Dr. John S/D

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
can't believe there isn't a thread on him already, but couldn't find one in the archives, so here it is. Inspired by my recent purchasing of "Remedies". 18-minute "Angola Anthem" = yowza. Still, he never seems to have gotten any better than on "Gris Gris"...

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 24 May 2005 18:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

In my opinionation,
the sun is gona sholey shine.

Tripmaker (SDWitzm), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 18:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

his autobiography "Under a Hoodoo Moon" (I think that's the name...?) is also surprising great. He has some scary stories (ie, a job "disposing" of illegally aborted fetuses) and some funnily cruel things to say about the Rolling Stones...

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 24 May 2005 18:21 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Desitively Bonnaroo has a few stormers on it.

kinda weird that on the Dudley Perkins album, Madlib samples two track from Gris Gris right after each other.

[that bastard] jaxon (jaxon), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 18:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I wanna hear the song about eating pussy that the Stones are talking about in C*cksucker Blues.

Tripmaker (SDWitzm), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 18:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

As much as I love "Gris Gris," "Gumbo" is one of my most-played discs. "Iko Iko," "Junco Partner," "Lonely, Lonely Nights," a Huey Smith medley... it's a wonderful little tribute to New Orleans R&B.

Daniel Peterson (polkaholic), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 18:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

hmm, I was waffling about getting Desitively Bonaroo last weekend. I figured it was a safe bet what with the Meters and Alain Toussaint involved, but opted for Remedies instead.

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 24 May 2005 18:54 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"desitively bonaroo" is good, get it. also, i like "right place, wrong time" which of course includes his biggest hit.

hstencil (hstencil), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 18:56 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

yeah, I have "Right Place, Wrong Time" - definitely his sharpest, funkiest stuff (that I've heard)

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 24 May 2005 18:56 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I haven't been able to get into Remedies. Gris Gris and Babylon are both essential. I have a couple of good compilations of the earlier stuff he did. One is under the name Mac Renneback and is mostly stuff he played on with other artists when he was in New Orleans. The other is a vinyl thing that I can't remember the name of. But anyway, search the early stuff, it's pretty cool.

Does anyone know which Sonny & Cher albums he was on? Are they worth picking up?

walter kranz (walterkranz), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 18:58 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

his Hal Leonard book on how to play NO-style piano is good, a real finger-buster. He makes it sound so easy. I'm getting there, though, the trick is to learn about fifty thousand subtly different variations on the same thing, and the same number of cool turnarounds.

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 19:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

oh yeah! I got those books (3 books + CDs) for pretty cheap at Amoeba. I haven't used them much but the CDs are fun to listen to.

walter kranz (walterkranz), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 19:38 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

think DJ Premier sampled something off of Desitively Bonaroo. never been able to find The Sun, Moon and Herbs one...

Beta (abeta), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 21:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

the track "Stealin" from Desitively Bonaroo was sampled on Dr Oop's "Deep Impact" (12") (produced by Thes from People Under the Stairs). 'tis a wonderful song

[that bastard] jaxon (jaxon), Tuesday, 24 May 2005 22:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"can't believe there isn't a thread on him already, but couldn't find one in the archives...."

You can't have looked look hard enough: Dr. John: Hot or Not?

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Wednesday, 25 May 2005 07:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

six months pass...
so why no love for "Sun Moon and Herbs"? Plenty of stuff on there as creepy and cranky as on "Gris Gris" and "Babylon" - "Craney Crow" has the chants and the whispered breakdown, among other things...

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 00:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Second the recommendation of the autobiography. One of the most entertaining showbiz bios I've read. I did a phone interview with him once, he was great. I could have listened to that voice all day. When I called him, he picked up and just said, no hello or anything, "Dahgduh Jaahn."

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 00:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Does anyone know which Sonny & Cher albums he was on? Are they worth picking up?

-- walter kranz

The only Sonny & Cher-related album released (and presumably recorded) around the same time as Gris Gris is Sonny Bono's solo LP, Innerviews. However, in researching this, I learned that Cher recorded a cover of "Walk On Gilded Splinters", which is news to me!

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 01:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Dr. John is cool

Susan Douglas (Susan Douglas), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 01:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"However, in researching this, I learned that Cher recorded a cover of "Walk On Gilded Splinters", which is news to me!"

