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Dr. John: Right Place, Right Time

Jim Santella By

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This 1989 performance at Tipitina's features Dr. John with his band playing a program of comfortable New Orleans favorites. Blues, gospel, voodoo and jazz merge evenly on this Mardi Gras concert, which feels like an all-night celebration.

With "I Walk on Guilded Splinters, Dr. John sings about the prescription that he can provide for those who will listen. Count me in. He has the mojo to make magic happen any night of the week. With congas poppin' and horns blaring in comfortable harmony, he makes it all work. Guitarist Tommy Moran, saxophonist Amadee Castenell and trumpeter Charlie Miller all provide searing solo performances that complement the night well.

Dr. John whistles a portion of "Traveling Mood, following that with his usual blend of proud vocals with the band. "Let the Good Times Roll gets everybody in the house rockin', while "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin' turns down the lights for a brief moment. It's all about havin' a good time, and nobody does it better. Appropriately, the session closes with "Such a Night, which finds Dr. John and the band in a comfortable family romp that brings everyone in the room together.

With any successful live concert recording, you get a combination of creative authenticity and raw emotion. Without retakes, most concert performances contain some fluff—but Dr. John doesn't seem to have that problem. This music all flows with the energy of a genuine spirit in the right place at the right time.

Track Listing: Junco Partner; Renegade; I Walk on Guilded Splinters; Traveling Mood; Black Widow; Let the Good Times Roll; Kinfolks; Don

Personnel: Dr. John: vocals, piano; Tommy Moran: guitar; David Barard: bass, background vocals; Herman Ernest III: drums; Trazi Williams: percussion; Amadee Castenell: tenor saxophone; Charlie Miller: trumpet.

Title: Right Place, Right Time | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Skinji Brim/Hyena

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