A video of Dr. John performing at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2006. The video is very good throughout but there is a bit of an audio issue in the beginning of the set. Stay with it. Thanks to the Newport Jazz Festival and Funk and Reggae for sharing.
The Fine Print: Special thanks to our friends at YouTube and the Newport Jazz Festival for sharing this video of Dr. John performing. All rights belong to respective artist. Special thanks to Funk & Regagge on MV for posting it. You are advised to run the sound through your stereo system and the video through your flat screen. You are also advised to turn it up. Summer Weekend Concerts are curated and edited by Perception Engineering and the Media Bunker. Turn Dr. John’s concert on and get to the Big Easy without even leaving town..except in spirit. Enjoy.
It is spring, 1975, and I am trying to organize a new apartment.
The apartment is spare…only the essentials: a very high quality stereo system (the legendary JBL SA 600 powering a pair of JBL studio monitors. Up against the wall, my beloved, well-curated vinyl collection—over 2000 records that cover every form of music from Dixieland to symphony, courtesy of years spent working in media and broadcasting when vinyl was still the dominant music distribution medium.
There’s a bed, some pillows, a closet full of tennis racquets and workout clothes and shoes, one frying pan, and a small, one cup-at-at-time coffee maker. Plus…of course…an electric typewriter for writing.
Two Wassily chairs, a round breakfast table and four companion chairs, and a lot of art that needs to hung on the walls but that is, at the time, leaning against them.
But there’s one new addition: a box, professionally packed and shipped, on the breakfast table. It’s the monthly shipment of new records I should be listening to from my pal Niles Siegel, the music wizard from New York City. I’ve known Niles since the late sixties and was with him when he made a career change that turned him into a legend—going from a working NYC advertising photographer to a hustling music industry record promoter, getting the right tunes on the air at the right time. One of the side benefits of being Siegel’s pal, is that you’re on his mailing list, which means a package, once a month, of the latest and best music. You can read about Nile’s rather incredible career via this link. It was through Siegel that I discovered Keith Jarrett—the brilliant jazz pianist known for his solo concerts. Siegel’s range is wide and so you never know what’s waiting to be discovered.
I open the package and inside a short note: “Pierce….a collection of Dr. John’s music. Listen to all of it. You’ll love it. New Orleans musician but so much more. A very unique talent. Trust me.”
And so I spent the night listening to the music of Mac Rebennack, AKA Dr. John (Wikipedia), a New Orleans musical legend, the Night Tripper, the creator of a very singular blend of rockin’ voodoo blues flavored with New Orleans musical spices. A unique talent indeed.
Dr. John music is always special, colored by the cultures and sounds of New Orleans but looking forward, into rock and roll, and rock and psychedelics and, of course, jazz, and never slavishly repeating what had gone before. He had a fear of a great cultural gift—the music of New Orleans—being trapped too much in past and so he pushed it forward, taking the best parts of the old and combining those with the most adventurous parts of the new. He was the man for the job, because he had all the talent to do it, not just as a musician, but a doctor with a specialization in music tradition and combination.
Dr. John had a unique sometimes growling voice combined with the stage presence of someone who has spent most of his life in smoky, loud juke joints. His surprisingly expressive and very distinctive voice was paired with rollicking piano stylings, part rock, part honky-tonk, part blues, creole late night bar-and-club. He grew up under rough circumstances, lived a rather tap-dancing-on-nitroglycerin lifestyle, but found his groove—literally, initially—as a working studio sideman, playing on records with everyone from Sonny and Cher to Paul McCartney. He played with the Rolling Stones, James Taylor and Carly Simon, Maria Muldaur, The Band, Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band, Niles Lofgren, Joe Walsh, Clarence Clemons, Billy Preston, Aaron Neville and Aretha Franklin. And on and on and on. While best known for his solo albums, he was the quintessential studio musician—one of the best of all time– full of new ideas, musically unique, and technically gifted enough to pull off anything he could conceive and he could conceive a lot. Dr. John was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 (John Legend did his honors) and received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Tulane University in 2013. Also in his Tulane class: the Dalai Lama. If you’re known by the company you keep, Dr. John was music and cultural royalty.
