Saturday, August 18, 2012


I was really curious to hear the new Dr. John album, Locked Down. Produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, I knew it would get more attention than his usual albums.

Sometimes having the young gun produce a legend just doesn't work:  for instance, Ryan Adams produced Willie Nelson's 2006 Songbird.  It's OK, it's not great. You don't get the impression that there was a lot of chemistry.

On the other hand there's (and I hate to make this comparison) Jack White producing Loretta Lynn's 2004 Van Lear Rose. Auerbach came closer to the latter.  Locked Down is a really great Dr. John album.

Just by looking at the cover, you can see where Auerbach was going:  it's Dr. John, the same "Night Tripper" as we saw on his 1968 debut, Gris-Gris, 40+ years on.  That could be dangerous; who really wants to "go back" and emulate their younger self like that?

But it works.  Dr. John only plays electric keyboards (no piano), Auerbach leads a really tight garage-rock-y sounding band, and it sounds like there's no air conditioning in the room and the windows are starting to fog up.  The album is funky, it's dirty, it's creepy, it's fun and it swings.  This is one of my favorites of the year so far, and I totally recommend it (if you like Dr. John or even if you just like the Black Keys).

1 comment:

Xeyedandpainless said...

I think this is one of the best albums of the year so far. My review is here:

Cool blog keep up the good work.