Monday, March 10, 2008

No. 402: Dr. John's Gumbo

Band: Dr. John
Album: Dr. John’s Gumbo
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: I could not tell you. This is a good album, but I'm not sure it is worthy of its place on the list.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: I prefer my Dr. John records as weird as possible. The more conventional he becomes, the worse his records sound.
Best song: "Iko Iko" is pretty fun. "Tipitina" is pretty good.
Worst song: I don't like "Those Lonely Lonely Nights."
Is it awesome?: Nah.

I like Dr. John and I like this strangeness, but covers records really need to be different in order for me to love them. "Dr. John's Gumbo" is a cool idea -- a record of New Orleans-specific covers -- but not something I'd put in a list like this.

New Orleans is an important part of American musical history, no doubt. Having been to Preservation Hall, I can at least imagine what it would've been like to see Professor Longhair there banging on a piano.

But, with that said, Dr. John's great strength is his New Orleans bizarre sound, as on "Gris Gris." When he tries to fit into a more conventional box, it just doesn't work.

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