DR JOHN INTERPRETS HIS CREOLE MOON

For the upcoming Dr John record, Creole Moon, the good doctor wrote little introductions to each song plus a very fun glossary of N'awlins words, which will both be included in the packaging.

1- "You Swore" The first of the Doc Pomus collaborations.

Definitely a Sunu groove, a West African vibe. The authentic inner city New Orleans sound, reminiscent of the 70s, with Caribbean accents a la Jesse Hill and Stevie Wonder.

2- "In The Name Of You" Also co-penned by Doc Pomus and dedicated to his friend Hard Bop drummer Art Blakey.

Art Blakey is remembered for saying that people always love the musician, but they don’t know the guy. This is about what it’s like to be a musician. It’s my personal take on how hard it is for people to separate the myth from reality....all the different ways people love me cause I am a musician. It explains how people get into cockeyed relationships with musicians.

3- "Food For Thot" A James Brown groove thang featuring JB’s trombone virtuoso Fred Wesley.

The words were inspired by a quote from a book of the Ecclesiasticals..... ‘You got to be in season, all in order to catch the right season when it comes, you got to be in order, all in order.' -From Reverend Mother Catherine Seals, Adages from the Book Of Proverbs.

4- "Holdin’ Pattern" Ideal for that in-car cruisin’ tape.

It’s about the wisdom of waiting. Also, some other messages about non-violence, anti-war feelings and living by the golden rule.

5- "Bruha Bembe" Appropriated from a Caribbean witch dance used to heal people.

The lady in this song helps you to cure your sorry ass from all that ails you.

6- "Imitation Of Love" A typical old time New Orleans blues ballad co-written with Doc Pomus.

It feels like it’s from the time zone of the 1950s a la Ray Charles or T-Bone Walker. We always drew on a lot of autobiographical stuff and in this tune the lyrics had particular meaning for me. It’s about two people livin’ together in shuck-love. See, I was livin’ with someone and the same thing happened to us, so I guess that’s how the song materialized.

7- "Now That You’ve Got Me" A funky reverse of the usual plot.

A chick has been running away from a guy, he catches her, so she asks him, 'now that you got me, whatcha gonna do?’ Suddenly, he’s the one been caught.

8- "Creole Moon" Steamy Windows!

You might want to play this cut on a lonely country road, because it’s window-fogging night music made specifically for romantic manoeuvres.

9- "Georgianna" An age old love triangle dilemma.

Sitting in my old apartment, I had a vision of my father, Malcolm John Rebennack, Sr. sitting across from me. Course, he’s passed on many a year now, but that hasn’t stopped him from dropping in from time to time to pay a call. This particular visit he was humming this melody, so I wrote some words to it...”bayou water runs through my veins.

10- "Monkey & Baboon" A traditional animal song rendered in scholarly form.

This is quite a moralistic cut warning about the dangers inherent in living a life of crime. Embedded in the lyrics is the description of a trial, reflections of the harsh realities of prison life, gambling, betrayal, deception and false love.

11- "Take What I Can Get" A mixture of New Orleans Guiding Light Spiritual Church flavour plus some Spanish influence.

It’s about surrendering to forces of the universe, waiting for the big payoff.

12- "Queen Of Cold" Flight delays are a worldwide problem.

I am on the road 300 days a year and the most depressing places to get stuck are airports. The idea for this song came to me as I was sittin’ in a terminal somewhere between here and there. Maybe it was inspired by a person I saw, but I thought of a woman you couldn’t warm up no matter what... nothing can melt her.

13 "Listenin" A booty shaker

Dance music, no more, no less... a real party song that shows all the Caribbean influences plus a New Orleans-style vocal.

14- "One 2 a.m. Too Many" Self-explanatory title

This tune is a personal favourite of mine on account it is one of the songs me and Doc Pomus wrote. I have these hip memories of Doc and the song makes me think of him.

15- "All Seasons Love" Jamaican gumbo

Early Jamaican influence and flavours in this song that I wrote with Doc Pomus. It’s pre-ska with some old time R&B mixed in.

GLOSSARY:
Aggravation - term of endearment for a band
Cake - money, also: lace, deadman pictures, Chile - female
Croaker - a doctor
Dittybopper - teenager
Jaw-jerk - to talk or speak
Manoeuvres - actions, the things people do
My Nerves, or My Nervous - akin to “my darlin’”
Skank - a term originated by Earl Palmer ca. 1955, musician-speak, meaning real street fonk. “That’s so gaddy it’s skank!” An archaic term for fonk.
Vines - clothing, apparel, your outfit
Wam-wams - salty junk food
Zoo-zoos - sweets, desserts

[Published on: 10/1/01]

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