Musician Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack, who gained worldwide acclaim – and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame membership – as New Orleans legend Dr. John, is the focus of a new all-star tribute, a live concert taped in New Orleans in 2014 that will be available as a two-CD/DVD and Blu-ray set on October 14th. The Musical Mojo of Dr. John features performances by John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen, Mavis Staples, Jason Isbell, Ryan Bingham, and numerous other icons of the New Orleans music scene, all of them celebrating Dr. John’s six decades as one of the Crescent City’s most influential exports.
Saluting the “Nite Tripper” and his party-heavy hometown, Fogerty and band unleash a raucous take on the anthemic “New Orleans” (watch the video above). Written by Joseph Royster and Frank Guida, who also co-wrote the freewheeling Sixties hit “If You Wanna Be Happy,” “New Orleans” was first recorded by Gary U.S. Bonds in 1960 and has since been covered by dozens of acts, including Hank Williams Jr., the Kingsmen, Joan Jett and the Blues Brothers.
Taking the audience on a celebratory stroll through some of the city’s most distinctive sights, sounds and even smells, “New Orleans” touts the virtues of Basin Street, Dixieland jazz Southern belles, magnolias and honeysuckle. While Fogerty and band, which includes the project’s musical director, producer and bassist Don Was, are supplemented by a tasty horn section and spirited backup singers, the crowd that packed New Orleans’ Saenger Theatre revels in the opportunity to get in on the tune’s familiar “hey, hey, hey, yeah ” refrain.
“It was very moving to have all these people paying tribute to me, but I just treated it like it was another show,” the six-time Grammy winner said of the event. “The whole night felt pretty special, and everyone’s performance was spiritually correct.”
The 22 tracks on the collection, all of which were either originally written or popularized by Dr. John throughout his more than 60 years as a performer, are supplemented by an interview segment and bonus cuts on the DVD/Blu-ray.
Now 75 years old, Dr. John continues to tour, with dates scheduled through the remainder of the year. On October 27th, he will be honored at the Jazz Foundation of America’s “A Great Night in Harlem” at the Apollo Theater.
Here’s the track listing for The Musical Mojo of Dr. John:
1. “Right Place Wrong Time” – Dr. John and Bruce Springsteen
2. “Blow Wind Blow” – Jason Isbell
3. “My Indian Red” – Cyril Neville
4. “Somebody Changed the Lock” – Anders Osborne and Bill Kreutzmann
5. “Please Send Me Someone to Love” – Dr. John, Aaron Neville and Charles Neville
6. “Junko Partner” – George Porter Jr. and Zigaboo Modeliste
7. “Since I Fell for You” – Irma Thomas
8. “Stack-A-Lee” – Tab Benoit
9. “Life” – Allen Toussaint
10. “Street People” – Shannon McNally
11. “Goodnight Irene” – Dave Malone
12. “Big Chief” – Big Chief Monk Boudreaux
1. “Familiar Reality” – Widespread Panic and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band Horns
2. “You Lie” – Warren Haynes
3. “Traveling Mood” – Chuck Leavell
4. “Back by the River” – Ryan Bingham
5. “Let’s Make a Better World” – John Boutté
6. “Lay My Burden Down” – Mavis Staples
7. “New Orleans” – John Fogerty
8. “Come Rain or Come Shine” – Dr. John and Terence Blanchard
9. “I Walk on Guilded Splinters” – Dr. John and Sarah Morrow
10. “Such a Night” – Dr. John and Sarah Morrow