Today, New Orleans is mourning the loss of Dr. John, a true luminary of the city’s music-rich culture and heritage. But as is the custom in New Orleans, the sadness of his death must be followed by a celebration of his life and his spirit cutting free from the Earth.
Today, fellow New Orleans music legend Kermit Ruffins will host a second line parade in honor of Dr. John, a.k.a Mac Rebennack, from his Treme Mother-In-Law Lounge at 1500 N Claiborne Ave at 4 p.m. Head down and join in the celebration of Dr. John with Kermit and company.
Rebennack was a session musician who struck out on his own, creating a voodoo persona for himself: The Night Tripper. Mixing creole soul, funk and psychedelic rock on his first solo release, Gris-Gris, in the late sixties, Dr. John crafted a legend around himself that the world completely embraced. His was one of the first names that would come to the minds of folks thinking of the music of New Orleans. Dr. John had the perfect mix of talent, style, and image for the era and he scored a few radio hits, several Grammy awards, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, and a musical legacy that would last to this day.
His contributions ranged from classic songs like “Right Place, Wrong Time” and a definitive take on The Dixie Cups classic “Iko Iko” to seminal albums like Babylon and Gumbo while working with a who’s who of collaborators including Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Allen Toussaint, The Meters, Harry Connick Jr., Bette Midler and countless more. His songs have been featured in dozens of films and television shows as his musical mark was writ large on the face of pop culture itself. Heck, his Desitively Bonnaroo album gave us the name of one of the biggest annual music events in the world!
Rest easy, Dr. John.