If you listen to St. Cider you’ll hear a nice harmony between a whole lot of roots instruments. But above all it is the harmonious voices of ST. Cider that grab your attention. “Double Yellow Blues’ is a perfect example for the bands repertoire, It is a fantastic song, I really dig the great vocals and the instrumental jam that lift this song to a climax.
“Greenbelt Blues” is a humble song more folkloric and, slower then other songs in their repertoire. “You Aint No City Dog” is a catchy that will make you dance. The music reminds me of the New Orleans swing, blues and jazz of the pre-war era. Guys like Professor Longhair who was picked up from the street to make music again, Or Frank Stokes who performed with his duo the Beale street Sheiks outdoors.
Travelers making music
St. Cinder is comprised of six travelers. On their Facebook page they write that “We were all individually moving along the line from town to town busking for our fare and seeing the sights and smelling the smells. Our lines crossed in southern Oregon and we hit the ground running”.
The music of Amerian icon Dr. John has always been filed with the New Orleans rhythm and blues flavor. I listened to the debut
album of the Nighttripper Gris Gris which has a psychedelic, hoodoo and swamp approach. Gris Gris contains hits like ‘Mama Roux’. But the true New Orleans music of Dr. John’s can be found on his fifth and in my opinion his best album Dr. John’s Gumbo. Search through the playlist of this album, and you will conclude that there are only classic New Orleans songs on it. The piano, the rhythm, the bass and the vocals Dr. John’s Gumbo is a delicious musical meal for blues lovers.
Stackolee Folk and blues traditional
Stackolee is a traditional folk song which has been recorded by a legion of blues and folk singers. Stackolee is a song about the murder of Billy Lyons by local pimp “Stag” Lee Shelton in St. Louis Missouri at Christmas, 1895 (Mother Jones). Dr. John version contains a basis blues bass line that continuously grooves through your head. But above all, every piano player should know how to play this song. The honky Tonking piano of Stackolee is a standard, a great example of honky tonk piano. This song shows how Dr. John proves to be the embodiment of New Orleans’ musical legacy.
Mess Around piano boogie
Piano boogie woogie lovers wil alsol like Mess Around. This song kicks in with a monster piano line and that groove goes on till the last note. Mess Around was written by Atlantic Records president and founder Ahmet Ertegün under the pseudonym of A. Nugetre, Ray Charles scored a hit with Mess Around, Dr. John’s version however equals Charles’ version and is filled with the New Orleans boogie.
Iko Iko, Big Chief and Let The Good Times Roll…
The Beat of Iko Iko keeps dancing through my head. It is the backbone of the song, and around that beat John created a compositionof horns, piano and vocals that keeps growing bigger. Let The Good Times Roll was written by New Orleans rhythm and blues artist Earl King. King isn’t the only New Orleans legends that has been tributed on Dr. John’s Gumbo. Professor Longhair, The Dixie Cups and Huey Smith are all represented on ‘Gumbo’ . Professor Longhair’s Big Chief is one of my favorite piano songs. The piano boogie-line in Big Chief is something I wish to play one day. Dr. John used a hammond organ to play the famous line. Like Iko Iko, Big Chief is also a song that really grows during the song.
Dr. John made fame as a session musician and as solo artist. Througout his career he won six Grammy’s and has been inducted in the Blues Hall of fame. I recommend everybody to listen to this New Orleans musical treasure Dr. John’s Gumbo.
Read the original Album review from Rollingstone (1972) here…
Video/Audio Credits:I do not own the copyrights to these recordings. These videos are for historical and educational purposes. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED