Dr. John Frankie & Johnny

Release date:
July 12, 2024
Buy vinyl:

A lost solo piano record from the Night Tripper! Originally put to tape in ‘82 & ‘83 for the Clean Cuts label, these tracks have remained unheard until now. Two numbers feature the doc's raspy growl while his solo piano navigates us through the rest of the train ride, past touches of blues, jazz, and foot stompin’ boogie-woogie jive. It's the kind of magic that can only come from a dusty tape box. In 1981, Dr. John began recording his first of two solo piano albums. The “new” performances featured on this release are of the same quality as the music on Dr. John Plays Mac Rebennack and The Brightest Smile In Town. His left hand creates a three-note rhythmic pattern that forms the foundation for the performance while his right soulfully plays the melody and then builds off of it in the tradition of the New Orleans piano blues masters. In other songs, it begins as a nostalgic and heartfelt ballad, picking up steam during the performance and switching moods several times before returning to where it began. While it is a real shame that he would never again record a full album of unaccompanied solos (Dr. John enjoyed leading a band too much), the release of Frankie & Johnny gives one an additional opportunity to discover just how brilliant and spirited a pianist Mac Rebennack was during his colorful career.

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