Fast forward 42 years. April 2017. Oxford, Mississippi, the home of the University of Mississippi, better known as Ole Miss. It’s my annual trip to the town’s Double Decker Art and Music Festival. We go for the art, stay for the music and food. This year, as in years past, I’m shooting the music performances. The festival organizers have very graciously provided me with an all-access photographic pass and, featured tonight is the legend himself: Dr. John. It will be the best of all possible worlds for me—up close and personal access to his concert and his music as the background for the shooting. Sometimes, things happen because they are destiny and the connection created decades ago will now be closed as I have the chance to go face-to-face with the legend himself.
He’s slower than before—76 years old—but the trademark growl in his voice is as strong as ever, the voodoo artifacts occupy, as always, the side of his piano facing the audience, and he’s still wearing snakeskin Gucci loafers and checkerboard socks. A pony tail of significant length stretches out from underneath his straw Fedora. He is walked onto the stage by one of his crew and he seems weaker than I’ve seen him in the past. Moving slowly, he slides into position on the piano bench, adjust his song book and bench, punches in a few notes and chords and then comes alive as his oft-played collection of hits and classics pours out with striking little piano runs and solos delivered by the Doctor himself who’s backed by an effortlessly talented band that’s heavy on horns combined with a thumping rhythm section, and as the performance takes off, he gives me one last right-into-the-lens look and disappears into his life—his music, his singular sound–suddenly energetic and alive and in sync with his music and his audience, simultaneously he lifts off, lighter now than before, energized in the way that only performance can provide, and rises into the moment and the notes and the songs. It’s a form of magic when the greats take the stage and get into it, and Dr. John is one of the greats…and tonight he’s into it
Talking about Dr. John is one thing, having the privilege of photographing him in performance while listening to his music is another terrific experience, but the only way to truly get a grip on Dr. John is to listen to his music. And so we’re making that very easy, Big Easy easy, really, with a special playlist of some of his great tunes, courtesy of our friends at Spotify. Punch the button and get your groove on. But wait….there’s more…as this weekend we will be posting a Dr. John concert for our Summer Weekend Concert Series. As always with music through this site, run it through your big sound system, kick back, and have your own personal Dr. John concert. You’ll feel better.
The Fine Print. First, thanks to our friends at YouTube and Blues Piano Sheets for the really great video of Dr. John performing “Such a Night”, which was posted in 2015. All rights belong to respective artists….we thank them for sharing. Photos of Dr. John performing, (C) 2017, donald pierce. If you are interested in using any of these photos, drop us an email and let us know where, when, and how and we’ll get it sorted for you. Text (C) 2016 donald pierce. Special thanks to our pals across the pond at Spotify who make it oh-so-easy to create and post playlists. Also special thanks to the Double Decker Art & Music Festival in Oxford, Mississippi for enabling photographic access for the Dr. John shooting. You need to check that festival out if you like art and/or music. That’s all folks….read the story, link to the music, and appreciate the unique talent of Dr. John.
The Inside Track
Why does Christmas and Holiday music always seem so magical?
The easy answer is….it’s traditional. It’s something we look forward to, something we expect, a tradition with which we are all totally familiar. And now, of course, there are more channels for Christmas music than ever before–from CDs, radio, satellite radio, streaming internet sites, TV music channels, even the music beds for commercials (Coke does a great job of breaking new Christmas songs via TV commercial).
If you want to hear some Christmas music, you have a lot of options, starting in early November and running through New Year’s.
Christmas music comes out of the box once a year and when it does, one resonates with the sounds of holiday seasons past, stirring warm memories, and it’s all good. And Christmas itself is tied to your past memories. During the Christmas season, the events of the past year pile up like leaves on a just raked fall lawn, just in time for holiday retrospection and New Year’s resolutions. And, of course, Christmas itself is something of a depository of your entire life history and that of your family. It’s where great memories from the past are remembered and retold again and new memories for the future are created. And it all needs a sound track.
Music is very good at that—bringing back memories. Five bars into “My Girl” by the Temptations and suddenly you’re back in the fraternity house at a post-game party, squeezing someone tight with one hand and holding a drink in the other.
But the resonance of music with memories may not really be the impetus behind our affection for holiday music.
Perhaps the real reason is that Christmas/holiday music is a known commodity—my goodness, we’ve been listening to the stuff since we were old enough to recognize sounds—and each year we hear a huge group of new interpretations of Christmas music (every hot recording artist puts out a Christmas album, shamelessly promoted by artist and record company alike) which serves to both enlighten us about the potential of individual expression and to make old songs new. “New water over old rocks” a mountaineering friend of mine calls it and I think that sums up the situation pretty well.
