This past Saturday, when Blue Mafia was playing at Nashville’s Station Inn, Mac Rebennack was among the many fans who stopped in to enjoy some live bluegrass.
Rebennack, more familiarly known to music fans worldwide as Dr. John, is a multi-Grammy winning artist from New Orleans whose mix of blues, rock, and cajun music has won him legions of followers since the 1970s. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, and is widely considered as an elder statesman in the New Orleans music world.
But who knew he was a bluegrass lover as well?
Tony Wray, guitarist with Blue Mafia said that they had a chance to visit with the Doctor between sets.
“He’s an avid bluegrass fan, and loves it! He use to play guitar until he got shot in the ring finger of his left hand in Jacksonville Florida – that’s what made him start playing piano. He wanted to hear some bluegrass that night so he came to the Station Inn and stayed till the doors were locked. One of the sweetest and most talented artists I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with.
He was really interested in the historical side of it, seemed very interested in its origins, and loved the fact that all the sounds and music as a whole can be gotten without the pedal boards and effects that a lot of other styles depend on.”
Wray said that it didn’t even enter his mind to see if Dr. John might want to join them on stage for a song.
“I don’t generally get awe struck at all, but with a musical genius like that, all rational thinking goes out the door.
One of the greatest lines he used was when meeting our mandolinist/vocalist, my wife, Dara, was ‘you really Spark my Plugs!’ “
Now that’s New Orleans.