Anybody who was a live music fan in the ’90s most likely crossed paths with one of the many ambitiously scoped songs Lo Faber wrote or co-wrote with his band God Street Wine. From multi-section instrumentals, R&B flavored tales of $1.99 Romances to a mix of almost anything that journeyed in an adventurous stew of rock and jazz. Faber helped lead the charge on throwing out the rule book on what a band can sound like. Even his solo albums from the double-CD concept rock operas Henry’s House and Friday Night Freakshow in 2001 and 2003 incorporated Zappesque middle fingers to what a rock opera can and should sound like.
Many years later Faber is now Doctor Lo and instead of rewriting musical books, he’s published his own – a book about New Orleans in 2013 entitled Building the Land of Dreams. He’s earned Ph. D. in American History, is a former history professor, and now has incorporated the singer-songwriter elements of the south towards his latest musical endeavors. Dr. Lo. exemplifies the warmth, grit, and enchantment of New Orleans — a city he’s called home for the past decade. Lo Faber has announced a June 18 release for his latest solo LP Claiborne Avenue.
“Some of the songs are united by being my experience of living here in New Orleans for about nine years now,” Lo explains.
Faber played most of the instruments himself for the initial recordings of Claiborne Avenue, and afterwards had some other musicians replace the parts he played “but better,” he humbly notes. The album features a long list of standout players with impressive pedigrees, such as Dave Eggar (The Who, Coldplay, Beyonce) on cello and string arrangements; Jason Crosby (Phil Lesh, Jackson Browne, Tedeschi & Trucks) on piano and fiddle; God Street Wine’s Jon Bevo and Aaron Lieberman on keys and lead guitar; well-traveled New Orleans musician/DJ Marc Stone on slide guitar; Bristol, TN virtuoso Blake Collins on mandolin; and Ted Marotta and Tom Pirozzi, who served as the rhythm section for Ominous Seapods in the 90s, holding down the grooves on drums and bass.
Glide is proud to premiere the video and song (below) for Doctor Lo’s “Ship,” a song that can be heard below and on his YouTube channel that he uses regularly to connect and providing engaging live streams. Faber has gracefully emerged as a wise and veteran singer-songwriter, incorporating the vital ingredients of what makes a song stand poignant over time. Fans of John Prine and Jeff Tweedy’s solo work will also find a kinship with Dr. Lo’s sly and soulful side, which has “daytime festival slot” written all over it (or on festival lineup cards soon).
Read on below for more of Doctor Lo’s take on “Ship” below…
This one is penned by my duo partner, bassist, and longtime friend, Tom Pirozzi, aka Ol’ TP, and as soon as I heard it I was like, I want to record my own version of that tune. He wrote it for his band, Ominous Seapods, back in the 90s, and even though I played lots with the Seapods and even produced an album with them, I never heard this tune until TP and I were playing a bunch of duo dates together in 2019. Which is just unaccountable, and goes to illustrate that a band often doesn’t realize which of their songs are really the best! I know many Seapods fans really consider this one of their best, but they didn’t play it all that often, even in spite of the fact that the line ‘I don’t wanna swim in shit no more’ would invariably inspire a whole room to loudly sing along!
There’s tremendous wisdom in this song about relationships – and I think that’s why it fits in well on this album, cause a bunch of the songs are about just that: the wisdom we gain about relationships through pain, and about life through relationships. But being that it’s from the mind of TP, not me, it also approaches that theme from a much quirkier and funnier, and more practical point of view. TP’s lesson here seems to be that all the bullshit in relationships is a waste of time, we all need to just chuck our “baggage” overboard, and hook up with another human cause none of us wants to swim in the shit of loneliness.
Musically, I rewrote the Seapods version slightly to bring out the melody more and also give it a country slant. It works well and I’m so happy TP wrote this tune and I’m so happy I did one of my good friend’s songs on this album.