Dr. John

What Goes Around Comes Around

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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek

This 15-cut collection of Dr. John oddities feels like a demo session, Most likely it actually is, since most of the tracks cannot be readily identified. The sticker on the set says "Late '60s tracks from the night-tripping king of New Orleans gris-gris." However, a Cleopatra release from 1999 called Next Hex: The Nashville Sessions '74 features identical track selections, but in different order. Who to believe is not clear: not on the sleeve here, nor on the Cleopatra set -- not even on another LP called Cat and Mouse Game from the same year on Columbia River -- list much information. The cuts here on What Goes Around Comes Around are a loose amalgam of New Orleans standards and a few originals. There's Dr. John's performance nugget "In the Night," and Roy Byrd's (aka Professor Longhair) pair of evergreens "Tipitina's" and "Baldhead." Dr. John's own tunes, such as "Mama Roux," "A Quitter Never Wins," "What Goes Around (Comes Around)," "Woman Is the Root of All Evil," "Shoo Ra," are here. The truth of the matter is that while the collection may not be album-focused, the sequencing order here is far superior to other versions where these cuts have all been compiled together. The sound is fine, and the grit here is refreshing considering how slick Dr. John has been in recent years. The slippery, loose, greasy R&B feel in these cuts is creative, somewhat sinister, and full of butt-funk grooves. This early work is more than just a slew of tunes to whet the appetite; it's a party in its own right.

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