Review | Dr. John & The Night Trippers | Kansas City

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Words by: McClain Johnson
Images by: Phil Clarkin

Dr. John & The Night Trippers :: 9.26.14 :: Crossroads :: Kansas City, MO

Dr. John and the Night Trippers delivered a set of New Orleans classics in Kansas City on Friday night before a crowd of around 700 music fans. The good doctor’s hour and 20 minute set featured classics from all eras of Dr. John’s career, as NOLA was properly represented in the night’s many musical styles.

He began with two Mardi Gras Indian standards “Iko Iko” and “Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me.” Then, “I Walk On Guilded Splinters” was a slow-burning version that cast an eerie hoodoo spell over the crowd. His 1973 hit “Right Place, Wrong Time” hit the crowd hard. The song also showcased Dr. John at his funkiest and was the highlight of the night.

Dr. John also featured several Louis Armstrong covers, from his latest album Ske-Dat-Dee-Dat..The Spirit of Satch. “What a Wonderful World” was redone in an uptempo funk style. The traditional “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” was given a more standard, somber reading.

Trombonist and musical director Sarah Morrow added to songs with effects pedal-laden trombone work all night. She was a constant blur of motion and helped to keep the energy up throughout the night.

The bluesy side of Dr. John’s playing was showcased with covers of Earl King’s classic “Mama and Papa” and Lead Belly’s “Goodnight, Irene.” “Mama and Papa” showed off his guitar chops. “Such a Night” displayed Dr. John’s piano skills with one of his liveliest, strolling solos of the night.

The night featured many styles of New Orleans music and showcased Dr. John’s versatility. His otherworldly piano skills and mastery of so many different styles of music is a testament to Dr. John’s ability. He is incomparable. It was an outstanding night with one of New Orleans’ greatest musical legends.

Set: Iko Iko, Shoo Fly Don’t Bother Me, Locked Down, What a Wonderful World, Big Shot, I Walk On Guilded Splinters, Right Place Wrong Time, Mama and Papa, Goodnight Irene, Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, Big Chief, Such a Night

JamBase | Such A Night
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