Dr. John

An Introduction to Dr. John

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Mac Rebennack made a series of demo-like recordings for Huey P. Meaux's Crazy Cajun imprint in the early '60s well before his official transformation into the Dr. John persona in 1967 and before his early-'70s hits "Right Place Wrong Time" and "Such a Night" brought him a wider audience. As such, these recordings literally are an introduction to Rebennack, since they were among the first he recorded as a bandleader, and all the essential ingredients of his later style are pretty much in place on these sides, although a certain intangible spark seems missing at times and the demo feel is obvious. "Somebody Tryin' to Hoodoo Me" and the impressive "I Got Lonesome-Itis" wouldn't sound too far out of place on one of Dr. John's later albums, though, and the loose-limbed "Dog House Blues" is a wonderful slice of pure Crescent City R&B. Pleasant, if a bit understated, these recordings don't necessarily make the best introduction to Dr. John, but serious fans of the Doctor will want to pick them up, either in this incarnation or Edsel's 1999 version of the same tracks called The Crazy Cajun Recordings.

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