Its tighter and funkier than the original, but pretty good too - much better than Paul Weller's version!
Anyway, Dr. John is god and the "Sun, Moon" album is excellent.

Marco Damiani (Marco D.), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 07:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The only Sonny & Cher-related album released (and presumably recorded) around the same time as Gris Gris is Sonny Bono's solo LP, Innerviews.

Ah, I didn't think of looking at Sonny Bono solo stuff. That must be the one.

walter kranz (walterkranz), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 08:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

love the first four records...all essential in my opinion. i like how they all stake similar territory but each one has its one peculiar vibe. each record is very distinct, gris gris is the sparse one, babylon the psychedelic one, remedies is brassy and vibrant and sun moon and herbs is a little more convoluted. "black widow spider" off "babylon" is one of the greatest rhythm tracks ever.

here's a question...i read that "sun moon and herbs" was originally slated as a 3lp...was all that material actually recorded and shelved or was it simply aborted before going into the studio?

someone needs to put out a box set of those four albums with crazy outtakes and the lost sun moon and herbs material. i can't believe i've never read about any bootlegs, whether of unreleased material or of live performances from the period.

naturemorte, Tuesday, 6 December 2005 09:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The only Sonny & Cher-related album released (and presumably recorded) around the same time as Gris Gris is Sonny Bono's solo LP, Innerviews.
Ah, I didn't think of looking at Sonny Bono solo stuff. That must be the one.

-- walter kranz (kranz_walte...), December 6th, 2005.

I actually used to have this on vinyl.

http://www.rhinohandmade.com/covers243/7704.jpg

Edward III (edward iii), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 17:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"here's a question...i read that "sun moon and herbs" was originally slated as a 3lp...was all that material actually recorded and shelved or was it simply aborted before going into the studio?"

In the autobio Dr. John blames his manager at the time for absconding with the master tapes and fucking with them (editing, mixing, etc.). Similar to what happened with Remedies and the version of "Angola" that's on there. Anyway, I'd wager that extra LP of material from the Sun, Moon, and Herbs sessions is just lost and/or destroyed, but who knows...

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 6 December 2005 17:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

whoa! the dr is rappin. top of the morn to ya gov'na
http://video.aol.com/video-detail/dr-john-jet-set-1984/872347175

jaxon, Monday, 25 August 2008 23:23 (ten years ago) Permalink

speaking of Sonny and Cher, I guess ya'll know Rebennack's associate from NOLA, Harold Battiste, arranged a lot of Sonny and Cher records? And this bizarre girl group, the Cake (they did a version of Jessie Hill's "Ooh Poo Pah Doo").

And speaking of AFO (Battiste's short-lived New Orleans collective record label), I recommend Dr. John and Ronnie Barron doing "Talk That Talk" on the AFO comp More Gumbo Stew: Original AFO New Orleans R&B.

whisperineddhurt, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 00:30 (ten years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
one month passes...

I keep meaning to get his recent albums City that Care Forgot and Tribal but never did. Any good?

Here's a NY Times interview piece from today with him

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/fashion/22with.html?ref=style

curmudgeon, Monday, 23 August 2010 02:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

WFT with his remark about the British?
I'm quite enjoying Tribal. Kind of a throwback to his earlier stuff — more bluesy and swampy.

Jazzbo, Monday, 23 August 2010 11:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

Meant to say "funky" rather than bluesy.

Jazzbo, Monday, 23 August 2010 11:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

Thanks. I wish I has seen his appearance in NYC last summer at a Ponderosa Stomp event with a bunch of old-time New Orleans folks.

curmudgeon, Monday, 23 August 2010 13:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

Here's something I wrote about one track on City That Care Forgot, which album I couldn't get into otherwise:

http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/rs_sotd/131/song-of-the-day-dr-john-and-the-lower-911-land-grab/

I like Tribal more -- especially the title track, which as far as I can tell is the only track where the hype about the album being a throwback to the weird avant voodoo funk of Gris Gris has any credence. But I have to say the album has shrunk on me with repeated listens, seems rather stodgy (not to mention long) in the long run. Not nearly a throwback to the Mardi Gras funk of Gumbo or the Southern rock swamp funk of In The Right Place either, though I wish it was. But if there are great tracks I'm ignoring, I'm curious what people think they might be. (Well, actually, Ben Ratliff in the NY Times already did -- see link below, and scroll down -- though I'm mostly not hearing what he's hearing, at least not yet):

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/arts/music/02choice.html?_r=1

xhuxk, Monday, 23 August 2010 14:05 (eight years ago) Permalink

That remark about the British is hilarious. He might also have mentioned we kicked their ass in the Battle of His Hometown in the War of 1812.

