Mac Rebennack

Good Times In New Orleans 1958-62

(Soul Jam Records/Discovery Records)

Mac Rebennack is better known these days as Dr John, that very name bringing back memories of his spooky early morning performance wrapping up the Bath Music Festival…but here he is in earlier times, in the studio embellishing various recordings on keys and on guitar.

Over the thirty cuts on this new release, he shows why he was an indispensible player at New Orleans’ Casino Recording Studio.  The influence of Mac’s biggest influence Professor Longhair abounds in the piano work.

Apparently the studio owner Johnny Vincent of Ace Records took advantage of the player’s youth and aid him a relative pittance for his hard work. This was with Huey Smith, Frankie Ford, Joe Tex and others!

This is moving, lively jukebox material. Highlights include the brass-laden guitar instrumental Good Times by Mac, New Orleans by Big Boy Myles, the strident and beautifully sung rocker from Carl Greenstreet, Aw! Who which sounds very Coasters in style and is by Bat Carroll.

Then Joe & Ann’s Curiosity mines a Mockingbird type vein. Ronnie & The Delinquents give us a fast rhumba with a classic middle eight on Bad Neighbourhood. Jerry Byrne belts out Lights Out, a song familiar to Dr Feelgood fans. Sugar Boy Crawford croons strongly on I Cried. Mac’s instrumental Sahara hits a real desert mood, tinkling cymbals, gritty low-register sax and tumbling piano that seems to channel Monk.

The fast-rockin’ Lucy Brown by Chuck Carbo shows his rich voice off well. The organ chug of Talk That Talk brings us Drits & Dravy. The album ends with Mac’s own Storm Warning, tremelo’s guitar and ominous drum rolls to the fore then smashing into a hard Bo Diddley groove. A feast of great earthy 45s on this one here disc, bargain!

Pete Sargeant  





Mac Rebennack aka Dr. John ‘Good Times In New Orleans 1958-62’ is out now on Discovery Records (UK).

For more information visit the label’s website here:

Mac Rebennack