The tradition builds on itself every year, as new favorites emerge, new interpretations shake up the Christmas music landscape, time passes and the meaning and affection for the season evolves and changes. And, Christmas music cuts across a lot of demographic lines: young, old, rich, poor, white, black, urban, suburban, country. It’s a unifying soundtrack for a unifying season and even when you know the song, you may still be surprised at the rendition, interpretation, or production.
The re-casting of traditional songs combined with the influx of new soon-to-be favorites produces a warm and memory-filled soundscape for the season.
So turn it on, play it loud, enjoy the memories and build some new ones.
It’s Christmas music–one of our very best traditions.
The Nightshift publishes direct links to the world’s greatest English language newspapers to facilitate research and encourage understanding of the world’s events of the day.
Today, we added the New York Times Morning Briefing to give you a brief overview of the news and Golf WRX, a specialized news/reviews/information site that covers golf, professional golf, and golf equipment.
The Fine Print. Images courtesy of GettyImages.com, who have the photographic history of the 20th and 21st century on file. All rights belong to them or their designate. This image has not been altered in anyway. We thank them for sharing. This post is number 2095 for this site (we stay busy overnight). The Nightshift is a continually evolving experiment in news communications and is a production of Perception Engineering and The Media Bunker. Currently, The Nightshift staff is developing a very streamlined graphic/display approach to news distribution. That doesn’t mean we won’t return to the People, Places, and Events for Today format that we have used for the last year but it does mean that constant development of the site is one of the reasons we produce it. We also re-freshed links to the top five, which had been de-activated (for some odd reason). And, if you are a follower of this site, you know that at the beginning of the month, we suffered an image outage…that programming adventure has been corrected, due to expert intervention by Anne Ellen Geiger, our tech guru….The Nightshift is rapid iteration within a surprisingly wide bandwidth. Thanks for reading. Now–catch up on the world .
The Hunt for New (Christmas) Music:
More music from our library of Christmas music playlists. Playing loud is highly recommended. You can hear this playlist via our friends at Spotify, who have kindly made it available online…just click the link below and a web player will appear on your desktop and play the list…..enjoy some new sounds for the Christmas holidays.
no, title, artist
1, Merry Christmas Baby, Cee Lo Green Rod Stewart & Trombone Shorty
2, All I Want For Christmas Is A Real Good Tan, Kenny Chesney
3, Run Run Rudolph, Roomful of Blues
4, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Little Big Town
5, Jingle Bells, Michael Buble’ (w/The Puppini Sisters)
6, You’re Mine, jeremih
7, I Believe In Father Christmas, Vertical Horizon
8, Everyday is Christmas, Colbie Caillat (w/Jason Reeves)
9, Stay A Little Longer Santa, Shemekia Copeland
10, Shake Up Christmas, Natasha Bedingfield
11, Linus & Lucy, Dave Koz
12, Shopping on Christmas Eve, Keb ‘Mo
13, Little St. Nick, Erica Nicole
14, Give A Little More, Eric Bigg Maria Muldaur & Rory Block
15, Just Like Christmas, Ingo Star Cruiser (w/Gaby Froden)
16, Wintertime Blues, John Hiatt
17, Christmas at My House, Rahsaan Patterson
18, Driving Home For Christmas, Chris Rea
19, Auld Lang Syne, James Taylor
[/table] You can listen to the entire playlist through the courtesy of our friends at Spotify. Just click this link: COMT VIII and you will be able to stream the Christmas playlist via Spotify’s excellent web player. Special note: when you click the link, you will be taken to Spotify’s web player. There, you’ll have a couple of choices: sign in if you currently have a Spotify account; signup for a free Spotify account (you’ll be glad you did) or take advantage of their $.99 special for three months of Spotify premium, which has a few extra features the free version doesn’t have –wider selection and no commercials. Either way, you should check it out if you like music. Enjoy…and Happy Holidays. Special thanks to DJ Tschugge for compiling the list, along with the team at the Media Bunker.
