Dr. John
Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 1:23PM
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DR. JOHN, THE NIGHT TRIPPER: Gris Gris. CD 

“Gris gris” is the New Orleans term for voodoo, and one could be forgiven for thinking this album was recorded in the dead of night in one of the city’s famed graveyards. Well, it was recorded in the dead of night—at Los Angeles’ famed Gold Star Studios, where Phil Spector recorded many of his classics. Long-time New Orleans session man Mac Rebennack wangled some free, after-hours studio time originally intended for Sonny & Cher, gathered the Los Angeles diaspora of New Orleans musicians—including Jessie Hill (known for “Ooh Poo Pah Doo”), Shirley Goodman (of Shirley and Lee), saxman Plas Johnson and percussionist Richard “Didimus” Washington—and adopted a new persona of Dr. John the Night Tripper, he of the feathered headdresses and name taken from an 1840s New Orleans root doctor. The result was probably the spookiest and most hypnotic album ever made—“voodoo psychedelia” is about as close as you can come, but doesn’t quite capture the otherworldly vibe. One thing is for sure—if you don’t get goosebumps when listening to “Croker Courtbullion” or “Walk on Guilded Splinters,” you probably are already dead and the subject of a voodoo ritual yourself! Our Real Gone reissue features notes by Richie Unterberger and added photos, with new remastering by Vic Anesini at Battery Studios in NYC. Absolutely indispensable in this life or the next.

Songs:

Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya

Danse Kalinda Ba Doom

Mama Roux

Danse Fambeaux

Croker Courtbullion

Jump Sturdy

I Walk on Guilded Splinters

Article originally appeared on Real Gone Music (http://www.realgonemusic.com/).
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