Dr. John's New Album, 'City That Care Forgot'

On 'City That Care Forgot' (June 3 / 429 Records), Dr. John delivers an elegantly elegiac homage to his drowned hometown that's at once an incredible collection of songs - possibly his best work of the past two decades - and a bold statement and cultural event. Musically anchored with that legendary gravely drawl and a bouyant riot of swamp-voodoo piano grooves (and aid from a few friends like Eric Clapton) the album's 14 tracks also provide a lyrical reminder that the rawness and divisions exposed by Hurricane Katrina are as fresh as ever.

Infused with elements of barrelhouse funk and freewheeling proto-rock, at times Dr. John raises as much hell as he does questions. But his hopeful if harrowing songwriting never loses the notion that once we start to address our problems we can heal as a nation.The songs, at a time when the word "change" seems to be everybody's buzzword, are at once a musical return to roots, yet suffused with an unusual urgency.

On the loping, blues-inflected "Time For A Change, " Dr. John conjures what could be considered "What's Going On" for the YouTube generation, as he manages to provide a rollicking good time while holding forth on such on issues as the war in Iraq and the current administration. In contrast, the stirring title track is simple - and life-affirming - requiem for the victims of Katrina - leading off an album that stands as a sad, searing, sacrilegious, and ultimately auspicious statement that promises to stand as one of the most compelling and enduring musical statements of this complex era.

Regarded as a celebrated icon and peerless performer, Dr. John's live shows continue to garner praise. The New York Times pop critic Jon Pareles referred to a recent concert as "part tradition, part theater, and geared for a good time." "A roof-raising big-band boogie-monster, " adds Daily Variety writer David Sprague.

429 Records is a division of The Savoy Label Group (SLG) a leader in contemporary adult music and features not only the historic Savoy Jazz recordings but also those from Muse, Landmark, Denon, and the Denon Classics labels. The Savoy Label Group is the North American unit of Columbia Music Entertainment (formerly Nippon Columbia), the oldest music company in Japan. SLG is lead by Steve Vining and CME is headed by Chairman Strauss Zelnick, founder of Zelnick Media which owns interests in and manages an array of media companies.

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