Zeppelin to Howlin Wolf: "Suck It" (Bill Magill), Monday, 23 August 2010 15:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

http://blog.nola.com/entertainment_impact_music/print.html?entry=/2011/03/herman_ernest_longtime_dr_john.html

Herman Ernest, longtime Dr. John drummer, dies of cancer

Published: Monday, March 07, 2011, 12:41 PM

By Keith Spera, The Times-Picayune

Herman Ernest III, the longtime drummer in Dr. John’s Lower 911 band and a literal and figurative giant of New Orleans funk drumming, died Sunday of cancer at his home. He was 59.

Renowned for his larger-than-life personality, Mr. Ernest, known affectionately as Roscoe, was both a powerful percussionist and steadfast individual. He referred to his playing style as “diesel funk.”

He was featured on most Dr. John recordings going back at least 20 years, as well as on myriad albums by artists across the spectrum of New Orleans music. He starred in a 2004 New Orleans drumming instructional DVD alongside Herlin Riley, Johnny Vidacovich and Earl Palmer.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 8 March 2011 05:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

:(

We make bouquets that fade immediately. (Turangalila), Tuesday, 8 March 2011 05:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

He kept trying to play right to the end:

Most recently, Mr. Ernest cut tracks for “Nine Lives,” a forthcoming CD and musical based on Dan Baum’s book of the same title. Singer-songwriter Paul Sanchez recalled in a posting Sunday on the OffBeat message board how Mr. Ernest played through intense pain during the recording session.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 8 March 2011 15:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

Listening to "Babylon" for the first time ever this afternoon. What a bizarre record.

Prostetnic Vogon Limbaugh (Dan Peterson), Monday, 19 September 2011 20:10 (seven years ago) Permalink

I just bought that myself. I really like it! Unique weird vibe, not really like "Gris-Gris" at all.

"black widow spider" off "babylon" is one of the greatest rhythm tracks ever.

Yeahhh!

Cal Poxy (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Tuesday, 20 September 2011 08:49 (seven years ago) Permalink

I liked it too, I guess I should have clarified. Yeah, it seems to have less of its roots in "voodoo" or Haitian music (or whatever it is he's mutating on "Gris Gris") and more psychedelic rock and jazz and beat poetry. Mac sounds stoned to the gills on this one.

Prostetnic Vogon Limbaugh (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 20 September 2011 13:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

new album with Black Keys guitarist and others coming soon:

The keyboardist and bassist, Leon Michels and Nick Movshon, are from the El Michels Affair, one of the bands associated with Dap-Tone records from Brooklyn and the world of retro-funk that brought you the sound of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” record. (They’ve also both played in the touring version of the Black Keys.) The guitarist Brian Olive, once of the Soledad Brothers, whose own solo album “Two of Everything” was produced last year by Mr. Auerbach, is part of the same fraternity of backward-looking obsessives.

This record will find some fans among those who loved “Back to Black,” and it should. But have you ever wondered how hip is too hip? “Locked Down,” with its down-cold James Black drum rhythms, distorted Fender Rhodes keyboards and free-range, organically farmed reverb, is a useful test case. (By the way, go back and listen to Dr. John’s complicated, spaced-out record “The Sun, Moon & Herbs,” from 1971, when all recordings were analog: are we trying to out-hip that on its own terms?) If Dr. John weren’t grounding it with his casual essence, it might collapse under the weight of its own studied scuff.

