DR. JOHN Captured "Live" In A Historic New Orleans Performance
RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME: LIVE AT TIPITINA'S MARDI GRAS '89
Volume Two from "The Rebennack Chronicles"
New York, NY -- Musically speaking, there are few events as highly anticipated as the venerable Mac Rebennack, aka, Dr. John, performing "live" in New Orleans. Perhaps the greatest living musician from the Crescent City, the Doctor's hometown appearances always prove to be a full-scale celebration of New Orleans culture and people. Add Mardi Gras night at Tipitina's into the mix and the stage is set for an intangible X-factor to enter the musical equation. Proof of that resounds in the forthcoming, Right Place, Right Time: Live At Tipitina's Mardi Gras '89, a single disc set capturing the one and only New Orleans Night Tripper, Dr. John, on Mardi Gras night 1989 at the hallowed Big Easy music venue, Tipitina's. Scheduled for release on March 14, 2006, Right Place, Right Time is Volume Two of "The Rebennack Chronicles" on Dr. John's Skinji Brim imprint distributed through HYENA Records and produced by Joel Dorn.
Playing off the title of one of Dr. John's biggest hits, "Right Place, Wrong Time" (which topped the rock charts in 1973), Right Place, Right Time opens to the introduction: "Ladies and gentleman, Mardi Gras '89 here at Tipitina's, The High Priest, The Night Tripper, Dr. John!" The good Doctor and company blast into the "jailbird beat" of the New Orleans standard, "Junco Partner." It's a full-tilt boogie 'n' blues number based primarily on Dr. John's "steady comin' at ya" piano groove. Joined here by an all-star New Orleans band, including Tommy Moran on guitar, David Barard on electric bass, Herman Ernest III on drums, Trazi Williams on percussion, Amadee Castanell on saxophones and Charlie Miller on trumpet, they follow with the Gerry Goffin/Mac Rebennack-penned number, "Renegade." The version is highlighted by an extended breakdown complete with a fiery Dr. John sermon that declares, "I like to do what I wanna do anytime I feel like doing what I wanna do, I like to say what I feel like sayin' anytime I feel like sayin' how I want to say it." It's vintage Night Tripper.
Mardi Gras wouldn't be complete without a nod to voodoo. "I Walk On Guilded Splinters" takes care of that. Locked to a hypnotic pulse, Dr. John sings in a haunted cadence, while saxophonist Amadee Castanell summons the spirits with a fiery solo that reverberates through Tipitina's. The band picks the tempo back up with a stellar reading of "Traveling Mood," a classic first performed by Dr. John on his 1973 album, In The Right Place. The audience's elation is clearly audible.
As the evening proceeds, Dr. John keeps the music coming with stand-out numbers like "Black Widow," "Kinfolks," the Earl King gem "Let The Good Times Roll," and the Louis Jordan classic "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying." Tipitina's hits the stratosphere as Dr. John rounds out the set with rave-up renditions of the Willie Dixon show stopper, "Wang Dang Doodle" and his own, "Such A Night." As the music fades, it's hard not to think of New Orleans in better days, but like a well-timed postcard from the past, Right Place, Right Time keeps the spirit of the magical city alive and well.
"The Rebennack Chronicles" began in 2004 with the release of All By Hisself: Live At The Lonestar. It featured Dr. John alone on vocals and piano at the late, lamented New York City nightclub, The Lonestar. The series is drawn from a collection of over 600 cassette recordings of Dr. John performances that've been passed along to him at concerts over the last 20 years.