Dean Alger is a writer on music, especially on jazz and blues.

Invited to talk at the Institute for Jazz Studies, Rutgers University, on jazz and blues great Lonnie Johnson, November 2007.

He has taught a course on The Blues in the College of Continuing Education, University of Minnesota.

Dr. D has written many pieces for the fine website, www.jazz.com. That includes 6 entries for the Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians on the site and over 60 individual song track reviews.


1356 Eustis St., St. Paul, MN, 55106 612-388-2925 DrDmusic@earthlink.net

Click here to see performance of this protest song on YouTube by
Dr. D (Dean Alger), Becca Leathers & Papa John Kolstad:

The Bankers’ Greed Blues

The bankers gambled recklessly
With their arrogance and their greed
Homes were lost & the economy crashed
So many folks left in need.

Then billions were given in bailouts
But the bankers continued their greed
Taking millions in pay bonuses
The public outcry they would not heed.

Then to cover their failures
Credit card rates they raised
The public rip-off was so great
We all were amazed.

And the rich got so much richer
Grabbing more & more for 30 years
But the middle class & workin’ folks
They only got more toil and tears.

And the people in Congress
What did those folks do?
Finally passed a law
Kept taking bankers’ money, too.

So rise up all you people
Get mad and boost your nerve
Take it to the election and the streets
Give those bankers what they deserve.

Dean Alger/”Dr. D” Nov. 2009/Oct. 2011
U.S. Copyright by Dean Alger, 2011


Current Book Project: MR. BLUES WALKS IN: The Music, Life, and Times of the Legendary Lonnie Johnson

The book is about one of the most important musicians of the 20th Century, Lonnie Johnson (1894-1970). Lonnie was the greatest guitarist in the original generation of both Blues and Jazz, and was prime Founding Father of the powerful, virtuoso guitar solo in popular music. (Before Lonnie, the guitar was primarily used as a rhythm instrument.) Lonnie Johnson's influence was tremendous throughout The Blues and Jazz; he was a principal early influence on BB King and Robert Johnson, for two examples. And his influence extended to the great Rock guitarists, Eric Clapton being the leading example. Lonnie was also a very good singer from the mid-1920s into the 1940s; he developed into a great singer from the late 1940s through the 1960s.

The book discusses Lonnie's extraordinary instrumental and vocal music and his musical influence, as well as his remarkable life story in general. It also places his music in the context of the development of the music of African-Americans and Twentieth Century music overall. That includes Lonnie as the original prime force leading the guitar to become the dominant instrument for all of popular music in the second half of the century. It also discusses the role of music in Black culture in America. And with that, it details the impact of musicians like Lonnie Johnson and Duke Ellington on progress towards Civil Rights. Lonnie, Duke and some other Black musicians were artistically brilliant and presented themselves in an urbane, sophisticated, and dignified manner. And in so doing, working in the only realm Blacks could be prominent in on a national stage, music, they were models for their race; they were remarkably creative, dignified individuals who embodied a refutation of the racist stereotypes in America, from the 1920s into the 1960s.

Dr. D interviewed B.B. King for the book, and B.B. is interested in and supportive of the project. Also interviewed have been Chicago Blues guitar great Buddy Guy, Howlin' Wolf's long time lead guitarist, Hubert Sumlin, etc. These musicians and a series of leading Blues writers are supportive of the book project.


Dr.'s musical life goes all the way back to singing in excellent high school and college choirs, and singing and playing in a folk group in college (in the style of the time and in the Los Angeles area setting, the group was called "The Santa Ana Freeway Off-Ramp"). In recent years, Dean has played in clubs and coffeehouses around Minnesota and elsewhere, playing guitar and singing, solo or with one or more others. The CD he recorded with his sometime trio, "Dr. D, A.T. & the Z-man" (see below), includes six original songs, including Dr. D's tribute to Lonnie Johnson, "The Legendary Lonnie J." That song has received high praise from several leading blues writers, a fellow named B.B. King, and the folks at the Institute for Jazz Studies.

Dr. D playing at a coffee house gig
New CD from the trio, "Dr. D, AT & the Z-man"!

Or send a check, made out to Dean Alger, for $14 for CD + shipping (no handling) costs to: Dr. D Music, 1356 Eustis St., St. Paul, MN, 55108 (*our stand against high Big Label CD prices)

Samples of Some Songs from CD:
The Legendary Lonnie J
...Rising Sun Variations #2
House of the Rising Sun
Put a Hurtin' On Me
Midnight Special
Travelin' Chicago Blues
(Searchin' for) The Delta Blues
*Dr. D. A.T. & the Z-man performed in clubs and coffeehouses around Minnesota. Their music: Blues, folk, light rock, an occasional country song, with a number of original songs.

Dr. D sings most of the vocals, with occasional harmony vocals added, sometimes by guest musicians (as on the CD). Dr. D plays acoustic and electro-acoustic guitars. AT plays electric guitar, sometimes electric bass and other instruments. Z-man plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, sometimes playing slide guitar, as well as playing harmonica.

Unique major performance:

Dr. D and Z-man performed Dr. D's satire song "Your Cheatin' Heart in those Campaign Ads" for a major public affairs event in May 2004. Part lampoon and raising awareness about campaign ads, part fund-raiser for a public policy organization, the event was satirically called "The Worst Political Ads in America Awards" (informally called "The Academy Awards of Bad Political Ads"). Held in the Historic Pantages Theater, Minneapolis - audience of over 800 - "awards" were given in various categories; presenters included Congressman Sabo, Minnesota Attorney General Hatch, Minneapolis Mayor Rybak and other leading political figures. The response to the song and performance were terrific.


Best original songs:
• ”(Searchin’ for) The Delta Blues” (inspired by a trip to the Mississippi Delta)
• “Put a Hurtin’ On Me” (co-written with Aaron Paul)
• “The Legendary Lonnie J” (song in tribute to Blues & Jazz great Lonnie Johnson)
• “Travelin’ Chicago Blues” (inspired by a trip to Chicago)

Other originals:
• “Hot-Bodied Baby” (more of a Rocker or R & B number)
• “Eleven Fifty-seven” and “Let That Old World Spin” (ballads)
• “Gonna See My Baby Tonight” (more of a Rocker or R & B number)

Socio-political songs:
• “The Election Day Blues” (spurred by that 2000 election fiasco in Florida)
• “Your Cheatin’ Heart in those Campaign Ads”
• “Recovering Temporary Politician Blues”
• “Gone Mad With Greed Blues”


©2006-2009 deanalger.com | Website by Robert Mews