A few weeks ago on my way home from work, Ike Carter at WHCJ 90.3 FM, Savannah State’s radio station, played a track from Dr. John’s new disc, Mercernary–a tribute to Johnny Mercer, Savannah’s most famous songwriter.
Today, I visited a record store and purchased the disc, after much looking about. It was placed in Cajun between Country and Bluegrass, leaving New Orleans Jazz and Blues fans wondering where the good doctor was hiding out.
The Guardian’s music critic said of Dr. John’s efforts, “He lends insouciant vim to Moon River and a humid swagger to Come Rain Or Come Shine.” Deconstruct the proper British, and it means Dr. John infuses the very soul of New Orleans into the music.
Dr. John does contribute one original, “I Ain’t No Johnny Mercer.” It’s one of the best tracks on the disc.
First things firster
For better or worser
I ain’t no Johnny Mercer
According to a site dedicated to Mercer, he was greatly admired in the music industry both personally and for his intelligent, optimistic lyrics. Born in 1909, Mercer wrote or co-wrote over 1,100 songs, won four Academy Awards and co-founded Capitol Records.