Dr. John
Things Happen That Way
Rounder Records

This Party Gets Real and Raw and Absolutely Rockin’

“One, two, tree, fowuah…”
That voice!
That piano!
Unmistakable and sorely missed.
We lost Mac a little over three years ago and yes, it’s funny how time slips right away…..And as the record boldly states … “Things Happen That Way.”

As if dropped from heaven at a time when we desperately need his cooler than cool, Dr. John’s new record, “Things Happen That Way” opens with a haunting rendition of “Funny How Time Slips Away” in true Dr. John style; as if he’s sending us a message from the great beyond. 
Absolutely nothing is missing from this tasty gumbo of New Orleans Blues. 
The Voodoo builds on “Ramblin’ Man.”
Bones shakin’ and slide guitar sneaking right up your spine, hitting every tiny tingle in your body, Malcolm John Rebennack Jr may be deceased, but he ain’t gone.
Not by a long shot.  

“Holy Water” is the track that stopped me cold and took me “there.”
Katie Pruitt’s voice shines bright against the wear & tear of Dr. John’s in this tale of redemption and forgiveness. 
It’s a march that gets you set up straight and thinking while the dobro slides you back down easy to realize that we are all just human.

The party gets real and raw and rockin’ on “Sleeping Dogs Best Left Alone.” The R&B and Soul drips like honey from the brilliant background singers, horn section and wah-wah electric guitar solo.
“Clean & Unclean. Seen & Unseen.” Get your cans on and dig these lyrics my friends.
There is GOLD in these hills and y’all better get ready to whistle while ya work, and mine the wisdom righ-chere.

Dr. John has never been afraid to touch on the “stuff” that might ruffle a feather or two.
Maybe that’s why he wore so many.
Always ready and able to take on a massive topic and boil it down to its divine essence, all the while keeping it groovy, the introspective “Give Myself A Good Talkin To” is one of those tunes that brings a moral compass to a gunfight and wins every time.
Truth be told.
Even in 2022; I still have a private weekly dance party to Dr. John’s GENIUS record, “Locked Down (2012),” and I highly recommend that y’all do the same — “Things Happen That Way” appropriately finishes off the record with a sigh, a tear and then a smile.
A classic on a classic.
What could be better. 

Dr. John’s final studio album features three brand new tunes, as well as hypnotic & psychedelic version of Dr. John’s 1968 classic “I Walk on Guilded Splinters,” and some cool, fresh takes on classic songs penned by Willie Nelson, Cowboy Jack Clement, Hank Williams, and an incredible Louisiana shuffle “End of The Line” by The Traveling Wilburys, featuring Aaron Neville.
Guest appearances by Katie Pruitt, Willie Nelson and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real bring the family circle, full circle, and may that circle remain unbroken and ever-expanding throughout the universe and down thru many generations of artistic heritage, keeping the memory and the  music of Dr. John alive forever.

Review by Emily Duff
Official release September 23. 


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