Dr. John’s final studio album Things Happen That Way to be posthumously released

Dr. John reveals a lifelong love of classic country and western music on his final studio album, set to be released just over three years after the New Orleans legend’s death.

On Things Happen That Way, the six-time Grammy winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer fulfilled a longtime goal, having first began planning a country-inspired album decades ago.

On the album, Dr. John is joined by Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville, Katie Pruitt and an elite cadre of New Orleans session players.

Listen to the first single, a new rendition of one of Dr. John’s most famous songs, I Walk on Guilded Splinters:

Dr. John was joined by country-rock group Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real for the re-recording of the classic track.

“It’s a great honour to attempt to interpret the work of Dr. John,” said Nelson. “His music has inspired me since childhood. He was a friend to many, and we all miss him dearly. His music is medicine.”

On Things Happen That Way, Dr. John also tackled songs by Willie Nelson, Hank Williams and The Traveling Wilburys, along with several more of his own originals.

Born in New Orleans in 1940 as Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack Jr., Dr. John gained a following with the release of his 1968 breakout album Gris-Gris and his 1973 hit single Right Place, Wrong Time. He was known for his eccentric persona and theatrical live shows inspired by medicine shows, Mardi Gras costumes and voodoo ceremonies. During his life, he recorded 30 studio albums and nine live albums while also contributing to thousands of other recordings as a session player. He died of a heart attack on June 6, 2019.


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Here’s the track listing for Things Happen That Way:

  1. Funny How Time Slips Away
  2. Ramblin’ Man
  3. Gimme That Old Time Religion (feat. Willie Nelson)
  4. I Walk in 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

Dr. John’s Things Happen That Way will be released Sept. 23, 2022, via Rounder Records.