Review: Dr John and the Lower 911

Dr John. Photo credit: Mark Mitchinson

Dr John and the Lower 911
(Under the Bridge, Friday 1st July. Part of Bluesfest London. Review by Fran Hardcastle.)

The visit of Mac Rebbenack to Under the Bridge on Friday night brought with it a human definition of the essence of cool.

Sharp suited down to his snake-skin shoes, Dr John (as Rebbenack is universally known) and his unmistakable sound brought the room to attention. The infamous languid drawl was delivered with the perfection of a studio record. Working tirelessly through a long set of new and old classics, Dr John offered lyrically phrased piano licks covering preaching gospel, soul and intense blues. Support came from the powerfully grooving rhythm section of the Lower 911. Silky backing vocals came from bassist David Barard and guitarist John Fohl proffered solos with an understated bite.
Dr John. Photo credit: Mark Mitchinson
Tunes such as Wild Honey and the rabble rousing Renegade got every head bouncing. Lyrical content swept through the witty spoken word of Renegade to the political messages brought by Only in America and Save Our Wetlands. All neatly packaged in an insouciantly delivered stage show, skulls and voodoo paraphernalia dispersed over piano and organ and prayer like dances thrown in for good measure to a greedy gleeful audience. At nearly 71, Mac Rebennack’s stamina is hard to beat.
Dr John. Photo credit: Mark Mitchinson

Categories: miscellaneous

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