Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Birthday Boy

Malcolm John Rebennack, better known as Dr John, achieves his 77th birthday today. In his time he's done the lot (including serving time in jail and managing to kick a heroin habit) and has been one of the big musical talents of his generation, as singer, songwriter, pianist, guitarist, producer, session man and New Orleans icon. As Dr John the Night Tripper, his flamboyant mix of New Orleans rhythm and blues with psychedelic rock was part of the soundtrack of my misspent youth – but rather than revisit the music of that phase, I'd sooner recall the Doc's triumphant appearance in The Last Waltz. What a voice – like Randy Newman crossed with Leon Russell and spiced with New Orleans magic. A handy pianist too...

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