February 3 2011
Dr. John "Let The Good Times Roll"
Mac Rebbenac, AKA Dr. John, reps New Orleans like no other. Also known as the Night Tripper, he's got a voice like some lost delta bluesman from the bayou and a flambouyant stage presence replete with feathery headgear, shiny beans and a braided beard. He could prolly be mistaken for a Mardi Gras Indian at any time of the year. His style is one part rhythm and blues and another part psychedelic rock all layered over the smoky voodoo rhythms that are the beating heart of New Orleans soul. Matter of fact, his concerts are almost voodoo ceremonies, evocative of many mysteries and a spooky good time.
Our feature on Wednesday's Mardi Gras Moment, “Let The Good Times Roll”, was written by Earl King, who originally recorded it in 1960 on Imperial as "Come On", and notably covered by Jimi Hendrix. Dr. John recorded it on his 1972 album of classic New Orleans R&B, Gumbo. While King’s version is bluesy funk, and Hendrix rocked it, the Night Tripper splits the difference and puts the New Orleans bon temps spin to it. Since you'll hear no piano here, that’s probably Dr. John himself on lead guitar. As you may know, Mac started out playing guitar primarily when fronting his early bands as a teenager and only switched over to piano (and organ) full time in the early 1960’s when a gunshot damaged a finger on his left hand. Judging from the excellence of this tune, apparently you only need one good hand to have a good time.
So no excuses y'all, 88Nine wants you to come the Fat Tuesday Party with Mucca Pazza at Turner Hall on March 8th so we can let the good times roll...
-up next, The Hawketts and some early Art Neville