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From the Vault: Dr. John and Eric Clapton Play “St. James Infirmary”

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Editor’s Note: The Daily Music Break often re-posts music from earlier in the run of the site. This is a good one. It initially was posted on April 12, 2012.

The above clip perhaps is a bit more Clapton than Dr. John. Both have their moments, however.

Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack, Jr. — Dr. John — seems like he’s been around forever. Actually, he was born in 1940. He is a great piano player and showman and an all-around interesting “care-actor,” as he pronounces it.

Here is the teaser for his latest offering, which The New York Times described at the end of March. His pure piano playing brilliance is on display in Swanee River Boogie. Two of his big hits are Right Place, Wrong Time and Such a Night.

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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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