Dr John to release new album ‘Tribal’ on Proper Records and tour UK in June/July
June 3, 2010 by RED
On June 28th, Proper Records releases the extraordinary new album ‘Tribal’ from Dr. John that shows this great American artist at the pinnacle of his creative powers, making what might be the most complete statement of his musical and personal identity in his 50-year career.
Recorded with his band “The Lower 911,” ‘Tribal’ also includes some of the down ‘n’ dirtiest tracks Dr. John has recorded since 1968’s iconic ‘Gris Gris.’
The new release comes at a time when Dr John is being seen on US TV screens in the new HBO drama series “Treme” (from the makers of “The Wire”) and returns to the UK for a very high profile tour which includes Glastonbury, The Hop Farm and Cornbury Festivals.
Replete with swamp rock, funk, Creole voodoo, and Mardi Gras Indian chants, ‘Tribal’ resurrects the magical persona of “The Night Tripper” in his full regalia. At the same time, Dr. John displays the rippling piano licks, Cajun-fried humor and sharp political observation that have helped make him a national spokesman for post-Katrina New Orleans – and an indelible presence on “Treme.”
From its opening statement, “Feel Good Music,” Dr. John sets the tone: “Feel good music, doctorate your bones… Call me doc, your medicine man / I got a cure in the palm of my hand…” The title cut, “Tribal,” featuring an actual Mardi Gras Indian chief, invokes the spirit of the tribes with references to their solidarity and the sacred healing powers of music.
As always, Dr. John has a little help from his friends: NOLA legend Allen Toussaint contributes two songs; and three songs were co-written with the late, great Bobby Charles, a Louisiana legend himself, to whom Dr. John dedicates the album. Other guest stars include slide guitar phenom Derek Trucks and jazz great Donald Harrison on alto sax.
The Lower 911 is: Herman “Roscoe” Ernest III – drums, percussion, vocals; David Barard – bass, vocals; John Fohl – guitar, vocals; Kenneth “Afro” Williams – percussion. The album was produced by Herman “Roscoe” Ernest III and Dr. John in New Orleans.
Dr. John, known to friends and family as Mac Rebennack, is widely regarded as New Orleans’ foremost musical ambassador. As “Treme” creator David Simon puts it: “This guy has the whole history of New Orleans music in his head.” A Grammy winner five times over, Dr. John’s previous album, 2008’s ‘City That Care Forgot,’ won the Grammy for “Best Contemporary Blues Album.” Post-Katrina, Dr. John has emerged as one of the most vocal advocates for rebuilding his beloved city of New Orleans. He continues to dazzle and delight audiences all over the world with his tireless touring.
Dr John UK tour dates in June and July
Sun, June 27 Glastonbury Glastonbury Festival
Mon, June 28 Milton Keynes The Stables
Thurs, July 1 Edinburgh The Queens Hall
Fri, July 2 Kent Hop Farm Festival
Sat, July 3 Oxfordshire Cornbury Festival
Sun, July 4 London Shepherds Bush Empire
Tue, July 6 Manchester RNCM Theatre
Wed, July 7 Tunbridge Wells The Assembly Hall Theatre