Dr. John, Dan Auerbach, and Band Debut "Locked Down" Live at BAM: "Physical and Spiritual, Earthly and Supernatural" (NY Times)
Dr. John was joined by Dan Auerbach and the band from his new album, Locked Down, for the live premiere of Locked Down at BAM last week. "Physical and spiritual, earthly and supernatural, a memento mori and a promise of transcendence—all were aspects of Dr. John’s music for the night," reports the New York Times. Rolling Stone says the "band's potent sound and focused energy pushed the New Orleans legend into new sonic territory." The Times-Picayune calls the new album "timeless." The Morton Report says: "This is prime time light-up-your-eyeballs sound, complete with twisting rhythms, curvalicious horn lines, croaky vocals, and irresistible freedom at the heart of what the players are putting down." The Star Telegram calls it "one of 2012's great albums thus far." The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel calls it "phenomenal."
Dr. John was joined by The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, the producer of his new album, Locked Down, and the band behind the new album for the centerpiece of Dr. John's three-week Insides Out residency at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)'s Howard Gilman Opera House: the premiere of music from Locked Down last Thursday through Saturday. "Physical and spiritual, earthly and supernatural, a memento mori and a promise of transcendence—all were aspects of Dr. John’s music for the night," reports New York Times music critic Jon Pareles.
"The songs from Locked Down, written by Dr. John with the entire band, fuse North Africa, New Orleans and Dr. John’s hard-nosed take on the present," writes Pareles in his concert review. "The collaboration may have nudged Dr. John toward different territory, but it was nothing he couldn’t master."
Dr. John's BAM residency had begun the previous week with a star-filled tribute to the music of Louis Armstrong. "With the Armstrong tribute, Dr. John flaunted the ways he has absorbed and personalized (and New Orleans-ized) broad swaths of American tradition," Pareles concludes. "And with Locked Down, he showed he’s still ready to grab more ideas." Read the complete review at nytimes.com.
Insides Out concludes this week at BAM with Funky But It’s Nu Awlins: three nights of New Orleans funk featuring key players from the Crescent City, including Irma Thomas, Ivan Neville, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and more. For more information, go to bam.org.
Rolling Stone's Alex Spoto reports from Dr. John's Locked Down show at BAM that the "band's potent sound and focused energy pushed the New Orleans legend into new sonic territory," from beginning to end.
"[W]hen Rebennack nailed his skewed, percussive Farfisa solo on the second song of the night, the single 'Revolution,' it was a wizened incarnation of his good-times hustler persona," writes Spoto. From the show closing number "Big Shot," it was apparent: "Turns out the trickster is alive and well in Rebennack, who boasted over a bluesy, barrel-house strut. If he's turned over a new leaf on Locked Down, his infamous, hustler swagger hasn't gone away. The straightforward stomper was the perfect grand finale, a gruff, bombastic New Orleans Bacchanal. "
Read the concert review at rollingstone.com.
You can see photos from the concert at brooklynvegan.com.
Locked Down was released last week on Nonesuch to critical acclaim, with the Los Angeles Times calling it "something magical, the embodiment of everything he’s done but pushed in a clear new direction." The Boston Globe says, "It's Dr. John in full splendor." The Guardian calls it "terrific." The accolades continue to pour in, leading Dr. John's hometown newspaper, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, to now ask rhetorically: "Why all the attention and acclaim? Locked Down is very, very good. And very, very different."
The Times-Picayune's Keith Spera finds a comparison between Auerbach's work with Dr. John—"to unearth the real Mac Rebennack"—with another New Orleans legend's recent Nonesuch release, Allen Toussaint's 2009 album, The Bright Mississippi, produced by Joe Henry. The successful approach: "Extract the legend in question from his Big Easy comfort zone. Pair him with a set of young, invigorated musicians. Inspire him to address unfamiliar songs, or write fresh material."
Spera concludes of this project in particular: "In an age of downloading, 'album' is increasingly quaint, a relic of the vinyl LP era. But if 'album' is to be reserved as an honorific for timeless bodies of work, Locked Down qualifies."
Read the complete article at nola.com.
"Just a few moments into the opening song and it feels like the true throw-down back-of-town Dr. John has emerged from the foggy shadows of Tchoupitoulas Street in the Crescent City to reclaim the throne of voodoo rock and second-line roll," writes The Morton Report's Bill Bentley. "The beauty of this music is that no one else has ever been able to even closely approximate what Dr. John does, which means if he's not making it, it doesn't get made ... This is prime time light-up-your-eyeballs sound, complete with twisting rhythms, curvalicious horn lines, croaky vocals, and irresistible freedom at the heart of what the players are putting down. There is just no way to say no to songs like 'Big Shot,' 'Ice Age,' and 'Getaway.'"
Read the complete review at themortonreport.com.
"Locked Down is the best of both worlds—fusing a hipster garage-rock sensibility with Creole soul to create something that feels as modern as it does timeless," writes the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Preston Jones. "Whatever alchemy Dr. John and Auerbach conjured is evident from the insistent, earthy opening notes of the title track, which kicks things off. The two men are precisely aligned—Auerbach crafts loving replicas of '70s AM rock tinged with the ephemeral New Orleans spirit and stippled with brass and brawn, providing Dr. John a familiar yet fresh environment to do the voodoo he does so well."
Jones concludes: "The vibrant, intoxicating bridging of the ever-unpredictable generation gap—a potent marriage between youthful upstart and wise, deeply skilled shaman—results in one of 2012's great albums thus far." Read the complete review at star-telegram.com.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says: "By turns as greasy as humid skin and as raucous as a Crescent City barrelhouse just after last call, Locked Down conjures something phenomenal from the summit of a young turk and an old shaman." Read that review at jsonline.com.
To pick up a copy of Locked Down, head to the Nonesuch Store, where CD and vinyl orders include high-quality,320 kbps MP3s at checkout. (The vinyl is available to pre-orders and is due out on Saturday, April 21, for Record Store Day.) The album is also available to purchase there as MP3s and FLAC lossless files.
Friday, April 28, 2017Friday, April 28, 2017
Steve Reich’s 80th birthday is celebrated with a free marathon event at NYC's Symphony Space … Laurie Anderson plays NYC … Timo Andres is in London … The Bad Plus Joshua Redman reunite in Reno … Jeremy Denk performs in upstate NY … Rhiannon Giddens launches US tour out West … Richard Goode gives a recital at Duke … Tigran Hamasyan is in Estonia … Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer play Bach in California, where The Magnetic Fields tour too … Caetano Veloso, Teresa Cristina are in Spain … and more …
Thursday, April 27, 2017Thursday, April 27, 2017
Rhiannon Giddens begins an extensive US tour, with music from her new album, Freedom Highway, at the Stagecoach festival in California on Friday. She takes the tour across the Southwest, down to New Orleans and Atlanta, up to her home state of North Carolina and to DC, Boston, Philadelphia, and NYC's Lincoln Center. The tour resumes in June and continues through the summer, with headlining shows across the South and Midwest and festivals like Spoleto, Newport Folk, Newport Jazz, and ROMP.