But some of it is beautiful, and I look forward to hearing it live. One can do that right

plus live in NYC:

a residency spread across three weekends. March 29 to 31 he’ll perform in “A Louis Armstrong Tribute,” which is just what it sounds like but different, including performances from Arturo Sandoval, Rickie Lee Jones and the Blind Boys of Alabama. April 5 to 7 he’ll be performing “Locked Down” with Mr. Auerbach and band; and April 12 to 14 he presents “Funky but It’s Nu Awlins,” with guests from his hometown, including Donald Harrison, Davell Crawford, Ivan Neville, Irma Thomas and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/arts/music/dr-john-plays-three-weekends-at-bam.html?ref=music

curmudgeon, Monday, 27 February 2012 15:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

The record has an African flavor beyond the rhythms. When Mr. Auerbach first approached Dr. John in 2010 about doing an album, he played him Ethiopian jazz by the vibraphonist Mulatu Astatke to give him an idea of the otherworldly keyboard sounds he was after. “I wanted it not to be a throwback album,” Mr. Auerbach said. “I wanted young people to hear it and fall for this stuff, not in a retro way.”

He then recruited young musicians steeped in African pop. They were anchored by the German drummer Max Weissenfeldt, who specializes in Ethiopian and Afro-pop beats, and the bassist Nick Movshon, a New Yorker who has mastered several African styles. They ate Ethiopian food and listened to African jazz during the 10 days in September when they wrote and recorded instrumental tracks at Mr. Auerbach’s studio, Easy Eye Sound.

“It was funny because we were sitting in his studio and we’d be on a roll from eating Ethiopian food and listening to Ethiopian jazz,” Dr. John said, “and then we’d cut something, and it kind of rubbed off. There is a lot of northwest African stuff in there and northeast African stuff, and there is some stuff that reminds me a little bit of Fela Kuti.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/30/arts/music/dr-johns-new-album-locked-down-and-bam-residency.html?pagewanted=2&ref=music

curmudgeon, Sunday, 1 April 2012 15:16 (seven years ago) Permalink

i don't have much use for the black keys dude but this album is p good. not sure dr john needs the hot-young-band critical reevaluation treatment as he's never really fallen off, digging it anyway.

adam, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:49 (seven years ago) Permalink

npr talked with 'em this morning. Black Keys guy pushed the doc to write personal lyrics

http://www.npr.org/2012/04/03/149842728/dr-john-a-rock-legend-gets-personal

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 18:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah album is pretty good. i despise the black keys but if this makes some more money for dr. john, helps him book better venues all the better.

balls, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 18:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

I need to pick this up. On one cursory listen it doesn't sound radically different from his recent (non-Great American Songbook) recordings, but I'll admit I haven't been paying close attention to the last few. He was surprisingly great the last time I saw him though, and dug into some deep catalog titles.

If I were in NYC I would see “Funky but It’s Nu Awlins” in a heartbeat.

On the sidelines in a trash can grumping (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 4 April 2012 15:38 (seven years ago) Permalink

He was on Fallon last night, reading lyrics off of a sheet and looking pretty not-into-it. Best part of the song was Dr. John's keyboard solo, one-handed Astatke-meets-Fela kind of thing.

Oxnard Cohen (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Thursday, 5 April 2012 03:16 (seven years ago) Permalink

"here's a question...i read that "sun moon and herbs" was originally slated as a 3lp...was all that material actually recorded and shelved or was it simply aborted before going into the studio?"
In the autobio Dr. John blames his manager at the time for absconding with the master tapes and fucking with them (editing, mixing, etc.). Similar to what happened with Remedies and the version of "Angola" that's on there. Anyway, I'd wager that extra LP of material from the Sun, Moon, and Herbs sessions is just lost and/or destroyed, but who knows...

― Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, December 6, 2005 5:18 PM (6 years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Just read in Mojo last night that the dr's working on a version of the full thing for release next year.

Stevolende, Thursday, 5 April 2012 06:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

O RLY

You big bully, why are you hitting that little bully? (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 5 April 2012 15:27 (seven years ago) Permalink

would buy!

You big bully, why are you hitting that little bully? (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 5 April 2012 15:27 (seven years ago) Permalink

Have any of the first 4 outside of Gris Gris been remastered remotely recently/ Or will that be the first one?
I'm assuming that Gris Gris must have been, cos its been reissued several times.

Just think my copy of Babylon is early 90s at latest. Must find the thing.

