Mark Dobbin reports on Dr John, Corn Exchange, Cambridge, May 2006

Artist Visiting Cambridgeshire
For some time, the drawling king of Louisiana piano has been recycling old standards, and his latest album Mercenary is a tribute to Johnny Mercer. He opened the farewell show of this year's Heart of the World series with Mercer's Dream, setting an irresistibly sleepy and swampy note to the proceedings. Backed by Crescent City band Lower 911 the Doctor was at his purring best for spiritual Wade In The Water, while on jazz standard It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing he alternated with great virtuosity between grand piano and electric organ. It wasn't all other people's music - Dr John's own 1970s classic Right Place, Wrong Time conjured up a rich and smoky cellar bar atmosphere. Support act Abram Wilson added joyous trumpet to Goin Back to New Orleans before the headliner appropriately bade farewell with a slower So Long.

Not a doubt in the house - the good and versatile doctor surely knows how to close a festival in style.

Writer: Mark Dobbin