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Dr. John

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Customer Reviews

Music to scare your grandma

Widely regarded by the older generation as spooky tunes, Dr. John's Gris-Gris album came out at a time of the great music explosion in the late 60's. For music heads on this side of the pond, endorsement from the prancing frontman of the Stones encouraged a listen. When I played this to latter day listeners they were bowled over, but a bit disappointed when they picked up other Dr John offerings of a more traditional, New Orleans, flavour. I remember seeing the Dance Theatre of Harlem performing a piece inspired by the Voodoo legend of Baron Samedi. In this piece, the Lord of the Cemetary, danced brilliantly by Donald Williams, seduces a grieving mother. I was struck by the same strange mixture of mortality and sexuality which infuses the Gris-Gris album. For music to scare your girlfriend look no further than the Edgar Broughton Band's 'The Psychopath' but Dr John was definitely a grandma, or mates mums, psychofrenic shocker. The songs on this album are almost uncoverable, but Paul Weller and Humble Pie did decent renditions of "I walk on Guilded Splinters". Dr John's use of the female chorus to amplify, contrast and expand the melody is second to none in my book.


a formative piece of work. Of its time, but of all time. Shamanistic, sensual, and wonderfully weird. An anthem to our escape from One Version Reality, that is the true legacy of the drug-fuelled Sixties. Dr John shows his gift as a wordsmith too.

Jesus, Mary & Joseph!

Incredible. I'm a massive Paul Weller fan but listening to the original Walk On Guilded Splinters, he murdered it. Gris-Gris Mumbo Ya & Mama Roux top tracks also. Amazing vibe to the whole album. Put it on, press play, get into a groove.


Born: 21 November 1940 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although he didn't become widely known until the 1970s, Dr. John had been active in the music industry since the late '50s, when the teenager was still known as Mac Rebennack. A formidable boogie and blues pianist with a lovable growl of a voice, his most enduring achievements fused with New Orleans R&B, rock, and Mardi Gras craziness to come up with his own brand of "voodoo" music. He's also quite accomplished and enjoyable when sticking to purely traditional forms of blues and R&B. On record,...
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