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All by Hisself (Live At The Lonestar)

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Album Review

Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) created his own label after many years in collaboration with Joel Dorn's Hyena Records. The result is an imprint called Skinji Brim that will issue Rebennack's archived live recordings as well as recordings by other artists that "ain't found a home nowhere." All by Hisself: Live at the Lonestar is the first volume of over 20 projected! What a beginning. This is a stone-solo piano outing recorded over two nights in 1986 at New York's premier roots music nightspot. The sound is phenomenal, the material is stellar — "Stagger Lee," "Swanee River Boogie," "Such a Night," "Junco Partner," "Iko, Iko," "Right Place, Wrong Time," and many others — and the performance is off the hook. Easily one of the best Dr. John live recordings, it sets a standard for capturing solo performers live and in the raw. In addition to one hour-plus CD, there is a bonus DVD included in the package. It's an intimate video of Rebennack sitting and playing music, talking about music, New Orleans, and the lineage of the great piano players from the Crescent City by a man whose entire life has been informed by that tradition. It's a one-of-a-kind portrait that is worth the price all by itself. This is the Christmas present for roots music fans in 2003.


Born: 21 November 1940 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although he didn't become widely known until the 1970s, Dr. John had been active in the music industry since the late '50s, when the teenager was still known as Mac Rebennack. A formidable boogie and blues pianist with a lovable growl of a voice, his most enduring achievements fused with New Orleans R&B, rock, and Mardi Gras craziness to come up with his own brand of "voodoo" music. He's also quite accomplished and enjoyable when sticking to purely traditional forms of blues and R&B. On record,...
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