Grammy Award-winning singer and pianist Doctor John returns to his New Orleans, Louisiana roots on his latest album Creole Moon. Doctor John describes the album as a celebration of life in New Orleans, "a place," he says, "where your senses get excited from all directions on the streets."
You can almost taste the crawfish etoufee or spicy jambalaya, two of New Orleans' favorite dishes, as you listen to Doctor John belt out "Food For Thought," one of 14 tunes from his new release Creole Moon.
The variety of culture in New Orleans, from its food and music to its folklore and parades, have provided a lifetime of inspiration for Doctor John, who was born Mac Rebennack in the "Crescent City" 61 years ago. He began writing songs at age 14 after visiting blues clubs and recording studios with his father. He was soon working as a session musician, playing keyboards and composing his original brand of funk, rock and blues for several local labels.
Commercial success came when he moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s. Under the name "Doctor John Creaux - The Night Tripper," he recorded a string of hit singles and albums.
Never straying too far from his New Orleans roots, Doctor John won the first of his four Grammy Awards in 1989, for his collection of pop standards "In A Sentimental Mood."
A year later he recorded a critically-acclaimed jazz album with his longtime musical hero, drummer Art Blakey. From Creole Moon, Doctor John sings "In The Name Of You," dedicated to the late jazz drummer Art Blakey.
The album is a concoction of Doctor John specialties, including old-time New Orleans blues ballads, swing and soul with West African and Caribbean rhythms.
His backup band, The Lower 9-11, features bassist David Barard, drummer Herman "Roscoe" Ernest, and guitarist Renard Poche. Guest musicians include saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman, guitarist Sonny Landreth and fiddler Michael Doucet.
Doctor John co-wrote four songs on Creole Moon with the late Doc Pomus, including the reggae-flavored track titled "You Swore."