If you were to share your excitement to see a singer whose given name is Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack, then you would be bound to win yourself blank stares. But tell them the man’s stage name — Dr. John — and they’ll inevitably get jealous.
Perhaps you’re still unfamiliar? That’ll happen. Just know he’s been playing the piano and singing since the 1950s. He’s been a key part of records made with, oh, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin, and the Rolling Stones to name a few. Peel back the layers of his songwriting and you understand the complexity of what he does better than most: it’s blues, pop, jazz, zydeco, boogie woogie, and oh yeah, there’s some rock and roll in there as well.
He may have abandoned his stage show inspired by Mardi Gras costumes and voodoo ceremonies, but no matter. Dr. John’s got six Grammys to his name. He was as welcome a presence in The Last Waltz as any of the other names on that bill. And his voice, well, it’s just about as comfortable as they come.
Know and understand this truth: they don’t get more legendary than Dr. John – not in this world. And having lost so many musical legends in the last year, we’ll gladly rush over to see this man tickle the ivories for us. No need to ask us twice.
Lucky for us Floridians, the 76-years-young legend is in the midst of sharing some of his New Orleans charm. Dr. John’s smack-dab in the middle of a winter tour and playing a string of dates throughout the Sunshine State, landing everywhere from Destin to Live Oak. He’ll close things out on Wednesday, January 18, at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. See you there, yeah?
If for any reason you do miss him, don’t beat yourself up too much: he’ll be back with his Nite Trippers in tow in April for this year’s Wanee Festival, along with Widespread Panic, Bob Weir, Matisyahu, Gov’t Mule and a whole mess of others.
Dr. John Preview by Dainon, edited by Matthew Weller.
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