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DR. JOHN, or Mac Rebennack as known to friends and family, is universally celebrated as the living embodiment of the rich musical heritage exclusive to New Orleans. His very colorful musical career began in the 1950s when he wrote and played guitar on some of the greatest records to come out of the Crescent City, including recordings by Professor Longhair, Art Neville, Joe Tex and Frankie Ford.
A notorious gun incident forced the artist to give up the guitar and concentrate on organ and piano. Further trouble at home sent Dr. John west in the 1960s, where he continued to be in demand as a session musician, playing on records by Sonny and Cher, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin and The Rolling Stones' infamous Exile On Main St. to name a few.
During that time he also launched his solo career, developing the charismatic persona of Dr. John The Nite Tripper. Adorned with voodoo charms and regalia, a legend was born with his breakthrough 1968 album Gris-gris, which established his unique blend of voodoo mysticism, funk, rhythm & blues, psychedelic rock and Creole roots.
Several of his many career highlights include the masterful album Sun, Moon and Herbs in 1971 which included cameos from Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger and 1973’s In The Right Place, which contained thechart hits “Right Place Wrong Time” and “Such A Night.”
Dr. John is a 5x Grammy Award winner - 1989, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2012. In 2004, his musical love letter to the city of New Orleans, “N’awlinz Dis Dat or D’udda,” was awarded the prestigious Académie Charles Cros 57ème Palmarès award in France. It was the first time since the 1970s that an artist from North America received the award.
He has also received six other nominations over the years. In 2007 he was nominated for a Grammy for “Sippiana Hericane,” his Hurricane Katrina benefit disc. Other awards include the American Societyof Young Musicians 2007 Trailblazer Award.
After Hurricane Katrina and government bungles bashed New Orleans in 2005, Dr. John immediately stepped up to the plate with both generous relief fund-raising concerts and recordings and angry public words of protest. In 2008 he released “City That Care Forgot,” an album winning him a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album.
2010’s release, TRIBAL, saw Dr. John revisiting that classic, swampy gris-gris style that put him on the map. In 2012, Dr. John released Locked Down, the Grammy winning collaboration with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, who produced and played guitar. Rolling Stone gave the record 4 out of 5 stars, calling it "...the wildest record Rebennack has made in many years...full of muscled, vintage R&B grooves, fevered soloing, psychedelic arrangements and oracular mumbo jumbo." The Los Angeles Times described the release as "... something magical, the embodiment of everything he’s done but pushed in a clear new direction." After a half century of creating music for others and himself, Dr. John continues to write, arrange, produce and interpret with a passion that has yet to wane.