Dr. John’s Final Album To Be Posthumously Released
Legendary New Orleans musician Dr. John recorded a final album that will be posthumously released following his death at the age of 77. Guitarist Shane Theriot led the recording sessions, which were detailed by Rolling Stone.
Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) began recording what became his final album in 2017. Sessions continued in 2018 as Rebennack’s health fluctuated, with recording done at Esplanade Studios in New Orleans, as well as in Theriot’s and Rebennack’s homes. The “largely stripped-down” album’s tracklist, title and release date have not been determined.
The record, which was completed before Rebennack’s death, is a mix of country covers, reworked Dr. John classics and four new originals. The album includes covers of Johnny Cash’s “Guess Things Happen That Way” and “Funny How Time Slips Away,” Hank Williams’ “Ramblin’ Man” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” as well as duets with Willie Nelson on “Old Time Religion” and with Aaron Neville on The Traveling Wilburys’ “End Of The Line.” Revamped versions of “I Walk On Guilded Splinters” featuring Rickie Lee Jones and “Such A Night” were also recorded.
“We sat and listened to everything twice,” Theriot told Rolling Stone. “He was singing along and had a big grin on his face. Then he walked me out to my car, stared at me and said, ‘I’m glad. I made the right choice.’ And then he hugged and kissed me on the cheek … Towards the beginning, I don’t think Mac realized it would probably be his last record, but towards the end, I think he knew.”
Dr. John’s last album was 2014’s, Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch. The release was a tribute to Louis Armstrong and featured The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Bonnie Raitt, Ivan Neville and others.