Doctor Lo: Claiborne Avenue
After veteran jam rockers God Street Wine called it a day at the end of the ‘90s, vocalist and guitarist Lo Faber detoured to New Orleans, earned his Ph.D. in American history, and began a second career as a professor. But, God Street Wine eventually regrouped for the occasional tour and reunion album, and Faber never really gave up music either. After stints with his Lo Faber Band, he released Bottomland in 2019, his first album as Doctor Lo. This project possesses more of a singer-songwriter vibe that is steeped in the country-blues sound native to his adopted Southern home. Claiborne Avenue continues down that path, with Faber exploring the rapidly evolving world over the last year. On “Kenosha Baby,” Doctor Lo presents a slow, winding ballad that laments the “15 minutes” of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teen who shot up the Kenosha protests in August 2020. On “That Jesus Love,” Faber brings an uptempo bluesy vibe wrapped around a gospel that would sound appropriate on a Sunday in church. Title-track “Claiborne Avenue” is a country ode to the major New Orleans thoroughfare that shares its name. Doctor Lo is at his best though when he’s looking inward: The ballads “Moon Tide” and “Grey Green Eyes” are forlorn in both subject matter, showcasing his weathered voice. In these moments, Doctor Lo sounds like the veteran songwriter he is now—versatile and in great form when his soulfulness shines through on these simple tales of human connection. It must be that Ph.D. talking.