Singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and producer Dr. John—one of the most colorful characters to come from New Orleans, Louisiana—is interviewed here by Nick Spitzer, producer and host of the syndicated radio show “American Routes.”
During the 2013 interview, Dr. John, aka Mac Rebennack, shares stories of growing up in New Orleans, learning boogie woogie piano from family members including his aunt, and connecting with records via his father, who sold then-called “race records,” spiritual, hillbilly, and jazz.
The conversation includes a discussion of Professor Longhair, Huey Piano Smith, and other piano players who would influence Dr. John’s style, and of the artist’s musical path, starting as a studio musician when he was thirteen or fourteen, and eventually becoming a talent scout and an arranger and producer working with artists including Charles Brown and Joe Tex.
At the piano, Dr. John demonstrates the piano styles of Professor Longhair and Huey Piano Smith, and performs “Lowdown, Worried, and Blue” from his 1982 album “Dr. John Plays Mac Rebennack: The Legendary Sessions, Vol. 2.”
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