NEW ORLEANS ‘GREATEST LIVING AMBASSADOR’
(NPR) HARNESSES RIGHTEOUS WRATH TO HEAL OLD WOUNDS ON NEW ALBUM,
“CITY THAT CARE FORGOT”
Irish Release 30th May on Cooking Vinyl
SONGS FUSE BLUES, FUNK AND SOUL ON POINTED AND POIGNANT LOVE LETTER
TO POST-HURRICANE KATRINA NEW ORLEANS
On “City That Care Forgot”,
released in Ireland Friday 30th May, Dr.
John delivers an elegantly elegiac homage to his drowned
hometown that's at once an incredible collection of songs - possibly
his best work of the past two decades - and a bold statement and
cultural event. Musically anchored with that legendary gravely
drawl and a buoyant riot of swamp-voodoo piano grooves (and aid
from a few friends like Eric Clapton) the album's 14 tracks also
provide a lyrical reminder that the rawness and divisions exposed
by Hurricane Katrina are as fresh as ever.
Infused with elements of barrelhouse funk and freewheeling proto-rock,
at times Dr. John raises as much hell as he does
questions. But his hopeful, if harrowing, songwriting never loses
the notion that once we start to address our problems we can heal
as a nation. The songs, at a time when the word "change"
seems to be everybody's buzzword, are at once a musical return
to roots, yet suffused with an unusual urgency.
On the loping, blues-inflected "Time For A Change",
Dr. John conjures what could be considered "What's
Going On" for the YouTube generation, as he manages
to provide a rollicking good time while holding forth on such
on issues as the war in Iraq and the current administration. In
contrast, the stirring title track is simple - and life-affirming
- requiem for the victims of Katrina - leading off an album that
stands as a sad, searing, sacrilegious, and ultimately auspicious
statement that promises to stand as one of the most compelling
and enduring musical statements of this complex era.
Regarded as a celebrated icon and peerless performer, Dr.
John's live shows continue to garner praise. The New
York Times pop critic Jon Pareles referred to a recent concert
as "part tradition, part theatre, and geared for a good time",
whilst Daily Variety writer David Sprague added, "A roof-raising