Dr. John

The good gris gris doctor of New Orleans keyboards, the hoodoo guru otherwise known as Mac Rebennack, has been puttin' some serious medicine on the 88s since the 1950s. He was mostly a guitarist then, working Crescent City studios. But one of his fingers had a close encounter with a bullet during a barroom brawl, requiring a shift in emphasis to the ivories, where he followed Professor Longhair's spirit to iconic status. Along the way there was a sizable hit ("Right Place, Wrong Time") and countless, quirky high points, from psychedelic voodoo invocations of his alter-ego ("I Walk on Gilded Splinters"), to covering the NOLA canon and dousing jazz standards from the likes of Duke Ellington and Johnny Mercer with prescription-level doses of cayenne. Since Katrina and associated political shenanigans conspired to nearly eviscerate his hometown, Mac has become an outspoken critic of the neglect, waste, and stupidity. Last year's City That Care Forgot (429), with a photo of the devastated Lower Ninth Ward on the cover, was a politically charged, often enraged, straight-talking commentary on the malfeasance ("This ain't over, don't close that door/There's a whole lot of shit to be answered for"), even while wrapped in the irresistible sounds of the erstwhile Big Easy. The last few times Mac's been through town, he's done the solo piano thang, literally leafing through his vast songbook. This time, he's bringing his Lower 911 band, so brace the levees, do a little second line, or get out the way. $35-$55 at 7 p.m.; $30-$50 at 9:30 p.m.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays. Starts: June 30. Continues through July 1, 2009

 
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