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Dr. John - Locked Down [LP]

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A1 Locked Down    
A2 Revolution    
A3 Big Shot    
A4 Ice Age    
A5 Getaway    
B1 Kingdom Of Izzness    
B2 You Lie    
B3 Eleggua    
B4 My Children, My Angels    
B5 God's Sure Good

New Orleans legend Dr. John's Nonesuch debut, produced by Black Keys guitarist and uber-fan Dan Auerbach, distills half a century of this Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee's picaresque musical history, melding his shamanistic stage persona with the authority of a consummate studio musician, the cosmic conjurer with the street-savvy poet.

The life force that has Dr. John sounding remarkably invigorated at this later stage of his career has much to do with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, who assembled great players such as drummer Max Weissenfeldt and bassist Nick Movshon. They support him and this solid collection of tunes with passion and professionalism, causing the ingredients to slip into place like puzzle pieces.

The fast-moving set of ten tunes sounds ripe for the 70s LP album market in more ways than one. Getaway pulses with longing, grit and a hurts-so-good desperation that is downright infectious. Kingdom of Izzness is downright groovy and chilly, as is the dark social commentary of Ice Age, while the entrancing poetry of the title track is anchored by steady percussion and hearty guitar licks.

Dr. John is every bit as part and parcel of American music as Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen. He has always offered more than mere entertainment, and Locked Down makes it clear that he remains very much present and in full voice, articulating important truths for those wise enough to be listening. This is music made purely for the pleasure of the craft, and that pleasure is perfectly infectious.

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