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

 |   |  1 min read

Dr John: Time for a Change (with Eric Clapton)
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 deals to politicians (Time For A Change, Promises Promises), the trickledown as a result of the rapaciousness of American industry (Black Gold), how hard it is in the city that care forgot (We Gettin' There, My People Need a Second Line) and so on.
All these lyrics are couched in vigorous music from his small tight band, the big tight horn section and the many respectful and sympathetic guests (Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, trumpeter Terence Blanchard and others).
At one level this album is a political expression but Dr John doesn't let that  swamp his musical intelligence and so here are great funky or melancholy tunes that stand alongside the best of his early years.
And of course he always had a voice tinged with a sad weariness which makes some of these songs cut very deep indeed as he contemplates the fate and future of that rare city he called his home. And America.
There is a Doctor in the house, again.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Meat Puppets: Rat Farm (Megaforce/Southbound)

Meat Puppets: Rat Farm (Megaforce/Southbound)

Although one of the great ignored bands of the 80s for their sun-baked but tough psychedelic-cum-country rock, Arizona's Meat Puppets only really got traction in the 90s after their appearance... > Read more

Bing and Ruth: No Home of the Mind (4AD)

Bing and Ruth: No Home of the Mind (4AD)

In the late Sixties the most interesting and influential composer in New York – whose students and colleagues included Terry Riley, Philip Glass, Steve Reich and John Cale – was a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Various: Brazil 70: After Tropicalia (Soul Jazz)

Various: Brazil 70: After Tropicalia (Soul Jazz)

The earlier Tropicalia collection of revolutionary Brazilian music from 1968 posted some months ago (see tag) will set you up for this excellent 19 track compilation subtitled "New Directions... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Greg Fleming

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Greg Fleming

Those who know the saying "a long time between drinks" will see it could be applied to the recording career of Auckland singer-songwriter Greg Fleming. He came to serious critical... > Read more