Monday, December 9, 2013

Dr John "Mama Roux"

One of the good things about older artists continuing to make music, is that it does encourage you to go revisit the old stuff.

And not just because the new stuff reminds you of the old stuff, but because the new stuff makes the old stuff relevant.

Such is the case with Dr. John.

The song "Mama Roux" had been in our library for years and year.  We don't have saved playllists that go back that far, but I think it's safe to guess that song had been rotation since the early days of MVY over 30 years ago.

Somewhere, 4 or 5 years ago, in a regular round of reconsidering, we had looked at some of the songs from the 60s and 70s to set aside some of the tracks that sounded particularly dated, including "Mama Roux."

"Dated" is a funny, somewhat problematic term.  Everything that was recorded in the 70s sounds dated today, because it's 40 years old.  But what I'm getting at is that not only is the track old, it now no longer fits easily into the station's playlist.  It sticks out like a sore thumb.

This is a subjective judgement, no doubt.  But I think you'd probably agree that a song like "In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed" fits into the present playlist comfortably, despite its age.  While "Marakesh Express" by Crosby, Stills & Nash feels a little fried at this point.

So "Mama Roux" came out of regular rotation.

Then a funny thing happened.

In 2012, Dr. John made the record "Locked Down" with producer Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, who specifically wanted to make a new record that recalled the sound of early Dr. John records like "Gris Gris."

After months of playing the new song "Revolution" on MVY---and loving it---I happened to be out somewhere, where they were playing "Gris Gris" and I heard "Mama Roux."  And that style that had sounded so far away when I was hearing the tune a few years ago, now felt like it had renewed resonance.  It made sense again.  It had context, because of the new record.  It fit.

So "Mama Roux" is back in rotation again . . .

Hear the song on Youtube.

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