The Fine Print. Images courtesy of GettyImages.com, who have the photographic history of the 20th and 21st century on file. All rights belong to them or their designate. This image has not been altered in anyway. We thank them for sharing. This post is number 2095 for this site (we stay busy overnight). The Nightshift is a continually evolving experiment in news communications and is a production of Perception Engineering and The Media Bunker. Currently, The Nightshift staff is developing a very streamlined graphic/display approach to news distribution. That doesn’t mean we won’t return to the People, Places, and Events for Today format that we have used for the last year but it does mean that constant development of the site is one of the reasons we produce it. We also re-freshed links to the top five, which had been de-activated (for some odd reason). And, if you are a follower of this site, you know that at the beginning of the month, we suffered an image outtage…that programming adventure has been corrected, due to expert intervention by Anne Ellen Geiger, our tech guru….The Nightshift is rapid iteration within a surprisingly wide bandwidth. Thanks for reading. Now–catch up on the world .
Paying Attention: Embed from Getty Images
It’s a dangerous world out there. One minute “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was a sentimental Christmas favorite, and the next some are seeing it as a song full of ominous suggestions and predatory behavior. We don’t agree with them, but none-the-less, it’s always good to be prepared. Knowing the way things are moving in our current culture, the Media Bunker staff decided to look into the not so distant future and create a template for future holiday festivities. So…..our crack legal staff at Peanut, Butter, & Jelly LLC have created a form you will want to have with you when you go holiday partying or that you will want to set out on the table in a conspicuous place if you’re the one hosting the holiday party. It’s our Mistletoe Release of Claims form, to cover your possible liability during a “mistletoe kissing event”. Naturally, you’ll want to have your own personal attorney draw up your own personal form but we have provided a framework……which is, of course, not a legal document. Yet.
As the Boy Scouts say, Be Prepared. MISTLETOE WAIVER OF LIABILITY & MUTUAL RELEASE OF CLAIMS
THIS MUTUAL RELEASE (“Agreement”) dated the ____day of December, 2018, is between
IN CONSIDERATION OF the covenants and agreements contained in this Agreement, and other goods and valuable consideration, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, the parties to this Agreement agree as follows:
Participation in A Potential Liability Inducing Event
The above parties have willingly consented to kiss one another (“Mistletoe Kiss”). under a festive Christmas decoration (“Mistletoe”).
It is also agreed by both parties that the extent, timing, and technique of such kissing is strictly between the two of them, both of whom have acknowledged that they may be considered “consenting” or “knowledgeable” adults (“Smoochers” or “Mistletoe Kissers”), with prior experience in both kissing and performing various other Holiday forms of mutual approval and respectful acknowledgement (“Holiday Hug and Squeeze”).
Such “Mistletoe Kissing” may only take place in the Mistletoe Kissing Zone, (“MKZ”), an area which is within a 10 linear foot radius of the Mistletoe. If the activity takes place outside the MKZ, both parties agree to sign an additional waiver. If the activity takes place outside the MKZ and with someone who is not classified as family member or partner or date, both parties agree to see a divorce attorney as fast as possible.
Extra-Curricular Activities Covered by This Agreement
It is also agreed that any activity other than the Mistletoe Kiss, which takes place after the Mistletoe Kiss is—if mutually agreed to—covered by this agreement.
Also covered is accidental touching or rubbing of certain front and/or rear facing body parts, such touching or rubbing to be considered in this context and location to be non-intentional and spontaneous.
Both parties agree that if such rubbing or touching takes place in any other area of the home hosting the “Mistletoe”, i.e. the buffet line or out standing around by the pool, such actions would be considered geographically ineligible for coverage by this release, so grope, grab, or lick at your own peril once away from the MKZ.
Extra-Curricular Activities Not Covered by This Agreement
While a generous amount of latitude is granted to those who decide to participate in the “Mistletoe Kiss” activity, certain activities cannot be and are not covered by this document: donkey walking; fish lipping; multiple peck kissing; European style air kisses with more than one air kiss on each cheek; any attempt to kiss at or below the beltline (on men) or waistline (on women); cooter thumping; toe and/or foot fondling; back rubs performed on the front of the body or front rubs performed on the back; Tunisian tongue extension technique. So, just keep it clean or you’re not covered and probably in deep do.
