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Interview:
Dr. John Still Concerned About New Orleans
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Dr. John was gratified when his 2008 album, “The City That Care Forget” — a scathing look at post-Katrina New Orleans — won a Grammy Award this year for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

But he’s quick to point out that his intent was greater than just putting another trophy on his mantle.

“I didn’t do it to win an award,” says Dr. John (real name Mac Rebennack Jr.), a fixture in the Crescent City’s rich musical heritage since he started recording in the late ’50s, switching from guitar to piano after being shot in the hand while defending a high school classmate. “It was something I had to do to get my head screwed on straight about all the terrible things that went on in my hometown — and I still see stuff going on, so you may hear more about that on the next record.

“It’s not just frustration. It’s your culture and you’re watching it being wiped out and nobody gives a damn about. We’ve contributed a lot of stuff to this world. I’m outraged, man, and ... I’m not gonna keep quiet about it.”

When that noise comes, however, is anybody’s guess.

“It’ll happen when it’s supposed to — I don’t think of it any other way,” Dr. John says. “I leave it in the big (Lord’s) hands, and that’ll be correct. In my hands, I’ll mess it up. The music will come, and I’ll be patient until it does.”



Dr. John performs at 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday (June 27) at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Tickets are $35. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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