Monday, June 9, 2008

Dr. John / NY Times feature

Mac Rebennack, the 67-year-old New Orleans pianist, guitarist and songwriter better known as Dr. John, carries the city’s lore in his fingers, his scratchy voice and his memory. He has lived in New York City and on Long Island since the 1980s, but when he revisits his birthplace it’s as if he never left. New Orleans culture, he said in his ever-surprising vocabulary, has “wacknosity” — things only New Orleanians do.
In late April he was back in his old hometown, revisiting his past and present. He performed during the first weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, introducing some of the songs on the angry new album he released this week, “City That Care Forgot” (429 Records). (Dr. John is to perform in New York City on June 17 at the Highline Ballroom.)