RIP Dr. John (1941 – 2019)

Dr. John was an American singer-songwriter best-known for his single “Right Place, Wrong Time” (1973).

There are two songs from his debut album Gris-Gris (1968) on YouTube, “Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya” and “I Walk on Guilded Splinters”, both have very nice percussion breaks.

Of note is the likeness of “Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya” to the work of Tom Waits (think Swordfishtrombones, 1983), esp. the aforementioned percussion breaks.

Dr. John is one of these figures one could study for a week, there are so many connections. Below is him reading “Berenice” by Edgar Allan Poe.

Trivia: the beginning of “Right Place, Wrong Time” sounds like the beginning of “Spirit in the Sky” (1969) and the whole of “Right Place, Wrong Time” is very much reminiscent of a seventies groovy soul song with a chorus of “your love, your love” with something added like “is unforgettable” or “is extraordinary”, the title of which escapes me.