Dr. John Live at Mardi Gras 1975 – including a Barq’s Rootbeer Commercial – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Dr. John – the inimitable Mac Rebennack, the very heart and soul of New Orleans, is gone.
This has turned into one horrific year for loss – I don’t mind saying it, because it’s true. Dr. John was such a moving and vibrant spirit and such a grand figure in the New Orleans music scene that his loss is very heavy indeed.
Some background and a few of the many words of praise via Dr. John’s website:
Dr. John & The Gris Gris Krewe New Orleans Jazz Fest Raves
The first stop was the Acura Stage and Dr. John. That green suit… that hat… that long dread ponytail…Cool, understated, and totally captivating, with that unmistakable growly voice. The crowd was full of grinning faces when he started into “Right Place, Wrong Time.”
– Offbeat Magazine
“A green suit-clad Dr. John (Mac Rebbenack) settled in at the Acura Stage with his star-stuffed band of New Orleans musicians. With Herlin Riley on drums and Roland Guerin on bass, the grooves on classics like “I Walk on Guilded Splinters,” “Right Place Wrong Time” and “Such a Night” were loose and funky, giving Rebennack plenty of room to stretch out on piano and keyboards beneath his husky growls and incantations … Though Rebbenack, 76, moved from piano to keyboard with the help of two carved wooden canes, he sounded strong.”
– Gambit Weekly
“Dr. John, fronting a revamped and much-improved band of New Orleanians that included drummer Herlin Riley, bassist Roland Guerin, guitarist Eric Struthers and guest saxophonist Charles Neville, followed an epic “Big Chief” with his salacious “Such a Night.” He then strutted offstage, grinning, surround by a trio of scantily clad young ladies.”
– New Orleans Advocate
Dr. John kicked off his set with Danse Kalinda, and his trio of dancers did just that. Charles Neville returned home to play soaring sax solos with Dr. John’s band The Gris Gris Krewe. Throughout the set the crowd grew. Having played just before the rain last year and just after the rain this year, Twitter fans theorized that Dr. John had some sort of voodoo control over the weather.”
– Huffington Post
We lost somebody – and we lost somebody who was pivotal. For a reminder, here is his concert (most of it) at Mardi Gras 1975, with an added attraction of Dr. John’s own version of the Barq’s Rootbeer commercial (A NOLA favorite).
RIP – what an amazing ride.
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