Stevolende, Thursday, 5 April 2012 17:49 (seven years ago) Permalink

"in the right place" - 40 years old and still going strong

nonightsweats, Tuesday, 26 February 2013 05:47 (six years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/68/Dr_john_-_city_lights.jpg

just listened to City Lights for the first time. it's slicker than the first four records but pretty good in it's own right.

Lost in Crafton, Saturday, 18 October 2014 00:44 (four years ago) Permalink

One of my favorite Dr. John songs is from one of his weaker records, Tango Palace. "I Thought I Heard New Orleans Say."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2iVeajkJ8c

Dick Clownload (Dan Peterson), Saturday, 18 October 2014 13:35 (four years ago) Permalink

Always loved this one off Remedies.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE8sHZeqE8Q

Jazzbo, Saturday, 18 October 2014 13:45 (four years ago) Permalink

I love City Lights, has a vibe approaching steely dan.

mizzell, Saturday, 18 October 2014 16:54 (four years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

Has anybody come acrossany live recordings from the 68/69 era with the original Dr John & the Night Trippers band. I think the earliest thing I've come across so far is one track from 1970 from the Dutch Kralingen festival and quite a few from like '72 and '73.
But at the moment I'm reading Under A hoodoo Moon and he's talking about that band being something else so would love to get to hear what they were like live. I have the studio stuff.

Stevolende, Friday, 2 February 2018 09:09 (one year ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Danse fambeaux tho

done and dusted (Ross), Friday, 4 May 2018 06:13 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

The good doctor has sadly left us.

https://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/article_a962e500-8877-11e9-991d-2f4782c02ae0.html/

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 6 June 2019 22:09 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Towards the break of day June 6, iconic music legend Malcolm John Rebennack, Jr., known as Dr. John, passed away of a heart attack. The family thanks all whom shared his unique musical journey & requests privacy at this time. Memorial arrangements will be announced in due course.

— Dr. John (@akadrjohn) June 6, 2019

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 6 June 2019 22:15 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Can't help thinking of night tripper, the right place one with the meters for starters. it's years since i've listened tbh - but classic without doubt. RIP :(

calzino, Thursday, 6 June 2019 22:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Oh, FUCK. I knew he wasn't well. Management said he was resting and hoped to be performing again soon. Many wonderful records, many wonderful shows. This one really hurts.

While My Guitar Gently Wheedly-Wheedly-Wheedly-Weeps (Dan Peterson), Thursday, 6 June 2019 22:31 (three weeks ago) Permalink

in honor of the doctor, may he rest in peace, here’s an early mack-penned tune that is among my favorite songs of all time:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_SY3_Qn8Wpw

budo jeru, Friday, 7 June 2019 00:44 (two weeks ago) Permalink

The Gris Gris LP is one of my all time favorite albums, definitely gonna be spinning it a few times tomorrow, RIP

One Eye Open, Friday, 7 June 2019 01:01 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Awww man.

curmudgeon, Friday, 7 June 2019 03:22 (two weeks ago) Permalink

yet another guy intro'd to me on SNL in the '70s

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 7 June 2019 03:29 (two weeks ago) Permalink

This one's badass--Mac, Frankie Ford and some other guys paying tribute to the longtime NOLA Horror Movie TV Host...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHUq9ZL4_rI

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 7 June 2019 03:37 (two weeks ago) Permalink

For those who still do the physical media thing, if you can track down the Mos' Scocious comp on Rhino, get it. Two discs and track by track annotations by the man himself.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 7 June 2019 03:42 (two weeks ago) Permalink

What a huge huge loss, an incredible character and an even better piano player. Idk what New Orleans even is without Dr John and Allen Toussaint

Jeff the grown man (voodoo chili), Friday, 7 June 2019 06:10 (two weeks ago) Permalink

And the Meters/Nevilles?

Alluded to on the Obituary thread, but the challenge I've had re: Dr. John is that a few cameos aside, his impact and story really seems limited to the '60s and very early '70s. But the past 45 years or so, I never hear anyone mention anything worth seeking out specifically. I assume something like Mos' Scocious would help?

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 7 June 2019 11:32 (two weeks ago) Permalink

He was an heir to a particularly New Orleans tradition of piano, descended from Professor Linghair—his impact comes less from the recorded music he made (though a lot of it was great), but more his presence as a key figure in one of the country’s musical capitals for the past five decades.

