Before he moved to Los Angeles and adopted the persona of Dr. John in 1967, Mac Rebennack was already an acclaimed New Orleans producer, songwriter and pianist. Precise dates for the lively Hoodoo: The Collection sessions are unknown (best guess is mid-1965), but they show Reben-nack already developing his instinctive blend of "voodoo music" that he perfected.
There's the rollicking ragtime funk of "Bring Your Own Along," and bluesy piano ballads like "The Time Had Come." Rebennack's froggy croak comes through on the rock gumbo of "I Pulled the Covers Off You Two Lovers" and "I Got Lonesome-itis," while several novelty tunes feature the kind of wordplay that later frame his 1973 hit, "Right Place, Wrong Time." With many of these songs previously unreleased, this album is a valuable addition for one of music's most underappreciated naturals.