According to Relix magazine, recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Dr. John is currently in Nashville, Tenn. at work with Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach on a new LP.
The report details how the cross-generational collaboration came to life: “Dr. John first heard The Black Keys’ music earlier this year thanks to his granddaughter and met up with Auerbach the next time the guitarist was in New Orleans.”
The Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival powers-that-be heard about the recent creative connection between Rebennack and Auerbach, and in light of the festival’s NOLA-centric 10th anniversary festivities, decided to book Auerbach and Dr. John to help resurrect the famed SuperJam on the festival’s final evening. I was lucky enough to be in attendance for what appeared to be a once-in-a-lifetime on-stage collaboration, but in light of this recent news, perhaps those who weren’t able to make it to Manchester this summer will have a chance to see these two perform together. The setting and musical set itself were both phenomenal (with a view of the Centeroo arch that paid tribute to Mac’s signature hat-and-feather look), and it was a beautiful sight to see a couple members of the festival’s headlining bands – Dan Auerbach (Black Keys) and Patrick Hallahan (My Morning Jacket) – joining the Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer at sunset for a proper New Orleans SuperJam.
Dr. John and Auberbach began work on a new studio album in September and word is that the two are continuing the sessions during the Thanksgiving holiday. Produced by Auerbach, who split mixing duties with engineer Collin Dupuis, the record will come out under Dr. John’s name sometime in 2012. Although there is little left for Dr. John to accomplish as a legendary musician, such a collaboration will likely have a similar effect of fellow Nashvillian Jack White’s producing collaborations with Loretta Lynn and Wanda Jackson – opening up Dr. John’s music to hordes of uninitiated younger fans and hopefully inciting some to dig deep in the vinyl bins to uncover a classic or two like Desitively Bonnaroo or Gris Gris.
The album will feature contributions from current Black Keys touring members Leon Michels (keyboards) and Nick Movshon (bass) (who joined Auerbach and Carney on the Brothers tour to round out a fuller sound), as well as multi-instrumentalist Brian Olive and drummer Max Weissenfeldt. It will be interesting to see what kind of magic these sessions produce.
Can I Be Your Squeeze/I Walk on Guilded Splinters Superjam @ Bonnaroo 2011
Dr. John, Dan Auerbach and Friends play “Break in the Road” Superjam @ Bonnaroo 2011
Dr. John, Dan Auerbach and Friends play “Junco Partner” Superjam @ Bonnaroo 2011
Wesley Hodges writes about music in New Orleans for Live Music Blog: NOLA and NolaVie.