a position on a board.  That's in the nature of self-serving politics, perhaps. However it's more unusual for musicians who are...

DUKE ELLINGTON: A genius, but not that great?

DUKE ELLINGTON: A genius, but not that great?

Few statements about music can be delivered unequivocally, but here's one: Edward Kennedy Ellington was one of the greatest composers of last century. And of all time. And no discussion need be entered into. Other than to observe he didn't "compose" in the traditional sense: most of his best-known songs were written with...

JOHN BOUTTE INTERVIEWED (2002): Easy out of the Big Easy

JOHN BOUTTE INTERVIEWED (2002): Easy out of the Big Easy

If you could distil the history of New Orleans down to a few litres of blood, they'd probably be pumping around John Boutte's body. Listen to this. "The European side of my family has been here since 1760. There were two brothers Boutte, Pierre and Hillary, who was an architect who built what is now the oldest theatre in New...

Galactic: Ya-ka-may (Anti)

Galactic: Ya-ka-may (Anti)

New Orleans may have been the birthplace of jazz and home to funky pianists (Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint, Dr John), but in the 90s a new form of hip-hop (called bounce) came from the streets and incorporated punchy rhythms and second-line bass parts which drew from NO funeral marches. The bruising bounce movement -- the soundtrack to...

THE BARGAIN BUY: Dr John; The Original Album Series (Rhino)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Dr John; The Original Album Series (Rhino)

The Dr John of today -- 71 in November -- is in many ways a very different musician to the one which emerged in the late Sixties, and that's probably a good thing. If he'd kept on styling himself as Dr John the Night Tripper and come on with his shaking stick, voodoo beads and crazy capes (in the manner of Screamin Jay Hawkins) he would have...

20th Century Steel Band: Warm Heart, Cold Steel (Mr Bongo)

20th Century Steel Band: Warm Heart, Cold Steel (Mr Bongo)

The fate of this reissue by a mid Seventies steel band from the UK (in disco-funk outfits) is probably going to be on one of those summertime radio programmes where wild'n'crazy hosts play odd versions of big hits. And this group can certainly oblige because here are steel band treatments of the theme to Shaft, Papa Was a Rolling Stone, a...

DIXIELAND DISCOVERY: Louis, Pete, Al and me down South

DIXIELAND DISCOVERY: Louis, Pete, Al and me down South

Duke Ellington famously observed there’s only two kinds of music, good and bad. He may well be right. But there's also hey-nonny-nonny folk music, most of which frankly I don't consider music at all. It’s a mistake. Most of my life I’ve managed to avoid folk - except for one year when I was asked to judge the category...

SUN RA IN THE SEVENTIES (2010): Back from space

SUN RA IN THE SEVENTIES (2010): Back from space

In the late Eighties and early Nineties, Sun Ra was the hip name to drop into rock conversations: I think Sonic Youth and Henry Rollins started it, but frequently rock musicians who had paid scant attention to jazz of any kind were mentioning the great Sun Ra alongside Led Zeppelin as an influence. As with Tony Bennett being cool with...

Cyndi Lauper: Memphis Blues (Inertia)

Cyndi Lauper: Memphis Blues (Inertia)

Even those of us who would still mount the argument that Cyndi Lauper was -- and remains -- a far greater talent than her peer, Madonna, might approach this album with some trepidation: just as Dusty and Elvis went to Memphis to record some of their finest songs, so now has Cyndi -- but a rather different, more bluesy Memphis than that which...

JJ Grey and Mofro: Georgia Warhorse (Alligator/Southbound)

JJ Grey and Mofro: Georgia Warhorse (Alligator/Southbound)

Grey and his companions out of Florida have been pulling Southern funk, Memphis soul and dirty blues together for the best part of a decade now and their 07 Country Ghetto album should have gained them a lot of mainstream attention. But it didn't. This one – with guest vocalist Toots (of the Maytals), and hot young blues guitarist...

7 Walkers: 7 Walkers (Response/Southbound)

7 Walkers: 7 Walkers (Response/Southbound)

Singer-guitarist Papa Mali here has a story: the late bluesman John Campbell spotted his talent when Mali (born Malcolm Welbourne in Louisiana) was in his teens; he was given his nickname by reggae figurehead Burning Spear while playing in Jamaica; he brought reggae and Southern funk together with rock'n'roll . . . But he's only one...

Jools Holland and His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra: Rockinghorse (Rhino)

Jools Holland and His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra: Rockinghorse (Rhino)

The celebrity-guest collections and R'N'B Orchestra discs from Jools Holland have often been tasty but a few not entirely successful. This sometimes breathless rush of boogie-woogie piano, big brass and handclap gospel-blues comes off a winner from the opener, a thumping and exciting duet with New Orleans piano legend Allen Toussaint and...

The Doobie Brothers: World Gone Crazy (Shock)

The Doobie Brothers: World Gone Crazy (Shock)

The Doobies' great Listen to the Music, Long Train Running and China Grove in the late 60s/early 70s were driven by urgent guitars and hammering keyboards delivering a forward momentum (which denied the stoner reference of their chosen name). But surely no old fans could fall for the limp, lame and geriatric opener here A Brighter Day...

