Under a Hoodoo Moon: The Life of Dr. John the Night Tripper

John Mac Rebennack, Author, Jack Rummel, Author, Dr John, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-312-10567-9
As much a tribute to Rebennack's native New Orleans and its vibrant music scene as it is an autobiography, this candid book provides an inside look at the drug-using, hell-raising lifestyle adopted by many rock musicians. Writing in a loose, slangy style with freelancer Rummel, Rebennack, whose albums as Dr. John ( Gris Gris ; Gumbo ) helped popularize the distinctively Cajun-influenced music that is now a hallmark of the New Orleans sound, presents a compelling picture of his hometown as a place of enormous musical energy and excitement. We read of all-night jam sessions, quirky local characters and Voodoo rituals (the sobriquet Dr. John is borrowed from an early Voodoo master). Influenced by such New Orleans greats as James Booker and Professor Longhair, Rebennack hit the road with his first band when he was 16 and, because of narcotics, soon found himself in trouble with the law. He is oddly blase about drugs and tries so hard to maintain his cool-cat rock 'n' roll persona that he comes across more as a caricature than as a real person. The portrait of Crescent City's music scene, by contrast, has depth. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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