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

The Mars Volta: Noctourniquet (Warners)

The Mars Volta: Noctourniquet (Warners)

Cards on the table. Much as I loved the first Mars Volta album Deloused in the Comatorium and parts of Frances the Mute, much of what they have done since -- this demanding and often annoying album... > Read more

The Doubtful Sounds: The Pop Album (doubtfulsounds.com)

The Doubtful Sounds: The Pop Album (doubtfulsounds.com)

On the brief opening track here Doubtful Sounds promise "a pop album you'll want to listen to" and thereafter deliver a sort of early Flying Nun guitar strum'n'jangle which brings to mind... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Various: Next Brel (Barclay)

Various: Next Brel (Barclay)

The music and lyrics of Jacques Brel (1929-78) have seduced dozens of musicians down the decades, notably Scott Walker, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield . . . Actually just about... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Jon Hassell: Last Night the Moon Came (ECM/Ode)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Jon Hassell: Last Night the Moon Came (ECM/Ode)

By sheer coincidence, this new album by ambient trumpeter Jon Hassell (full title "Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street" from a poem by Rumi) arrived just as I was... > Read more