MUSIC: Dr. John Performing Valentine’s Day at Park Theater
Friday, February 14, 2014
Rob Duguay Catches Up With Dr. John
Rob Duguay: Tonight on Valentine’s Day you’ll be performing at The Park Theatre in Cranston. Last time you came to Rhode Island it was in 2012 and it was a sold out performance with this time around looking like it’ll get a similar response. What do you like most about playing in The Ocean State?
Dr. John: Listen, I love playing music and that’s the main thing I love doin’. It doesn’t matter where I’m playing it’s just that I’m working and playing, but I do love when I’ll be playing sometimes there and it’ll be golden when we warm the joint up so there you go.
R.D.: Along with tonight’s show you will be also joining the likes of Trombone Shorty, Janelle Monae, Gary Clark Jr. and Earth, Wind & Fire to perform the NBA All-Star Game halftime show at The Smoothie King Center in New Orleans this Sunday. For a little over a decade now there has been a resurgence of musicians incorporating the blues, soul and R & B styles into their songs. As a person who is very well versed in those three styles, what’s your opinion on popular music shifting back towards these styles?
Dr. John: It’s alright with me, if they play music and it’s kickin’ I like it. If they play it and it don’t kick I don’t like it.
R.D.: It’s pretty much as simple as that. If it’s good, it’s good, and if it’s bad, it’s bad. One of the most devastating and controversial in American history that took place this past decade was the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina during the Summer of 2005. As a musician who hails from New Orleans and you’ve made it your home for some time now, how much did the storm and the personal aftermath have a personal effect on you?
Dr. John: I’ll tell you that the whole 9th ward of New Orleans is no longer there and that bothers me. I had tons of friends who lived in the lower 9th ward including people I’ve played with and all of these guys lived there. It bothers me that they don’t have a place to live anymore.
R.D.: It’s a sad story when you know people who lived in a certain region of a city that you love don’t live there anymore and don’t have another place to go to because of this storm. It’s a shame that it’s nearly 10 years afterwards and you’re still having the same problems you did a few years ago.
Dr. John: It’s ridiculous. It’s just how it is but I don’t like anything that has to do with it.
R.D.: I don’t blame you. You first started out as a session musician in the 1950s along with being a solo musician and having your own band. Who would you say is the best musicians you’ve ever worked with in your career so far? If you had to pick from any session that you’ve done which is the most memorable.
Dr. John: I started playing sessions around 1954 along with producing records, writing songs and whatever else I’m doin’. I’ve had a blessing of writing with great people like Bobby Charles and Doc Pomus along with a lot of great co-writers and those experiences are always special to me. I have so many memories of great guys who I’ve played with whether it’s Huey Smith, James Booker or Joe Tex. There are so many guys from way after that I’ve had the pleasure of working with from times when I was working with Aretha Franklin. It becomes mind-boggling when you try to remember stuff when you don’t have a great memory. My memory bank sailed into some kind of Salvador Dali painting a long time ago, but it’s ok. When the memories come back they do and when they don’t, they don’t.
R.D.: As a person who has been playing music for over half a century and has become very successful while doing it, what’s the best advice that you can give to any young musician out there today who is trying to make a name for themselves in the music biz?
Dr. John: Respect all music that there is out there and they should learn how to make a little money while they’re performing. I’ll you something Cousin Joe told me along time ago, which is “The best way for a musician to die is to fall over after the last song of the show. The band gets paid and he doesn’t even have to play an encore.” That’s some words of advice from an old timer like Cousin Joe, but it’s words of advice from me too. You should have respect for all the music, just don’t look at one thing. It’s not a healthy way to go.
It was a joyful time talking to Dr. John and you better hit up The Park Theatre in Cranston tonight around 8pm for a show you won’t ever forget. Afterwards there will be a Mardi-Gras-themed afterparty at The Stage Door Lounge located within the theatre for a rockin’ time to spend with you significant other. Have a happy Valentine’s Day and hopefully I’ll see you at tonight’s extravaganza.
Related Slideshow: 10 Ways To Celebrate Mardi Gras in New England
Magic Hat Mardi Gras
Though Vermont may be the perfect place for skiing and winter activities, it also hosts a memorable Mardi Gras celebration. The Magic Hat festival comes to Burlington, Vermont for three fun-filled days from February 28th to March 2nd. This festival is filled with fun costumes, parades, beer and is appropriate for all ages. The big parade takes place on Saturday March 1st and proceeds from this event benefit HOPE Works. Click here for more information.
