Dr. John Brings a Lil’ “Satch” to South Florida.
– review of the show at the Parker Playhouse (Ft. Lauderdale).
The torrential rain made for a difficult drive down to Fort Lauderdale, but dark and gloomy weather is always fitting for a Dr. John show. Born as Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack, the good doctor has been wowing fans for over half a century, and at 74 years old, he shows no signs of slowing down. The six-time Grammy award winner is currently touring with his newest band known as the Nite Trippers and promoting his most recent album, Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch. Needless to say, the Doctor threw down a solid 2 hour set stocked with a slew of his old standards, as well as a few newbies sprinkled in here and there for good measure.
In true Dr. John Fashion, he sent the Nite Trippers out first to warm us up with a new instrumental, Croaker Courtboullion. This short little jam featured musical director, Sarah Morrow, on Trombone, who made herself known from the get go. She fired us up with a fervent introduction for the doctor who quickly launched into his standard opener of Iko Iko and Shoo Fly. That was followed up by the always enjoyable Life is a One Way Ticket and Wild Honey. As the band settled into a dark and funky groove, Dr. John delivered a new tune called The Monkey Speaks His Mind. A cool tune that just sends a chill down your spine. Next on the set list was How Come My Dog Don’t Bark When You Come Around? In addition, The Joe Liggins cover, Goin Back to New Orleans is a chipper little tune that the doctor often throws down early. Then came one of my favorite tunes, I Walk on Guilded Splinters, the ultimate in dark, dank voodoo music!
Other great tunes included Let the Good Times Roll, featuring Rebennack on the guitar, which is always a nice indulgence. Right Place, Wrong Time was performed with serious zeal and one that brought back many great memories. The Satchmo portion of the set included a rocking take on What a Wonderful World. Fans were on their feet by now, so Goodnight Irene kept the party going. I especially enjoyed Dr. John’s take on Big Chief, the classic Professor Longhair Mardi Gras anthem.
This amazing jam session was closed out with Such a Night, a fairly predictable encore, but always a sweet song to send us on our way. Once again The Night Trippers played Dr. John out as he swaggered off stage and gracefully thanked his audience.