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Dr. John Creates Skinji Brim Label

Joel Dorn’s Hyena Records, which also just worked out a licensing deal to distribute T.S. Monk’s new Thelonious label, has announced another partnership. Pianist-vocalist-Night Tripper Dr. John (aka the grammatically challenged Mac Rebennack) is creating Skinji Brim to document his 20-year archive of concert recordings, and Dorn’s Hyena Records will oversee the label. Skinji Brim also plans select new artist signings. “Look for some off the hook stuff from this crew,” Rebennack said in a statement. “My hope is that we turn Skinji Brim into a vehicle for artists that ain’t found a home nowhere, but has some solid music to project.”

The label will debut with The Rebennack Chronicles series with the September 23 release of All By Hisself: Live at the Lonestar. The disc presents Dr. John on December 22 and 23, 1986, at the Lonestar in New York City during a solo concert performance.

In producing this series, Dorn will dig through 500 tapes while also seeking out rare video footage of Dr. John to complement each CD with a free bonus DVD. Included with All By Hisself: Live at the Lonestar is a 30-minute-plus DVD interview with Rebennack discussing the history of New Orleans music, highlighting his stories with examples played and sung at the piano.

“It’s a cool thing being hooked up wit my old padnah Joel Dorn,” Rebennack continued, “who comes from so far out in left field he makes the freeway look close. He’ll be our secret weapon for doin’ it!” (We’re not sure what he means, but I’m guessing all you hipsters understand.) For his part, Dorn said, “I’ve been waiting to work with Mac since I first heard the Gris Gris album in 1967. I believe he’s the most complete musician in this country.”

On All By Hisself: Live at the Lonestar, Dr. John is heard crooning and piano-ing on 12 cuts featured from those performances over the two nights. He plays “Iko, Iko,” “Such A Night,” “Right Place, Wrong Time,” “Junco Partner,” “Average Kinda Guy,” “Sick & Tired” and “Qualified.”

Other September releases on Hyena include James “Blood” Ulmer’s No Escape From the Blues: The Electric Lady Sessions and the Thelonious Records release of Thelonious Monk’s Monk In Paris: Live at the Olympia, which comes with a bonus DVD of him playing Oslo, Norway.

Hyena Records can be found at Thelonious Records can be had at Dr. John lives in a swamp and they ain’t got no Internet out dere.

Originally Published