Dr John & The Lower 911 - Sippiana Hericane

It is only fitting that the unofficial cultural ambassador of New Orleans, Mac Rebenack, professionally known as Dr John should do something to raise monies for his hurricane hit and flooded home city. ""Sippiana Hericane" is a mini-album recorded with his touring band The Lower 911 as opposed to  his last album which had an array of guest artists.

The albums centrepiece is the four part Wade: Hurricane Suite with the first part being an adaptation of the spiritual "Wade In The Water" and the following three parts improvisations on that tune ranging from the elegant "Calm In The Storm" to "Aftermath" underpinned by a perculating organ. Bookending "The Hurricane Suite" is a version of "Clean Water" originally recorded in 80s by Dr John's good friend and fellow Louisiana native, former New Orleans rock'n'roller turned ecologist Bobby Charles and a new version of Dr John's own "Sweet Home New Orleans", originally recorded on "Anutha Zone" with additional pertinent lyrics written by his wife and songwriting partner Cat Yellen.

Oh and in case you are wondering why "Sippiana Hericane", Sippiana & Louisiana where the two states meet, Hericane is spelled the way it is in the title because Katrina (Hurricane Katrina) is a female name.

Derek McCann

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