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"CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL" - A New Series Created By William Mesnik, The Mind Behind “Mesmerized”- EPISODE # 28- " VOODOO GOES MAINSTREAM" - FEATURING THE ALBUM "IN THE RIGHT PLACE" By DR. JOHN IN HIGH DEFINITION WITH NARRATIVE

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FROM THE 8 TRACK TREASURE CHEST OF CAPTAIN BILLY!!

“VOODOO GOES MAINSTREAM

EPISODE #20 IN THE RIGHT PLACE by Dr. John (Atco, 1973)

By the time Mac Rebennack died, in 2019, he had become a cuddly toy – a weird cultural phenomenon experienced by only a few of America’s reformed rogues (I can think of Snoop Dogg and John Waters), who start off as criminals and deviants, and end up as national treasures. In Mac’s case, as an ex-con junkie with a shot-off finger (the consequence of some gunplay) – he had to switch from guitar to keyboard, and became a premier session player on the west coast.

When he first appeared as a solo artist, with the album Gris Gris in 1968, Dr. John The Night Tripper had emerged from his chrysalis as the most prominent purveyor of a particular brand of New Orleans funky darkness. Fast forward to 2013: you can see the Doctor being awarded an honorary Doctorate from Tulane, and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In the Right Place was a major turning point in this process of national approbation. Making it to #24 on the charts, this record featured two hit singles: Right Place, Wrong Time, and Such a Night. It was produced by Allen Toussaint, the undisputed architect of the New Orleans sound, and was supported by another cadre of royals, The Meters. These masters polished Mac’s voodoo funk to a glossy commercial sheen, and cemented the Dr. John legacy. I remember, as a young teenager, feeling skeeved-out upon first hearing Gris Gris, and thinking it was too murky for my naive ears. At 19, I decided to call on the Doctor once again, and picked up Gumbo, the album where Mac pays tribute to Professor Longhair and other N.O. staples. That album was a musicological dissertation, and I absorbed its syllabus with gusto. By the time Right Place Wrong Time came along I was an acolyte, and I was not alone.

Hurricane Katrina taught us to appreciate the fragile cultural legacy of New Orleans – (an essential component of America’s musical heritage) – as something that could be simply washed away. In 2008, Mac put out The City that Care Forgot, becoming an ambassador and tireless advocate for the city that reared him, the city that he loved. His life is an exemplary demonstration of the redemptive power of music, and the imperative of expressing one’s essential truth without compromise.

1. “Right Place, Wrong Time” 2. “Same Old Same Old” 3. “Just the Same” 4. “Qualified” 5. “Traveling Mood” 6. “Peace Brother Peace” 7. “Life” 8. “Such a Night” 9. “Shoo Fly Marches On” 10. “I Been Hoodood” 11. “Cold Cold Cold”


By Rich Buckland 09/26/2021 08:25 PM

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