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Right Place, Right Time

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Album Review

The truly cynical might suggest that this archival live recording was only released in 2006 to capitalize on the revival of interest in New Orleans music that happened after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina; the album title, Right Place, Right Time: Live at Tipitina's, playing on the name of a song that doesn't appear in the set list but just happens to be Dr. John Rebennack's most well-known song, only adds to the whiff of exploitation. That said, this 1989 recording from New Orleans' famed Tipitina's is surprisingly worthwhile for fans and relative newcomers alike. Recorded around the same time that Dr. John was attempting to nose into the pop mainstream with the collection of pop standards In a Sentimental Mood, the set largely ignores that commercially minded record (save for a surprisingly winsome take on Gerry & the Pacemakers' "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying") in favor of some old favorites. "I Walk on Guilded Splinters," "Junco Partner," and "Let the Good Times Roll" may not be the definitive versions, but Dr. John is in fine voice throughout, and his playing is typically loose and swinging. By the time a rollicking extended take on his classic "Such a Night," featuring a joyous piano solo, closes the set, anyone not completely charmed is far too hard to please.


Born: November 21, 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, he...
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