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Dr John, Locked Out (Nonsuch) ****
WHO’S the coolest, hippest septuagenarian around? Step forward Mac Rebennack, otherwise known to the world as Dr John.
This jittery, swampy brew is the best thing the 71-year-old lover of his native New Orleans has produced in years – and that’s up against some pretty stiff self-competition.
The difference here is that Dr John has been honoured and repackaged by a newer generation, headed by producer Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, who picked a band of young musicians to back him up.
The hazy atmosphere remains classic Dr John, all spooky and vaguely psychedelic, but the music is less jazzy and, unusually for Mac, laced with some dirty bursts of guitar playing. The songs remain as robust and angry as ever, with stand-out moments including the title track, Big Shot, Ice Age and, perhaps surprisingly, an affecting gospel number, God’s Sure Good, in which Dr John wraps things up with an account of his faith
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