Jeff the grown man (voodoo chili), Friday, 7 June 2019 11:38 (two weeks ago) Permalink

That I already knew.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 7 June 2019 11:40 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I like his cover of Donovan's "Season Of The Witch", to be found on the Blues Brothers 2000 soundtrack of all places.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 7 June 2019 13:05 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I'm sure there's plenty of good stuff in his later catalog, because he had good taste among other things, but I think it's true that his biggest impact was late '60s/early '70s. Beyond that, though, I think he's more important as an embodiment and extension of that NOLA lineage. Along with Toussaint and the Nevilles, he really brought it to a broader national and international audience -- not just the music, but the culture and mythos. And he also showed that an awful lot of stuff could fit within it. Psychedelia, big band swing, jazz standards, swamp boogie, it all felt natural coming from/through him.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Friday, 7 June 2019 13:11 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I interviewed him once (by phone) in 1997. Here are a couple of quotes I like that he gave me:

Talking about his recent live album -- "Music is basically meant to be played live. Music was meant to come from the spirit kingdom, go through the meat in our body, come back out, and go back into people's spirit. And the closest thing I think you can get to that on a record is a live record."

On longevity -- "I just always believe like Art Blakey—the idea that it'd be the nicest way to croak, on a gig. Might not be the most fun for the people watching that particular gig, but it kind of seems appropriate to go out doing what we do."

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Friday, 7 June 2019 13:15 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Professor Longhair died of a heart attack as well.

calzino, Friday, 7 June 2019 13:19 (two weeks ago) Permalink

xpost He seems like he would have been a great interview.

I felt like the Nevilles comeback in the '80s did a lot of that, too. What was Dr. John's currency c., say, when "Yellow Moon" came out? Even Allen Toussaint seemed kind of marginalized by then. Tbh, the first I had really heard people talking about Dr. John beyond The Last Waltz and the Muppet Show was when he popped up on "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space."

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 7 June 2019 13:19 (two weeks ago) Permalink

In A Sentimental Mood, an album of standards, served as a comeback in 1989. Seems like it and Yellow Moon kind of turned the spotlight back towards New Orleans as a music scene.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 7 June 2019 13:29 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Seems like both the Nevilles and Dr. John were staples of those big Blues package tours in the '90s too.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 7 June 2019 13:31 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Right around the same time I remember buying a Buckwheat Zydeco record, there must have been a reason why I picked that particular one.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 7 June 2019 13:31 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Hmm, the Buckwheat Zydeco record I bought was On Track, in 1992. Maybe I liked his cover of "Hey Joe?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wviu3L8h1Jg

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 7 June 2019 13:34 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I bought Buckwheat Zydeco's On A Night Like This in 1987, because I saw the movie The Big Easy and was like "What is this music with the accordions? This is great!"

I don't know that much about Dr. John's music, though, precisely because he wasn't really an entry point to New Orleans music for me the way he was for a lot of other people. Besides Buckwheat Zydeco, I also heard Professor Longhair first (somebody gave me a tape of Crawfish Fiesta in high school, so maybe 1988 or 1989, and that really spun my head backwards), but what's interesting about Dr. John anyway is that he wasn’t just an old-timey act like Leon Redbone; he put his own weird spin on stuff, at least early on. I feel like he became more of a traditionalist/keeper-of-the-flame/institution later. So I guess I need to figure out which are his most psychedelic weirdo funk records, vs. which are the ones where he's just paying tribute to stuff from before him. On Twitter, Ned kinda lumped Redbone, Dr. John and Tom Waits together as the last of a breed, and I get that, too. 21st century Bob Dylan may fit in that bucket, too.

