Jack’s Waterfall – American Roots Project II – Call Dr. John
Roots RX Recordings
11 songs time – 37:13
Jack’s Waterfall is the brainchild of Jack Licitra for this tribute to Dr. John. Curiously there is only one Dr. John composition included. The bulk of the songs either try to emulate his music or are filled with New Orleans references. A few tunes have no relationship to the Doctor’s music. I give credit to Jack that he doesn’t mimic his voice. Jack’s voice is fine the way it is. His piano playing hints at the Doctor’s style, but lacks the virtuosity. He penned nine of the songs here.
The title track “Call Dr. John” is a duet with Amy Correia. It is an infectious ditty that calls on Dr. John’s spirit to cure ills. Maria Muldaur, who recorded with The Doctor, lends her vocals to “Piano Players Heaven” that rattles off the names of iconic piano players. Unfortunately, Maria’s voice has left the building. Age does that. Jack conjures up a nifty piano-organ groove for “Big Chief On Holiday”. James Booker teaching Harry Connick how to play piano is referenced on “Shake Down” that features Amy once again on duet vocal. It also has a nice un-credited clarinet part.
Bayou Princess duets on “Juliet” that has some Louisiana references, but no relationship to Dr. John’s music. It is a lovely song none-the-less. Jack plays accordion on this as well. “Bella” is a cozy upbeat song. “Lift Up Your Spirit” does just that. Michael Blake’s saxophone wails on “Feel Good Music”, a song that has some of Jack’s better piano stylings. The only Mac Rebennack. song on this record, “Dog Don’t Bark”, receives a good treatment and a great vocal from Jack.
The Neville Brothers “Brother John” is the only other cover song. It gets a worthy interpretation. Accompanied solely by piano and organ, “I Got You” is a nice closing song, although it bears no resemblance to Dr. John’s music.
This is a nice tribute, but I would have liked a few more well-known songs from the good Doctor’s repertoire. Jack’s voice and keyboard work is pleasing, and he had the support of top-drawer musicians. Although the music is more influenced by rather than performing versions of Dr. John’s songs, it should appeal to fans of his music.