Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Times like these you wonder if eating a pommegranite is really worth the time and effort it takes. I say that not as a clever segue into this review, suggesting that the piece is hard to get into and ultimately perhaps not worth it but because I am actually eating a pommegranite as I type.
Things we know about Dr. John...
  • Dr. John sang the theme music to nineties teen sit-com 'Blossom'.
  • Dr. John is not in fact a doctor
  • Dr. John's real name is Malcomn
Dr John, also released 'Gris Gris' in 1968, a record so fiercely individual that I am more than happy to wipe his slate clean, forget the fact that he not only lied about his name but also his occupation, forget that 'In his opinionation the sun is gonna surely shine.'

This is another one that has passed me by for far too long. Why didn't anybody pull me up on this? Why didn't anyone say 'It's really good, you should listen to it.' ... Actually I think somebody did and I remember my reply word for word 'Nah, it looks shit and it's on Atco'. Yes the words of an uninformed idiot but at the same Dr. John has let me down so many times in the past that the good will had worn thin.
I have owned (possibly still own) multiple Dr. John records, in parts they are as whistful and laid-back as you might expect them to be, the highlights being the kind of songs you skip back to time and time again. But for the majority he seems so preoccupied with his geography, his plinky plonky motherfucker piano and his comedy hats that when you stripped that away much of the time all I saw was an American Chas N' Dave. And 'Snooker Loopy nuts' we are not.
'Gris Gris' on the other hand is more of a journey, a trip into the darkest fucking voodoo magic man grave yards and late bars of Louisianna. You can taste the gumbo, smell whatever it is those crazy cats were smoking. So much so that this album has shot right to the top of my 'Albums people made while under the influence' list. I don't know if it was just the weed or if these guys were tooting brown and licking blotters as well but all you have to do is look at the guys face on the sleeve to see that he is absolutely and unreservedley spannered. he looks like a dribbling idiot, a cross between Anthropophagus the beast and Sloth from the Goonies and from the look in his eye you cant tell if he is going to want a Baby Ruth bar or to pull that baby out of your stomach and eat it. Either way the entire record is steeped in a heady combination of excessive narcotic consumption and southern fried swamp food.
So what is a 'Gris Gris'? I don't think anybody really knows, certainly not Dr. John. According to Wikipedia it's an 'Amulet that protects the wearer from evil or brings luck', but I'm pretty sure it's a kind of gravy like sauce that you use to dip bread in. I guess we will never really know for sure. Regardless I heartily recommend giving this album a listen, the same however can not be said for the pommegranite.

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