The damage that Hurricane Katrina caused in the Gulf Coast was immense. The storm destroyed lives, homes and even some of the documents that kept many of its municipalitiesâ€™ legal systems intact.
Dr. John has released his latest CD, Dr. John Plays Mac Rebennack: The Legendary Sessions Volume Two
thing that Katrina could not destroy was the music that made New Orleans, LA so historic.
Evidence of that is Dr. Johnâ€™s latest dip into his own archives in the form of the February 21, 2006 release Dr. John Plays Mac Rebennack: The Legendary Sessions Volume Two. The follow up to its
2002 predecessor showcases Dr. John with just his voice and piano. Both albums were released under the Clean Cuts record label.
Itâ€™s a traditional look at New Orleans told with music. With just those two instruments, Dr. John clearly relates to the characters in the songs and accurately conveys their emotions. Both volumes were
recorded in 1981 when Dr. John had come to a crossroads in his career. On both Legendary Sessions, Dr. Johnâ€™s depicts the world around him from the outside, but manages to bring the listener in for
a journey with each songâ€™s characters. Its raw presentation brings the listener into the studio during a time when raw music was rare. Dr. John was and has remained in a small class of mainstream performers
who have stayed true to their form and made music designed to evoke emotions not to sell albums.
Dr. Johnâ€™s boogie-woogie, voodoo style of the blues did not evolve until the 1970s. He was a teenager known as Mac Rebbenack in the late-1950s when he first made his mark in the music industry. Since
then, Dr. John has been an inspirational force, creating music that is always an original and eclectic gumbo of numerous styles.
It was 1968â€™s psychedelic Gris Gris that established Dr. John and since then he has played with Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, the Beatles, Johnny â€śGuitarâ€ť Watson, Earl King and The Meters. His music
has always managed to be innovative and before its time, while remaining simple and funky.
Even without the psychedelic backdrop, both Legendary Sessions versions show Dr. Johnâ€™s ability to deliver a pulsating and steady rhythm. â€śYour Average Kind of Guyâ€ť (Volume Two) is an ode the
ordinary man with no story to tell. Yet, Dr. John never tells a story without class and creativity. On each track, Dr. John shows that he can boogie above all the rest. He conveys a wide range of emotions
with clarity, while showcasing the traditional blues without his patented pyschedelic backdrop.
One can only wait for Dr. John to release his next recording with a full band, but these two volumes of works should be added to the collection of any fan of the blues or traditional music. As music
continues to evolve sometimes into something that is hard to stomach, itâ€™s comforting to know that legendary sessions such as these have been captured and preserved in the archives.