Monday, November 02, 2009

Mac's Back: Dr. John Plays the Palladium This Thursday

Not sure how I missed this listing, but Dr. John, New Orleans' first physician of funk, is bringing his Lower 911 band -- guitarist John Fohl, bassist David Barard, drummer Herman Ernest -- to St. Petersburg's Palladium Theater on Thursday night.

I caught Mac and his band on Feb. 28 when they played Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota. The occasion was the "Mardi Gras Mambo" double-bill tour with the Neville Brothers.

He sounded better than ever, pumping out those voodoo/hoodoo funk grooves and Professor Longhair-inspired R&B, his deep-digging rhythm trio augmented by baritone sax great Ronnie Cuber.

For his latest CD, last year's City That Care Forgot, the singer-pianist-composer born Mac Rebennack offered political/social commentary on the Katrina disaster and the aftermath. Terence Blanchard, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, and Ani DiFranco guested. Check out Dr. John's MySpace page here.

Bill Wharton, AKA "The Sauce Boss," the Florida blues-based slide guitarist, will open Thursday's show, which starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45. For more info, go to

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