dr. john

American Routes Shortcuts: Remembering Dr. John

Jun 21, 2019
Dr. John
American Routes

New Orleans’ soulful hoodoo rock and roller and carnivalesque hero Mac Rebennack, better known as Dr. John, passed away on June 6, 2019. Within a day, the city’s streets filled with mourners honoring his legacy of high funknology in the verbal, musical and spiritual arts. This week on American Routes Shortcuts, we celebrate the beloved music and life of our friend, the late legendary Dr. John, by revisiting an interview with him from the 2013 Americana Music Festival in Nashville.

Dr. John performs at the Link Stryjewski Foundation's Bal Masque in New Orleans in 2017.
Ian McNulty

It’s starting to sink in. The back-to-back deaths of Leah Chase and Dr. John feels like waking up to find that a pair of mountain peaks have vanished from the range of New Orleans culture.

The question now is whether New Orleans can still produce the legends it minted a generation ago. That is the gauntlet these greats lay at our feet.

  •  “Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans,” by Louis Armstrong
  • “Treat It Gentle,” by Sidney Bechet
  • “Under a Hoodoo Moon, The Life of Dr. John, The Nightripper,” by Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) with Jack Rummel
  • “Danny Barker: A Life in Jazz,” recently reissued with Gwen Thompkins introduction
  • “Unfinished Blues: Memories of a New Orleans Music Man,” by Harold Battiste with Karen Celestan
  • “Big Freedia: Love Live the Queen Diva,” by Big Freedia with Nicole Balin
  • “The Brothers: An Autobiography,” by David Ritz with Aaron, Art, Charles and Cyril Neville
  • “Song for My Fathers: A New Orleans Story in Black and White,” by Tom Sancton

 

Bruce Springsteen has closed out the first weekend of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival with a 2 ½-hour show that combined crowd-pleasers such as "Born to Run" with the cover tune of his new CD, "Wrecking Ball."

Fans began staking out spots when the Fair Grounds opened at 11 a.m. Sunday, rushing from the entrance gates to spread blankets and set up chairs close to the stage. By the time Springsteen stepped on stage fans were stretched around the fairgrounds track, some standing 10 to 12 people deep.

Dr. John: A Rock Legend Gets Personal

Apr 2, 2012

In his 1995 autobiography, Under a Hoodoo Moon, Dr. John writes about his tumultuous music career, a decades-long heroin addiction and the time he spent in prison on a drug-possession charge. The book is candid in a way that most of his music is not — until now. On his new album, Locked Down, Dr. John takes a more personal approach.