Uncut - p.1104 stars out of 5
- "This is a banquet of bluesiana; a lifetime of sounds. If you love New Orleans music, he'll take you there. Magnificent."
JazzTimes - p.85
"Remarkably, the pied piper of Crescent City boosterism sound younger and more fully alive on this 18-track collection than he did some three-and-a-half decades ago..."
Dirty Linen - p.60
"N'AWLINZ closes with 'I'm Going Home'....Its tragic beauty makes for a powerful closer..."
Living Blues - p.46
"N'AWLINZ is an unabashed tribute to Rebennack's New Orleans roots, but tackles a much wider range of the city's sounds....There's plenty to enjoy and much to recommend."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1003 stars out of 5
- "[This] finds the Doctor firing on all cylinders with a rarified tenderness that adds up to his best album in years."
Personnel: Dr. John (vocals, guitar, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, organ, Wurlitzer organ); Dr. John; Eddie Bo (vocals, spoken vocals); B.B. King (vocals, guitar); Cyril Neville (vocals, percussion); The Creolettes, Mardi Gras Indians (vocals); Steve Masakowski (guitar, acoustic guitar); John Fohl, Walter "Wolfman" Washington (guitar); Bill Huntington (banjo, acoustic bass); Mei-Mei Wei, Amy Hiaville, Burton Callaham, Rachel Jordan (violin); Tanya Solomon, Scott Slapin (viola); Bill Schultz (cello); Carl Blouin, Jason Mingledorff, Eric Traub (saxophone); Elliot Callier (tenor saxophone); Roger Lewis (baritone saxophone); Dave Bartholomew, Bernard E. Floyd, Efrem Towns, Leroy Jones, Charlie Miller (trumpet); Eric Trolsen, Craig Klein, Sammie Williams (trombone); Julius McKee (tuba); The Dirty Dozen Brass Band (brass); David Barard (electric bass); Alfred "Uganda" Roberts (drums, congas, bongos); Herman V. Ernest III (drums); Smokey Johnson (bass drum, tambourine, percussion); Kenyatta Simon, Joachim Cooder, John Boudreaux (percussion); Stephanie Whitfield, Sunni Fitch, Connie Fitch (background vocals); Snooks Eaglin, Willie Nelson (vocals, guitar); Willie Tee (vocals, organ, keyboards); Mavis Staples, Randy Newman (vocals); Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown (viola); Wardell Quezergue (strings, horns); Nicholas Payton (trumpet); Earl Palmer (drums, snare drum).
Audio Mixer: Rik Pekkonen.
Liner Note Author: Dr. John.
Recording information: House Of Blues Studio, CA; Piety Street Recording, New Orleans, LA; Right Track Recording, New York, NY.
Photographer: Martin Kaelin.
Arranger: Davell Crawford.
In which Mac "Dr. John" Rebbenack puts the lie to the notion that duet albums are just artless, opportunistic photo-ops. For one thing, there's a theme at work here: Dr. John's New Orleans musical roots. For another, most of the guests, appropriately are New Orleans-born musicians--Eddie Bo, Cyril Neville, Dave Bartholomew, Randy Newman (he may love L.A., but he wasn't born there). And despite the considerable star power, there's no overt stab at commerciality here; most of the tracks are full of the murky, moody, swamp atmosphere familiar from Rebennack's spooky early albums.
Dr. John has never strayed terribly far from the New Orleans sound, but on N'AWLINZ: DIS DAT OR D'UDDA he embraces it wholeheartedly, both musically and in subject matter. Some of the tunes are standard repertoire--"St. James Infirmary," "When the Saints Go Marching In"--but even those are given a fresh spin as the doctor digs in with his incisive, bluesy piano and gritty, positively lascivious singing. Perhaps most importantly, he's backed by some of the heaviest New Orleans session musicians (drummer Earl Palmer, the aforementioned Bartholomew on trumpet), ensuring a true Louisiana feel.