Patty & I went to see Dr. John at The Dakota in Minneapolis this past Tuesday. It was incredible. Some of you may not know who he is, but he is a phenomenally important musician. He’s best known for songs like “Right Place, Wrong Time,” and “Such a Night.” Seriously, go read his Wikipedia article right now. I’ll wait…really. He’s a big fellow and he sits so calmly at the piano while playing this incredibly intricate and powerful music. I, on the other hand, tend to resemble a mental patient who got into the Red Bull while I’m playing. This guy makes it look so easy.
Here’s the really cool thing. His real name is Mac Rebennack and he started off his career as a session guitar player; by all accounts a really good one too. Well, he sustained a injury to his left hand (he was shot!) and he was no longer able to play the guitar in quite the same way, so he switched to the piano and just decided to be great at that too. Just like that! If that’s not a lesson in perseverance, I don’t know what is.
The show was great from start to finish. It was just him at the piano, featuring enough boogie-woogie, blues, and other New Orleans-flavored sounds to get even the über-polite Minneapolis crowd loosened up. (Trust me, that’s not always easy to do.) The biggest crowd reaction probably came during “Basin Street Blues” when the good Doctor got a few digs in at a certain President, Vice-President and New Orleans Mayor. I’m guessing it had something to do with Hurricane Katrina. Again, that’s just a guess.
This guy is so good, I can even forgive him for doing the theme song to “Blossom” in the 1990’s. Yeah, you forgot about that, didn’t you?