12 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Hiring the Meters as his backing band might be the shrewdest decision of Dr. John’s career. The funk quartet was at the peak of its powers in 1974 — easily the most complex and well-oiled music machine in a city that boasted the baddest bands. The Meters were able to say everything they needed to without the aid of a vocalist, and working with Dr. John could have come off as overkill. Instead, it was the perfect match. The Doctor encouraged the Meters to stretch out, and the Meters helped the Doctor tighten up. “R U 4 Real,” “Can’t Git Enuff,” “Quitters Never Win,” “Stealin’” “(Everybody Wanna Get Rich) Rite Away” and “Desitively Bonnaroo” are wilier than jackrabbits and as sharp as switchblades. George Porter’s bass pops right off the record and Allen Toussaint — the maestro of New Orleans R&B — infuses every performance with his gentle touch. Dr. John wiggles into the tight spaces of the Meters’ music, spaces other musicians would have trouble just locating. This isn’t an album for the mainstream — it’s music built by a hard funk band for hard funk fans.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Hiring the Meters as his backing band might be the shrewdest decision of Dr. John’s career. The funk quartet was at the peak of its powers in 1974 — easily the most complex and well-oiled music machine in a city that boasted the baddest bands. The Meters were able to say everything they needed to without the aid of a vocalist, and working with Dr. John could have come off as overkill. Instead, it was the perfect match. The Doctor encouraged the Meters to stretch out, and the Meters helped the Doctor tighten up. “R U 4 Real,” “Can’t Git Enuff,” “Quitters Never Win,” “Stealin’” “(Everybody Wanna Get Rich) Rite Away” and “Desitively Bonnaroo” are wilier than jackrabbits and as sharp as switchblades. George Porter’s bass pops right off the record and Allen Toussaint — the maestro of New Orleans R&B — infuses every performance with his gentle touch. Dr. John wiggles into the tight spaces of the Meters’ music, spaces other musicians would have trouble just locating. This isn’t an album for the mainstream — it’s music built by a hard funk band for hard funk fans.

TITLE TIME

More By Dr. John

You May Also Like