My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Gris-Gris was recorded in 1967 and was released in January of 1968. The original intent of Mac Rebennack (AKA Dr. John) was for session musician Ronnie Barron to take on the Dr. John persona. When he declined, Rebennack took it on himself.
What I think: If you played me the first track on this album (“Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya”) and asked me who it was, I would probably have answered pretty confident that it was Tom Waits! You can really hear the influence this must have had on Waits’ post-crooning material. The following songs doing quite have a much of that Waits sound, but for of a voodoo New Orleans thing going on.
This is such a great album and I love the crazy weirdness and its ability to still sound sort of traditional even with that. Everything here is great (except “Croker Courtbullion” which is just so-so) and I would highly recommend it to somebody who likes something a little odd in their music.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I do think this should be here, this is one of those pleasant surprises that I was looking forward to with this project. Grade A- stuff
Rating (Out of 5): 4.5
Amazon Review (Out of 5): 4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (101/126)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 81%