DR. JOHN SHARES HARD-WON WISDOM ON NEW SINGLE SLEEPING DOGS BEST LEFT ALONE
FINAL STUDIO ALBUM THINGS HAPPEN THAT WAY
SET FOR RELEASE SEPTEMBER 23
TORONTO, ON – June 10, 2022 – Legendary musician Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack Jr – known to music fans the world over as Dr. John – packed a lot of living into his 77 years, including a six-decade run as one of the most original, distinctive, and influential voices to ever come out of New Orleans. He was in the midst of recording a new studio album and planning future projects when his life was suddenly cut short in 2019.
Now, three years after his untimely passing, in a world complicated by COVID-19, Things Happen That Way will see the light of day. The album, which features three brand new original compositions, a mesmerizing reworking of Dr. John’s 1968 classic, I Walk on Guilded Splinters, and new interpretations of songs by Willie Nelson, Cowboy Jack Clement, Hank Williams, and the Traveling Wilburys will be released on September 23. The album is available for pre-order here.
Today, a new, original song, Sleeping Dogs Best Left Alone, written by Rebennack with Shane Theriot, is released. Listen to it here and via YouTube.
The lyrics impart some hard-won wisdom drawn from Rebennack’s own experiences, delivered in his trademark growl:
Don’t try and go backwards,
the hands been already dealt
Don’t try and laugh at the same old jokes,
pain that’s already felt
Don’t try and drive with one eye closed,
one tire in the ditch
Walk around with your head in the sand,
sayin’ life ain’t nuthin’ but a bitch
What’s seen is seen
And what’s heard is heard
Done is done in this great big world
One thing I know is life has shown
Sleeping dogs best left alone
Things Happen That Way marks the fulfillment of a longtime goal of the six-time GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter/pianist and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, who first began plotting a country-inspired album decades ago. In bringing his album’s songs to life, Dr. John drew on a lineup of musicians befitting of a universally beloved luminary. Along with an elite cadre of New Orleans session players, the album’s personnel include icons Willie Nelson and Aaron Neville, and rising stars Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real.
Karla R. Pratt, Dr. John’s daughter and the album’s executive producer, spoke with Rolling Stone’s David Browne about what inspired Rebennack’s choice of cover songs, calling them “a musical tip of the hat to the greats who preceded him,’ like Williams, Cash, and Nelson.”
“Years ago he talked about how hip Hank Williams was,” she told Browne. “He loved how simple yet emotionally complex Hank’s songs are, that they have a hook with a twist. For this album inspired by listening to the Louisiana Hayride [radio show] and icons of country and western, he was excited to do songs in a way that evokes emotion that sticks with you long after one of the songs — done his soulful way — is played.”
Things Happen That Way Track Listing:
1.Funny How Time Slips Away
3.Gimme That Old Time Religion (feat. Willie Nelson)
4.I Walk On Guilded Splinters (feat. Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real)
5.I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
6.End Of The Line (feat. Aaron Neville)
8.Sleeping Dogs Best Left Alone
9.Give Myself A Good Talkin’ To
10.Guess Things Happen That Way