As evidenced by John "Mac" Rebennack's salty, at times unintelligible guest appearances on HBO's Treme, the inimitable Dr. John is just as wily at age 71 as he was forty years ago when the self-monickered "Nite Tripper" was recording and touring with equally legendary backing band The Meters. Rebennack's output in the late sixties and early seventies is as important as anything to come out of The Crescent City since the nascency of Jazz and while it would be heretical, histrionic and just plain wrong to place his latest release in such sterling company, Locked Down is possessed of an immediacy and artfulness on par with those heralded releases, if understandably lacking their startling originality. Certainly a measure of the record's success is owed to the production of The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach. If there's a gilded lining to the band's recent leap into ubiquity, it's that Dan, no stranger to the producer's chair (see The Black Keys' Junior Kimbrough tribute EP Chulahoma or any Hacienda or Radio Moscow album as proof), can now wield his estimable skills in the same league as Jack White. It's little surprise that the two's tastes meld so well, Auerbach's penchant for scouring the dark depths of the traditional American music is kissing cousins with Rebennack's groovy Gumbo Funk, a hybrid of R&B and Creole and Voodoo music. What is surprising is how much of a party is raised behind Rebennack's rasped out screeds against everything from Wall Street avarice to institutional incompetence. Locked Down is fairly heavy on the messages, but in balancing Rebennack's indistinct spirituality and fierce politics with Auerbach's layered production (and occasional, incendiary guitar spots) the voice of the old Nite Tripper is never anything but welcome in the front of the mix, while the talented collection of young session players and backing vocalists keep that infamous Voodoo stew roiling and bubbling for a new generation.