by Francis Andrews in New Music on Saturday 29 November 2008

Concept albums have always been a hit or miss affair, all too often to be taken with a pinch of salt. Some work brilliantly; many fall flat on their esoteric face. Dr John’s response to Hurricane Katrina is an intriguing album. Some is rousing, some depressing: it’s littered with political statements, perhaps too much at times but given it’s purpose the over-saturation isn’t surprising. In it, he teams up with ambassadors of blues such as Eric Clapton and Willie Nelson — artists who in the past have leant their name to issue-based music. You do get the feeling however that the collaborations are done for commercial appeal: there is something lacking from the original and distinctive Dr John. Regardless, its well worth a listen — there are very touching moments and solid protest songs to re-ignite in the world what three and a half years of other catastrophes may have covered up.