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Gris-Gris

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Gris Gris, Dr John’s (neé Mac Rebennack) breathtaking debut full-length, begins with an astonishingly succinct, yet endlessly compelling act of self-identification: “My name is… Dr. John, The Night Tripper, I got my satchel of gris gris in my hand.” With this devilishly incantatory line Dr. John erases Mac Rebennack, the stolid New Orleans studio musician, and conjures an entirely new character to take his place. Part streetwise hipster, part Creole rustic, and part starry-eyed seeker, the Dr. John character drew on many of the influences, from psychedelics, to fuzztone pedals, to dread haunted field hollers, that were fueling much of the most adventurous popular music of the era. But by straining these influences through his own warped vision of New Orleans’ musical history Dr. John created an album that was both timely and timeless. Though the low-slung groove of “Mama Roux” sounded like good old-fashioned gut bucket funk, it was yoked to a hysterical banshee-like refrain that took it far beyond the bounds of mere funk. From the lopsided jig of “Danse Kalinda” to the eerie incantations and ghostly mandolins of “I Walk on Golden Splinters” Gris Gris finds Dr. John boldly initiating his long career of uncompromising iconoclasm and visionary madness.

Customer Reviews

Mad, Murky Blues

Simply put, this album is fantastic. It's dark and amazing. It lifts you out of wherever you are and places you straight in the middle of a murky, mystical bayou. Dr. John really gets his mojo working. They don't call him the night tripper for nothing!

Nothing else like this, then or since

This sounded like it came from an alternate universe when I first heard it in the 70s. But it was great then and great now. Splinters, Gumbo and Mama Roux are the best.

dr. john lays his voodoo down

this is where it all begins with the great dr. john (the night tripper)- album #1. swampy, ffunkky, vooo dooo truly one of the greatest opening manifestos done nuff said

Biography

Born: November 21, 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,...
Full Bio