PAPA MALI INTERVIEWED (2011): The Nawlins spirit walking

PAPA MALI INTERVIEWED (2011): The Nawlins spirit walking

Malcolm Welbourne of the Austin-based band 7 Walkers delivers a cool line in New Orleans funk'n'blues, has Willie Nelson as a guest on the band's self-titled debut album, co-writes with Robert Hunter (lyricist for the Grateful Dead) and the band counts in its ranks George Porter of the Meters on bass. Yet Welbourne – known as Papa...

Aaron Neville: I Know I've Been Changed (Tell It)

Aaron Neville: I Know I've Been Changed (Tell It)

Aaron Neville saying he's been changed is hardly news, and nor is his soulful, vibrating falsetto which is given a florid showcase in the long intro to the gospel-cum-r'n'b opener here Stand By Me. This sounds like an American Idol exaggeration of his quivering sound, but when the band kicks in (Greg Leisz on dobro, Allen Toussaint on...

Alvin Robinson: Down Home Girl (1964)

Alvin Robinson: Down Home Girl (1964)

When the Beatles and the Stones covered songs by black American artists on their early albums and championed Motown soul (Beatles) and Chicago blues singers (Stones) they undoubtedly drew attention to the genius which many locals had overlooked. The Stones' early shows and albums were stacked with songs by Chuck Berry (Come On, their...

TREME; THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, a series by DAVID SIMON (4-DVD set)

TREME; THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, a series by DAVID SIMON (4-DVD set)

As I write this, large areas of Louisiana have been under water this past week as the Mississippi rose and authorities opened floodgates so as not put pressure on the levees further down, notably around Baton Rouge and New Orleans. And in nearly every report of the events – caused by melting ice and run-off way up north – one...

JJ Grey and Mofro: Brighter Days; Live (Alligator/Southbound)

JJ Grey and Mofro: Brighter Days; Live (Alligator/Southbound)

For a decade, Florida singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Grey and his band (sax and trumpet alongside lap steel and organ) have joined the dots between Otis Redding and Stax singers out of Memphis, the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and disaffected Southerns on welfare. A white guy who sings up an aching rhythm and blues...

Professor Longhair: Her Mind is Gone (1980)

Professor Longhair: Her Mind is Gone (1980)

There are dozens of places you can start on a discovery of the genius of New Orleans' legendary pianist/arranger and songwriter Professor Longhair, the man Allen Toussaint called "the Bach of Rock". Dr John said Longhair "put the funk into music, he's the father of the stuff" and producer Jerry Wexler acclaimed him as...

Paul Weller, Wild Wood (1994)

Paul Weller, Wild Wood (1994)

By the time he came to releasing albums under his own name in the early 90s, Paul Weller had already had two separate careers: first in the Jam and then the Style Council. If the Jam had been quintessentially English and took its references from the Who, the Small Faces and Ray Davies as much as Mod culture and the rage of the punk years,...

Irma Thomas, The Irma Thomas Collection (1996)

Irma Thomas, The Irma Thomas Collection (1996)

In music, titles are bestowed by The People rather than being handed down from above -- and they are so singular and specific that there can only be pretenders but no replacement figures. So there is only one King of Rock'n'Roll and that's Elvis, only one Queen of Soul and that will always be Aretha, and only James Brown will ever be considered...

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20th century steel band 7 walkers aaron neville al green allen toussaint alt.country aretha franklin bb king best of elsewhere 2006 best of elsewhere 2007 big daddy wilson billy tk jnr blues in elsewhere blur bo diddley bob dylan bonnie raitt breaux bridge, louisiana buddy guy charlie mingus charlie parker charmaine neville chess records chicago blues chicken recipe chuck e weiss clarence gatemouth brown clarksdale, mississippi classic piano blues from the smithsonian cyndi lauper daniel lanois dave alvin dave murphy deep in the arse of texas derek trucks dirty red doug cox duke ellington eddie bo eddie turner elmore james eric clapton fats domino felice brothers from the vaults galactic gospel gregg allman guitar shorty guy clark hacienda brothers hasil adkins hound dog taylor irma thomas ivan neville james brown james luther dickinson james mcmurtry jazz in elsewhere jeff beck jeff healey jimi hendrix jj grey and mofro john boutte john hiatt john lee hooker john lennon jools holland lucinda williams lynyrd skynyrd madonna marie queenie lyons memphis mofro motown muddy waters neil young neville brothers new orleans norah jones north mississippi allstars oasis ocean colour scene oli brown otis taylor paul mccartney paul weller pete seeger pinetop perkins randy newman ray davies reggae robert johnson robert randolph ronnie earl roy buchanan solomon burke sonny landreth sun ra tab benoit texas the allman brothers band the band the doobie brothers the kinks the rolling stones the style council thelonious monk tom petty tom waits travelling riverside blues willie nelson woody guthrie wynton marsalis