Grammy-winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist Dr. John’s latest album, Locked Down is a delirious and delightful listen. Produced by Dan Auerbach, the album is formative in terms of marrying traditional blues with a modern and edgy sound. The Black Keys and Hanni El Khatib have forayed into the journey of indie rock and blues, but it is clear that Dr. John precedes them. The album is pleasantly dark and draws the listener in.
The tone is nearly reminiscent of Burton’s Oogie Boogie Song, composed by Danny Elfman for Nightmare Before Christmas. Dr. John’s gravelly voice paired with ethereal gospel background singers, zydeco-inspired keys and chugging guitar riffs and punctuated drum and bass lines provide an eclectic mix. On the whole, there is something addictive about Dr. John’s sound. It is mesmerizing in its eccentricity, thanks in large part to the exceptional amount of talent and skill with which Dr. John approaches his music.
Each track on the album has merit in its own right, but a couple stand out among the pack. “Revolution” encompasses the aforementioned qualities and perhaps best demonstrates Dr. John’s style for the album, the boogie undertones bringing out the rougher edge of Dr. John’s voice. “Big Shot” is similar in quality, the saxophone coming out as the star that drives the rhythm.
Dr. John’s sound is something for newer artists to aspire to. Talent and polish to spare, Locked Down is an artful creation. It is solid and thoroughly enjoyable. The contemporary scene could use more like this.
The Review: 9/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
The Big Hit
Review by Sarah Richmond