On September 18, Omnivore Recordings is heading to the bayou with one of New Orleans' favorite sons, Mac Rebennack - a.k.a. Dr. John! The Atco/Atlantic Singles 1968-1974 collects the Good Doctor's A- and B-sides, from both the U.S. and the U.K., as issued on the Atco and Atlantic labels during that prolific period. These 22 tracks take the piano-pounding Night Tripper from his debut album, Gris-Gris, through Desitively Bonnaroo, produced by fellow N'awlins legend Allen Toussaint.
Though he started out as a guitarist, a gunshot injury to Mac Rebennack's left ring finger in 1960 saw to it that he would concentrate on the piano, where his style was influenced by the great Professor Longhair. Though he recorded the album in Los Angeles, Rebennack masterminded the fusion of Louisiana voodoo chants, R&B and funk that became Gris-Gris. Though he originally intended for his friend Ronnie Barron to "play" the larger-than-life character of Dr. John, with Rebennack serving as musical director, the veteran session musician stepped into the voodoo doctor's shoes himself - a role that's now suited him for over 45 years. A collaboration with fellow New Orleans great Allen Toussaint and The Meters, 1973's In the Right Place yielded the hit single "Right Place, Wrong Time" (produced by Allen Toussaint and featuring The Meters) and brought Dr. John's singularly funky blend to an even larger audience. Dr. John left Atlantic after Desitively Bonnaroo, subsequently recording for labels including United Artists and A&M's Horizon imprint before retreating from the public eye for much of the 1980s. Using that time to conquer his longtime addictions, Dr. John began a new chapter as a grand old man of New Orleans music - a role he plays to this today both onstage (HBO's series Treme) and off. Since returning with 1989's standards celebration In a Sentimental Mood, he's followed his muse in grand and happily unexpected style, time and time again.
The 22 tracks comprising The Atco/Atlantic Singles capture the six-time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee creating his signature sound, taking in psychedelia, classic New Orleans tunes, and his lone Top 10 Pop entry, "Right Place, Wrong Time." Gene Sculatti has penned the new liner notes. You'll want to be in the right place on September 18 for this reissue! You can peruse the track listing below and pre-order at Amazon!
Dr, John, The Atco/Atlantic Singles 1968-1974 (Omnivore, 2015) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- The Patriotic Flag Waver (Mono Long Version) (Atco promo single 45-6697, 1968)
- Mama Roux (Atco 45-6635, 1968)
- Jump Sturdy (Atco 45-6635, 1968)
- I Walk on Gilded Splinters (Part 1) (Atco 45-6607, 1968)
- I Walk on Gilded Splinters (Part 2) (Atco 45-6607, 1968)
- Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya
- Loop Garoo (Atco 45-6755, 1970)
- Wash Mama Wash (Atco 45-6755, 1970)
- Iko Iko (Atco 45-6882, 1972)
- Huey Smith Medley (Atco 45-6882, 1972)
- Wang Dang Doodle (Atco 45-6898, 1972)
- Big Chief (Atco 45-6898, 1972)
- A Man of Many Words - Buddy Guy with Eric Clapton and Dr. John (Atco 45-6890, 1972)
- Right Place, Wrong Time (Atco 45-6914, 1973)
- I Been Hoodooed (Atco 45-6914, 1973)
- Such a Night (Atco 45-6937, 1973)
- Cold Cold Cold (Atco 45-6937, 1973)
- Life (Atlantic U.K. K 10329, 1973)
- Let's Make a Better World (Atco 45-6971, 1974)
- Me - You = Loneliness (Atco 45-6971, 1974)
- (Everybody Wanna Get Rich) Rite Away (Atco 45-6957, 1974)
- Mos'Scocious (Atco 45-6957, 1974)
Rob Baillargeon says
This is great news. I wish someone would anthologize his wonderfully quirky mid-80's song "Jet Set". So far as I know that is only available on a long out of print 12" single. But this is a great start.
Magnus Hägermyr says
Maybe the walk with his mandatory cane from the stage door to the piano-stool was in a slower tempo than it use to be at The Copenhagen Jazz Festival the other week but once there (at the piano-stool) Dr john (and his hot quartet) was as firework-ish as ever. So you're so right Joe, he's still follows his muse time and time again.
Jason Michael says
Is there any info as to who is remastering this collection? I picked up the Real Gone reissue of "Gris Gris" a couple of years ago and it sounds great as mastered by Vic Anesini. I would be really happy if he did the honours on this one as well.
Mark Bumgardner says
"Right Place, Wrong Time" must be one of the coolest songs ever to be played on Top 40 radio. I never get tired of hearing it.