Dr. John’s Best Albums

Posted by Joe Goldmark, February 11, 2018 06:06pm | Post a Comment

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Dr. John is the funkiest white dude. Listen to his vocals, relate to the lyrics, enjoy his wonderful piano playing, and dig the arrangements. His bag includes blues and soul music, street parade music, trad jazz, and rock & roll, all played with N’awlinz sensibilities. Any questions? Here’s the four albums that move me the most:

Dr John Gris Gris


This is Dr. John’s masterpiece and it still sounds fresh and unique. When this album came out in 1968, it was played on underground rock radio and sounded otherworldly. With tunes like “I Walk On Gilded Splinters,” “Mama Roux," and “Jump Sturdy,” you can see how alien it was from a West Coast perspective. In retrospect, some of the production credit has to go to Harold Battiste, the legendary N.O. horn player and producer.


Dr. John's Gumbo

Dr. John’s Gumbo

This album is totally fun and grooves like a mofo. Dr. J just kills almost every cool New Orleans R&B standard. The album starts with “Iko Iko,” and includes “Let the Good Times Roll” and “Tipitina.” There’s lots of amazing Professor Longhair-style piano and deep funky grooves. This is how rock and roll was meant to be played!


Dr. John, In The Right Place

In The Right Place

This is Dr. John’s most commercial album, but that was only because it was so good it couldn’t be denied. The title song was a huge hit. The Meters are the back-up band and Allen Toussaint produces. Need I say more? OK I will…funky, funky, funky.


Dr. John, Going Back To New Orleans

Goin’ Back To New Orleans

Dr. John got the genie back in the bottle for this album. It’s truly amazing. I’ve listened to the opening track “Litanie Des Saints” over and over and love the whole album, but it may take a couple of listens to truly appreciate what’s going on here. He goes back a little further to the street parade jazz, but don’t let that throw you funksters out there. This album is a clinic of early N.O. music, but still grooves like crazy.

Relevant Tags

Dr. John (5), New Orleans (56), Funk (26), Jazz (150), Blues (31), Soul (42), Mardi Gras (24), Harold Battiste (1), The Meters (5), Allen Toussaint (7)