New Orleans'Mac Rebennack has come full circle: From his earliest days as a French Quarter guitarist and then key-tickling jellyroll wunderkind on recordings for the top L.A. artists, to his hit-making stint as Cajun voodoo priest Dr. John The Night Tripper, to his most recent revered status as one of New Orleans' greatest living singer/pianists. After a decade or more toiling in relative obscurity, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two years ago.
There ain't no way to confuse Dr. John with anybody else.
Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach produced Locked Down, Dr. John's 2012 album, which stirs everything he's done before into a potent gumbo: Blues, R&B, Cajun music, torch songs, funk and Afrobeat. It took the Grammy last month for Best Blues Album.
By all accounts, the artist has been invigorated by this recent recognition and success; his tiouring band is called the Nite Trippers. And even though he's 72, on the cover of Locked Down, he's wearing his good ol' voodoo priest Night Tripper headdress again. He looks ready for anything.