Born Mac Rebinac, Dr. John started as a guitar player in New Orleans.

I was listening to an archived interview with Dr. John and host Terry Gross in my NPR podcast channel. In the interview, Gross asked John how should she describe him: Singer, piano player, songwriter, composer?

Now I have been following Dr. John for a long time. He is the New Orleans Musical Saint. He is the Voodoo Night Tripper.

Born Mac Rebinac, he started as a guitar player in New Orleans. He was (accidentally) shot in the hand and he switched to piano. He’s a boogie woogie, Cajun, shaman bandleader. He’s diverse enough to be in The Last Waltz and Exile on Main Street. He has a call-and-response style with his background singers not unlike Ray Charles. He’s recorded an album of nearly only piano that I listen to while coding.

So Gross asked him, how do I classify you? And John said, ‘please, call me a musician. Whether I’m playing piano, singing, banging a drum, composing, writing or picking up my guitar, I’m making music. It’s what I do. I’m a musician.’

This made me wonder who I think I am. I have a wide circle of friends who see me wearing different hats: father, fantasy football despot commissioner, workout fiend, dog chaser. At work, I’m a coder, project leader, dreamer, realist, cheerleader, pragmatist, strategist.

Ideas start – and grow – with me. So I say, call me a digital ideaist. Because, if I don’t do it, somebody else well.

So who are you?

– Tom Sakell

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