Friday, June 10, 2022

Dr. John shares hard-won wisdom on new single "Sleeping Dogs Best Left Alone," out today

Check out new music from the late great Dr. John and learn more about his forthcoming posthumous album coming this fall..Robert Kinsler

Dr. John Shares Hard-Won Wisdom on New Single 

“Sleeping Dogs Best Left Alone,” Out Now


Final Studio Album Things Happen That Way 

Set for Release September 23, 2022

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. 


Dr. John performing at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA,
in January 2016. Photo: Bob Steshetz

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.


The lyrics impart some hard-won wisdom drawn from Rebennack’s own experiences, delivered in his trademark growl:


Photo credit: Bob Steshetz

Don’t try and go backwards, 

the hand's 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.”


Dr. John performing at the
NAMM Show in January 2016.
Photo: Bob Steshetz

Things Happen That Way Track Listing: 


  1. Funny How Time Slips Away
  2. Ramblin’ Man
  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)
  7. Holy Water
  8. Sleeping Dogs Best Left Alone
  9. Give Myself A Good Talkin’ To
  10. Guess Things Happen That Way

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