Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

DR. JOHN AND THE LOWER 911

TRIBAL

2010-06-29

Dr. John has always exemplified the rich musical stew that finds its origin in New Orleans with an eclectic combination of blues, jazz, funk, country, voodoo mysticism and rock. Coming on the heels of his Grammy© award winning "City that Care Forgot", a mostly political rant about the injustices foisted upon his beloved Crescent City, the good Dr. seems to have exorcised some demons and checks in here with one of his most exuberant discs in years. Joined by the Lower 911 and a host of guest horn players and background vocalists he sounds likes he’s having a whale of a time even though he continues to keep his keen eye on social issues. His enthusiasm is contagious with "Feel Good Music" setting the right tone by virtue of its nimble piano work and lyrics about how his music can heal your problems. The title cut incorporates Indian chanting into his muse about how like minded people need to band together and make their own progress. "Big Gap" looks at the distance between the rich and poor with the horns adding life to a cut that would be a dry civics lesson in lesser hands while "Lissen At Our Prayer" calls on the spirits to save us from those that profit by negativity and panic. "Change of Heart" and "Only In America" are surprisingly buoyant given their dead relationship and screwed up state of the state subject matter while "Music Came" celebrates the importance of music with a hot jazz chart and Philly Soul background vocals. "Jinky Jinx" and "Them" are funky work outs with "Them" exploring that mindset that attributes all of our problems to “them” rather than ourselves. "What’s Wit Dat" continues a line of questioning from his 1998 release Anutha Zone’s "Why Come" regarding why we do things such as eating white bread, chips and greasy fries and then wondering why the scales are screaming at us. "When I’m Right (I’m Wrong)" reprises the sentiment of his classic hit, "Right Place, Wrong Time" and is simply a fun listen. After a number of world weary discs where the twinkle in his eye seemed diminished, it’s great to hear the Dr. having a good time without losing his political edge. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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