Long Time Dr. John Drummer Herman Ernest Passes


It’s one of the sad facts of life in the world of New Orleans music. It seems nearly every year someone significant in our unique musical culture dies during the Carnival season.

Herman Ernest III was a fixture behind the drums with Dr. John’s various ensembles for decades. Along with bassist David Barard, he provided the foundation for the funk. He passed yesterday, March 6, 2011

Besides his unparalleled skills as a percussionist, Ernest also had a keen wit and was quick with a laugh. Some of my favorite memories of him on the bandstand reflect the deep rapport he had with the Good Doctor. He would often introduce the other members of the band with his signature phrase, “That’s so unnecessary.” Funeral arrangements are pending.

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