All that said, I'm listening to his 2012 album Locked Down as I type this, and for a retro '60s garage-psych sort of thing, it's pretty good.

shared unit of analysis (unperson), Friday, 7 June 2019 13:51 (two weeks ago) Permalink

One of the prettiest piano pieces I know.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij0QITJ1zrI

Jazzbo, Friday, 7 June 2019 14:28 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I also heard Professor Longhair first (somebody gave me a tape of Crawfish Fiesta in high school, so maybe 1988 or 1989, and that really spun my head backwards)

freaking awesome album is that. (sorry for none Doc John post - be he was a hero/mentor to him)

calzino, Friday, 7 June 2019 14:33 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I could pretty much listen/dance to this on an endless loop today. Doc and Ronnie Barron recorded this under the name Drits and Dravy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7N38pW8MIU

While My Guitar Gently Wheedly-Wheedly-Wheedly-Weeps (Dan Peterson), Friday, 7 June 2019 15:04 (two weeks ago) Permalink

unperson as far as dark psychedelic weirdo stuff, the first 3 or so LPs are where you want to be. Gris Gris is the masterpiece, the next few are patchy but there is some really out there stuff on them, incl. sidelong bad-trip freakout "Angola Anthem"

One Eye Open, Friday, 7 June 2019 16:08 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Yup to that.

Great thread here about the cover/gatefold art for In the Right Place

The cover of Dr. John’s “In the Right Place” is predictably freaky. We meet our hero as he’s riding on the moon, with multicolored hair and a wand. Below him, a spoon and a plate with arms and legs hold hands while fleeing a horse-legged lizard. pic.twitter.com/wDrp02pkRJ

— Randall Roberts 🦅 (@LilEdit) June 7, 2019

Ned Raggett, Friday, 7 June 2019 18:12 (two weeks ago) Permalink

The stellar quality of Gris-Gris/"I Walk on Guilded Splinters" as entry points isn't simply that they're immediately appealing (they, of course, are), but that it, as I best understand it, was a project record that he became the public face of almost by accident, and that it was a grouping of people who were all from New Orleans but recording in LA with the perfect access to both the publicity and the technical side of the business. Pros working together, taking in what's around them and taking what they already know and going for it, and a perfect flashpoint of a frontman to boot.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 7 June 2019 18:15 (two weeks ago) Permalink

love that Right Place album so much and it introduced me to the word "edumacated".

calzino, Friday, 7 June 2019 18:16 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Great thread.

1) Others longer to New Orleans will have more essential memories, but I can desitively muster one worthy tale of the legendary Dr. John from having had the opportunity to write some dialogue for him on an HBO drama some years back. And to be clear....

— David Simon (@AoDespair) June 7, 2019

Ned Raggett, Friday, 7 June 2019 19:36 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I've been needing a new dn for a while. Thank you, Doctor.

confusementalism (Dan Peterson), Friday, 7 June 2019 19:46 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I've always been curious about his actual relationship with the Mardi Gras Indians. Obviously a big influence, but it seems like he had some sort of honorary outsider status (or else he never would have gotten away with posing in a full suit for an album cover, right?)? Would love to learn the details sometime.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 7 June 2019 20:15 (two weeks ago) Permalink

New Orleans showed UP for Dr. John! This second-line feels never-ending. pic.twitter.com/saDbvv7MMS

— NOLA.com (@NOLAnews) June 7, 2019

Ned Raggett, Friday, 7 June 2019 21:59 (two weeks ago) Permalink

After preparing for a Dr. John tribute concert tonight, I've come to the conclusion that as much as I respect the piano playing and the particular style of slo-mo New Orleans groove that he came to own, I'm not really a Dr. John fan.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 19 June 2019 16:19 (one week ago) Permalink

Fuck. How did I miss that he died?

☮ (peace, man), Wednesday, 19 June 2019 16:27 (one week ago) Permalink

:-( That's okay, I have enough fandom for both of us. xp

confusementalism (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 19 June 2019 16:28 (one week ago) Permalink

Ha, that's good. I like that people like him!

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 19 June 2019 16:46 (one week ago) Permalink

One of my fav deep cuts, from his early west coast days:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR3Obpfcqlc

One Eye Open, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 16:58 (one week ago) Permalink

Wish some footage of that original Night Tripper band from the time fo Gris gris would appear.
Have loved that lp since I heard it in the late 80s, think I knew Walk On Guilded Splinters a while earlier.

Picked up the Atco box set a couple of years ago which is pretty great.

Loads of lovely live stuff been popping up since he passed. But do wish there was some more stuff a little earlier.

& the memoir Under A hoodoo Moon was a great read.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 17:40 (one week ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.