Magic Hat Mardi Gras: Church Street, Burlington, VT, 05401
Mardi Gras Ball XXI
On Saturday March 1st take part in Wolf’s 21st annual Mardi Gras Ball, a longstanding musical tradition. To take part in this rocking night purchase tickets online and get ready to listen to some New-Orleans style rhythm and blues. The ball features an all-star Mardi Gras band with Shaun Wolf Wortis and Vudu Krewe and other various artists. Proceeds from the event benefit New Orleans Musician’s Clinic. For more information, click here.
Mardi Gras Ball XXI: The Bear’s Place, 10 Brookline Street, Cambridge, MA, 02139
Mardi Gras! Beer, Beads And Bad Decisions
You’ll have your fair share of party hopping to do because the largest Mardi Gras masquerade party in Boston is on Saturday March 1st. Doors open at 9 pm for those between the ages of 21-42 where there will be a complementary buffet, beads and a prize for the best dressed, so make sure you come in your best purple, green and gold attire. Tickets are $20 online and $30 at the door. There are also drink specials for those who show up between 9:30 pm and 10:30 pm. Click here for more information.
Mardi Gras! Beer, Beads And Bad Decisions: The North Star, 222 Friend Street, Boston, MA, 02222
Cajun & Zydeco Mardi Gras Ball
From 6 pm to midnight on March 1st celebrate Mardi Gras with authentic music and nonstop dancing at the Cajun & Zydeco Mardi Gras Ball located in Rhode Island. Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. Don’t miss music by Steve Riley & Mamou Playboys, CJ Chenier & Red Hot Louisiana Band, the Hot Tamales Brass Band and more. For more information, click here or call 401.783.3926.
Cajun & Zydeco Mardi Gras Ball: Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, 60 Rhodes Place, Cranston, RI, 02905
Black Eyed Sally’s
On March 4th the Mardi Gras celebrations head over to Hartford, Connecticut. Black Eyed Sally’s is partying all day on Fat Tuesday starting with an all-you-can eat southern lunch buffet from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm for just $12.95. After lunch happy hour starts at 4:30 pm and ends at 6:30 pm where they will be offering free Southern Vitties and drink specials. Finally, from 7:30 pm to 12:30 am enjoy dinner and dancing with Rivercity Slim & the Zydeco Hogs for just a $5 cover. Face painters, beads and stilt walkers and also things you won’t want to miss out on at Black-eyed Sally’s. Click here for more details.
Black Eyed Sally’s: 350 Asylum Street, Hartford, CT, 06103
Ogunquit’s Mardi Gras
When you head to Ogunquit, Maine on Mardi Gras weekend you’ll almost forget that you’re not on the New Orleans Bayou. This annual celebration does not skimp on any Mardi Gras fun, it has a list of events that runs the entire weekend including fire juggling, a hat making party, a costume party, a parade, wine tasting and more. For more details, click here.
Ogunquit’s Mardi Gras: 36 Main Street, Ogunquit, ME, 03907
This Carnival season Mount Snow will transform into its very own Bourbon Street. On March 1st Bud light will be sponsoring Apres Ski parties at different bars throughout the weekend and you won’t want to miss the Bud Light Concert Series at the Snowbarn. Click here for more details.
Mount Snow: 39 Mount Snow Road, West Dover, VT, 05356
The Firehouse Center for the Arts
If it is the jazz music that makes you excited for Mardi Gras, the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport is where you will want to be on March 5th. Before you watch Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans take the stage, sample delicious appetizers and sport your complementary Mardi Gras beads. Prior to the live performance you will also get to watch the New Orleans Mardi Gras parades in the theater. The party begins at 6:30 pm and the performance is at 8 pm. Purchase tickets online for $37. Click here for more information or call 978.462.733.
The Firehouse Center for the Arts: Market Square, Newburyport, MA, 01950
NRICA Mardi Gras 2014
On February 22nd the Northern Rhode Island Council of the Arts will be sponsoring its 20th annual Mardi Gras celebration. Tickets are $30 or $35 at the door (cash only) and with your ticket you’ll get to enjoy a full Cajun buffet, a cash bar and live music by Jeff Gamache and Runaway Train and Slippery Sneakers. The party goes from 5:30 pm until 11 pm. For more details call 401.762.9072 or click here.
St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center: 84 Cumberland Street, Woonsocket, RI, 02895
Celebrate Mardi Gras on March 1st with The Boston Horns at The International. The Boston Horns are an original funk and jazz band who will be playing a concert in the ballroom of The International. This concert and a dinner buffet only cost $39 and you will get to enjoy food inspired by the tradition and culture of New Orleans. Get your tickets online or call 978.779.6919
The International: 159 Balville Road, Bolton, MA, 01740
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