Ske-Dat-De-Dat/The Spirit of Satch
The Last Music Co
This weekend marks the first anniversary of the passing of Mac Rebennack better known as Dr. John. In order to commemorate the event The Last Music Co. is re-issuing the six time Grammy Award winner’s 2013 album in a limited edition vinyl format. Dr. John was the embodiment of New Orleans music and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. During an interview he admitted that he enjoyed “screwing with a good song” and on this album he decided to focus on the music of Louis Armstrong.
Dr. John kicks off the album with Bob Thiele and George David Weiss’ “What A Wonderful World” recorded by Armstrong in 1967. Armstrong’s recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Nicholas Payton guests on trumpet while The Blind Boys of Alabama provide the backing vocal. Peyton is featured again on “Gut Bucket Blues”.
Kurt Weill and Bertoit Brecht’s “Mack The Knife” was featured in their “Three penny Opera”. A popular version sung by Bobby Darin achieved huge success in 1958. Terrence Blanchard plays trumpet while Dr. John plays the keyboards. Blanchard is featured again with the Blind Boys on “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams”.
Cuban Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is featured on “Tight Like This” and on “Memories of You”; the former includes a vocal by the Cuban singer Telmary. James Andrews plays trumpet on “Dippermouth Blues” with a horn arrangement from Dr. John and Tom “Bones” Malone. “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child” features a vocal by Anthony Hamilton. The McCrary Sisters are featured on both “That’s My Home” and “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen”.
There are two wonderful vocal duets. Dr. John is paired with Bonnie Raitt on “I Got The World on a String”. On “Sweet Hunk O’ Trash” he teams up with the new Queen of The Blues, Shemekia Copeland. The closer is “When Your Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You)” featuring the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
We are reminded of the great songs and music of Louis Armstrong, and the uncanny ability and vocals of Dr. John. The doctor is able to find a new groove on each of these song treasures. Dr. John is really missed these days.