Dr. John’s first posthumous album, Things Happen That Way, has finally been given a release date of September 23rd. The New Orleans music legend died in 2019 of a heart attack at age 77.
According to Consequence, Dr. John was in the middle of working on this album at the time of his passing. The album will be released via Rounder Records.
Things Happen That Way will be 10 tracks long and is composed of some of the final tracks Dr. John, who’s real name was Mac Rebennack, ever wrote, as well as a slew of covers by some of his most admired influencers. The album was co-produced by Dr. John and guitarist Shane Theriot and has elements of all the musical genres that Dr. John was known for including New Orleans funk, boogie woogie, jazz, psychedelic, and pop standard, according to Consequence. The upcoming album was also cut in Dr. John’s native New Orleans throughout 2018. Dr. John’s daughter Karla R. Pratt also serves as executive producer.
Pratt gave a statement on the album to Consequence.
“Years ago [Dr. John] talked about how hip Hank Williams was,” Pratt said in the statement. “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.”
According to Consequence, Things Happen That Way will see Dr. John put his own spin on widely known classics like Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and “Ramblin’ Man,” Jack Clement’s “Guess Things Happen That Way,” which was made famous by Johnny Cash), and Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away.” Nelson himself also appears on the album, collaborating with Dr. John on the Gospel classic “Gimme That Old Time Religion.”