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Dr John

Funk Jazz

Thu, June 10 Thu, June 10
7:30pm 9:30pm

Dr. John aka Mac Rebennack has been popularizing and evangelizing the rhythms and music of New Orleans for more than 50 years, first as a guitarist, then as a pianist. Along with his best known hits, “Right Place, Wrong Time,” Dr. John has been heard in hit movies like “The Princess And The Frog,” and on records by the Band, Neil Diamond, the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton.

A Hipster Is Hip Even When He Doesn’t Try

by Michael Kinsman | Frogger Dogger

Street lore has it that Mac Rebennack started fooling around with drugs when he was 12 years old. He spent his teenaged years running the streets and playing music with hoodlums from New Orleans’ Third Ward. But the entire time, he was having fun, even though he lost three of his lead singers to prison. Nights often ended up in brawls and he took a gunshot wound to hand that forced him to quit playing guitar and take up the piano.

He created a music persona for himself at the age of 26 and became Dr. John Creaux, the Night Tripper. Along with that came a love of New Orleans culture that seeps through every second of his music. He became an ambassador of New Orleans music to the outside world, while he was just being himself. Even to this day, he speaks a Third Ward patois and regularly uses words like “jivin’” and “cats” that sounds nothing short of authentic.

I’ve probably seen Dr. John play at least 20 times, from cozy barrooms to huge outdoor festivals with thousands of people. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him play “Tipitina” twice the same way and every time he plays “I Walk on Gilded Splinters” it sounds more exotic than the last time.

But to really appreciate him, you’ve got to listen to a 1988 recording entitled “Dr. John Plays Mac Rebennack.” It is the maestro on a grand piano playing 13 songs from the incredibly romantic “Dorothy” to “Mac’s Boogie” to the rambling “Dreams of Professor Longhair,” to “Silent Night” and Hoagey Carmichael’s “The Nearness of You.” There are no wild costumes here, no schtick, just authentic “I got New Orleans in my bones” piano playing.

Dr. John and the Lower 911 play two shows Anthology in San Diego on June 10.

“Dr. John has carried New Orleans style worldwide: in his two-fisted barrelhouse piano,
in his syncopated drawl, in the second-line funk rhythms of songs like his 1973 hit
“Right Place Wrong Time” and in the psychedelic voodoo character he created when
he became Dr. John the Night Tripper in the late 1960s.””
-The New York Times

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