Non-Acceptance of the Alcohol-Induced-Lack-of-Inhibition Defense
Both signatories to this release mutually agree that if things spiral out of control and the smooching goes on for minutes or maybe even an hour or two and gets hotter and nastier, to the point that groaning and moaning sounds are coming from one or both parties, to the embarrassment of either or both parties and to the point that those in the general proximity of the two signatories are made relatively and/or moderately uncomfortable, neither Kissing party will attempt to avoid direct criticism of their actions and consequent social ostracization by using the so called “ David Hasselhof Defense”, also known as the Alcohol-Induced-Lack-of-Inhibition Defense (“AILID”). In other words, if you get skunk-face loaded and go all-kissy -face under the Mistletoe causing a rather dramatic event (at the least), don’t even bring up the AILID Defense when questioned about it. Respect your peers and yourself and own it. That’s what separates a legend from a common social outcast, and you want to be a legend, right?
The parties above have agreed to this release in settlement of any possible disagreements or misunderstandings and agree to mutually follow the guidelines as noted above. Both parties acknowledge that the acts contemplated by this agreement are covered by a mutual Non Disclosure Agreement (“NDA”) and they will not attempt to sell their story and/or photos to People magazine, National Inquirer, TMZ, AccessHollywood or some other scandal sheet or lightweight tv show.
Full and Final Settlement
This agreement represents the full and final understanding of the two parties and their obligations to one another.
No admission of Liability
It is agreed that the signing of this Agreement and the payment of any sum (“Hush Money”) from one party to the other, if it occurs, is not deemed to be an admission of liability on the part of either party.
This agreement will be governed by the laws of the state where the Festive Christmas Decoration was originally displayed and/or installed.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Releasor and the Releasee have duly affixed their signatures under hand and seal on this _____day of December, 2018.
The Hunt for New Music:
A new iteration of our classic Christmas music playlists, featuring both traditional songs in new performances and a selection of brand new Christmas music. As usual, the playlist includes songs you can dance to. You can listen to the entire playlist, via our friends at Spotify (see the information on precisely how to do so in the instructions at the bottom of the playlist. And yes, a great version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is included. Christmas One More Time, VII
no, song, artist
1, Jingle Bells, Katherine McPhee
2, Good King Wenceslas (Patrick), CSSR State Philharmonic Orchestra
3, Merry Christmas Baby, Christina Aguilera
4, Santa Claus is Coming, The Tractors
5, Winter Wonderland, Louis Armstrong
6, What I Want For Christmas, Lemon
7, Holiday Road, Lindsey Buckingham
8, Baby It’s Cold Outside, James Taylor
9, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Dave Brubeck & Gerry Mulligan
10, Shake Up Christmas, Train
11, All Alone on Christmas, Darlene Love
12, Let it snow Let it Snow Let it Snow, Joe Williams
13, Merry Christmas Happy Holidays, NSYNC
14, Joy to The World, Cathedra Brass & Choir
15, All That I Want, The Weepies
16, This Christmas (Father of the Fatherless), Toby Mac & Nirva Ready
17, God Tryin’ to Get Your Attention, Keb ‘Mo
[/table] You can listen to the entire playlist through the courtesy of our friends at Spotify. Just click this link:COMT VII and you will be able to stream the Christmas playlist via Spotify’s excellent web player. Special note: when you click the link, you will be taken to Spotify’s web player. There, you’ll have a couple of choices: sign in if you currently have a Spotify account; signup for a free Spotify account (you’ll be glad you did) or take advantage of their $.99 special for three months of Spotify premium, which has a few extra features the free version doesn’t have –wider selection and no commercials. Either way, you should check it out if you like music. Enjoy…and Happy Holidays. Special thanks to DJ Tschugge for compiling the list, along with the team at the Media Bunker.
The Nightshift publishes direct links to the world’s greatest English language newspapers to facilitate research and encourage understanding of the world’s events of the day.
The links are below.
You are strongly encouraged to visit the sites below for news, perspective, and information that is not readily available via mainstream American media. Also, please note that new sites and links are added on a regular basis.
We’ve added the link to the NOAA to enable readers to track hurricanes, winter storms, and other weather events. With the dangerous winter storms now in play, it’s a good place to check out. The Front Page Links
The Fine Print. Image courtesy of GettyImages.com, who have the photographic history of the 20th and 21st century on file. All rights belong to them or their designate. This image has not been altered in anyway. We thank them for sharing. This post is number 2091 for this site (we stay busy overnight). The Nightshift is a continually evolving experiment in news communications and is a production of Perception Engineering and The Media Bunker. It’s rapid iteration within a surprisingly wide bandwidth. Thanks for reading. Now–catch up on the world .