An infectious intepretation of the Traveling Wilburys’ hit “End Of The Line” by the late Dr. John is available now on Rounder Records, as a new taster for his final album, “Things Happen That Way.” The track features the unmistakable voice of the great soul man Aaron Neville and another vocal guest appearance by Katie Pruitt.
The country-themed album, which follows on September 23 on CD, vinyl, and digitally, features further guest spots by Willie Nelson and his son Lukas Nelson with his band Promise of the Real. Lukas and the band were featured on the track that introduced the set in May, a new version of Dr. John’s composition “I Walk On Guilded Splinters,” first cut for his 1968 debut LP Gris-Gris. Also already available are the track featuring Nelson, “Gimme That Old Time Religion,” and “Sleeping Dogs Best Left Alone.”
The liner notes for Things Happen That Way are by his longtime friend Ken Ehrlich, the creator of PBS’ music series Soundstage and producer of the Grammy Awards television show. Of the Wilburys cover, which the “Night Tripper” (aka Mac Rebennack) interprets in his unique style, infused with New Orleans funk, jazz, and R&B, Ehrlich says: “‘End Of The Line’ is a Wilburys standard that I must have heard a hundred times, but never like this.
“I found stories buried in Mac’s cover that never even crossed my mind when I heard it from Messrs. Petty, Lynne, Dylan, Harrison, and Orbison. In fact, no disrespect to that esteemed supergroup, but hearing Mac, Aaron Neville and label mate Katie Pruitt attack that song brings new life to this classic.” He describes the album as a whole as “the most personal and intimate journey into [Dr. John’s] soul that has ever been put on tape.”
Pre-order Things Happen That Way, which is released on September 23.