The modern pop landscape is filled with examples of long-heralded music legends (read: oldtimers) hooking up with hot (read: much younger) producers in hopes of freshening up their sound and grabbing the attention of the kids (read: hipsters). Loretta Lynn worked with White Stripes leader Jack White, Paul McCartney with Radiohead guru Nigel Godrich, and the late Johnny Cash with the bearded one, Rick Rubin. A flood of album sales, Paste and Pitchfork reviews and Grammys followed.
This month, the “Night Tripper,” New Orleans' own piano mystic Dr. John, follows suit by releasing Locked Down, his surprise collaboration with producer Dan Auerbach, whose day job is singer and songwriter for recent breakthrough chart-topping blues rockers The Black Keys. Auerbach says cutting the record in a Nashville studio with the Louisiana legend inspired him “musically, spiritually and cosmically” every day.
For his first release on Nonesuch Records, Dr. John worked exclusively with a set of young musicians hand-picked by Auerbach. Together they dial back the pristine sheen of his recent efforts for a bold, fresh take on the classic Creole soul he does better than anyone. Locked Down is available digitally and on CD April 3 with a special vinyl release arriving April 21 for Record Store Day. nitetripper.com
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