Album Review: Dr John – Tribal
Dr John seems to have been around forever. With a career spanning six decades he is a true veteran of a genre that he has played a significant role in keeping alive.
The New Orleans R&B virtuoso presents us this week with his new record titled Tribal and though it’s a predictable release from the singer who is known for his laid back blues hits it’s also another powerful release for the 69 year old musician. Just like the opening track of Tribal states – it’s Feel Good Music. Tribal is the follow up to his Grammy winning album The City That Care Forgot.
The album has the same flow running through its entirety – a bluesy bass line record coated with piano tinkering and New Orleans jazz rhythms and a strong comparison to fellow American legend Randy Newman. In fact the similarity on this record is uncanny.
Opener Feel Good Music is exactly that – a calm and collected jazz number. Jinky Jinx and the political Only In America are highlights on the record with their swinging rhythms and strutting backing vocals.
The alto-sax Potnah and the animated Music Came also stand out as favourites on Tribal with a tightness that takes you back to Dr Johns earlier acclaimed release, The Night Tripper.
His voice is in top form for a man of his age. Where aging icons such as Paul McCartney and Debbie Harry are quickly loosing their vocal abilities and live stamina, Dr Johns delivery is as precise and effervescent as his early years, carried along by his signature southern drawl.
Tribal is an array of psychedelic funk and blues infused cool and a welcoming return to form for a man showing no signs of slowing down.