New Orleans Blues
Simple, but elegant. Mac (Dr. John) played the IMAC 9' Baldwin grand piano. It was miked with 3 Beyerdynamic condenser mics inside (lid closed), 2 C-ducer pickups, and and Barcus-Berry piano transducer. Since this was the main instrument, it was important to get a good piano sound - we did.
The drummer played our Pearl drum kit, the bassist used our GK-800 bass amp and Hartke speakers, and we used a Fender Twin for guitar. The bass signal was direct from the preamp, guitar was miked with a Shure SM-57, and the drums were miked with a bazillion drum mikes.
Each musician had his own monitor and individual monitor mix. I dialed some piano and some Mac vocal into his wedge (at a very reasonable low level), and set the rest of the band up with the stuff they wanted. Only the drummer needed a full mix of everything in his wedge.
Sound check went off just fine, and everybody was happy with the stage sound.
I have to be very cautious here. I have been a Dr. John fan since I first heard "Walk on gilded splinters" MANY years ago. If I'm not careful, I could be guilty of gushing! This is tempered by the fact that I am a little starstruck by the man, and was very reluctant to talk with him. But when I did, he turned out to be very personable, soft-spoken, and a true gentleman.
First of all, Mac is such a professional, it is beyond belief. From all external appearances, he exists just to do what he enjoys, and to entertain the audience. The last time I worked with Dr. John was the last time he was at IMAC. I mixed front of house at that time, and the monitor mix was his own engineer. It was not going well on stage, but Mac never even flinched. The audience never knew anything was wrong, even though I could tell he was getting blasted with feedback and LOUD monitors.
Second, he is the kind of musician that other musicians would kill to play with, and he has played with many. He just did a thing on VH-1 (or was it MTV) with Clapton. He did a Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute concert. Everyone that appears on stage, or on a bill with him is either in awe, or jealous.
Third, he put on a HELL of a show! The audience was jumping, clapping, dancing, singing, and pretty much jubilant for the whole show. He did several of his old classics, a few newer tunes, and a ballad or two. They were SCREAMING for more at the end of the show.
I don't recall having this much fun at any show in a long time. If you ever get a chance to see Dr. John, DO IT! If you want more info, check him out at The Doctor John Home Page.
If you haven't read his autobiography "Under A Hoodoo Moon", it is really well written, and I highly recommend it.
Some of my favorite Dr. John CD's are:
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