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Dr. John – Gris Gris

Dr. John
Gris-Gris
Style: Blues, Funk
Label: ATCO Records
Catalog Number: SD 33-234
Released: 1968, 60's
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Gris-Gris by Dr. John is an invocation of the spirit of Bayou Funk and Louisiana Blues mixed with playful psychedelic rock. What’s most exhilarating is being able to distinctly hear the cultures patched together to produce the incomparable New Orleans sound. The mandolin from Sicilian immigrants, Brass instrumentation from the French, and most important for Dr. John, voodoo and West African drums from descendants of slaves. The record opens up with “Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya” and overflows with melodic voodoo chants and Dr. John’s signature raspy voice introducing himself with an abundance of soul. Most of the album is dark and mysterious, though it does offer an upbeat reprieve with “Mama Roux”. It’s more rock than it is blues, and drummer Dr. Boudreaux plays a swinging beat that is seductive and funky. The showstopper of the record is “I Walk on Guilded Splinters”, and its meditative quality is conjured by conguero Mo Pedido whose conga playing is full of life.

– Tana Yonas

Recommended – “Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya” and “I Walk on Guilded Splinters”

Tags: Bayou Funk / Jazz / Louisiana Blues
Tracklist:

A1 Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya
A2 Danse Kalinda Ba Doom
A3 Mama Roux
A4 Danse Fambeaux
B1 Croker Courtbullion
B2 Jump Sturdy
B3 I Walk On Guilded Splinters

Credits:

Bass – Senator Bob West, Dr. Battiste
Congas – Dido
Album Design – Marvin Israel
Drums – Dr. Boudreaux
Flute – Dr. Bolden
Mandolin – Dr. McLean
Percussion – Dr. Ditmus
Photography By [Cover & Backliner] – Raphael
Producer, Arranged By – Harold Battiste
Saxophone – Governor Plas Johnson
Slide Guitar [Bottleneck] – Dr. Mann

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