Doobie Brothers Having a Strong Year with Tour, Box Set and Fallon

By Johnson, Kevin C | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), October 9, 2015 | Go to article overview

Doobie Brothers Having a Strong Year with Tour, Box Set and Fallon


Johnson, Kevin C, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


The Doobie Brothers' name may not be as present as it once was, but the veteran rock act is actually having a pretty good year.

This year, the Doobie Brothers have been touring regularly, including a show this weekend at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts at Lindenwood University. Also, a massive box set was released over the summer, and the group nailed a performance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."

The "Tonight Show" performance even included singer Michael McDonald, who left the band to go solo in the early 1980s.

"'The Tonight Show' was fun," says Doobie Brothers founding member Tom Johnston. "Questlove (drummer for house band the Roots) was loving everything. We were there all day. It takes longer to tape than you would expect."

The band's set featured "Long Train Running" and "Takin' It to the Streets."

Fans of the Doobie Brothers shouldn't get too excited about seeing McDonald back with the group. Johnston says McDonald usually only performs with Doobie Brothers in private or benefit settings, and the "Tonight Show" appearance was special.

"Michael has been a solo artist for years, and that's what he likes doing," Johnston says. "I can totally understand; it's complete freedom, and you don't have to worry about democracy. He has done well with it."

These days, the Doobie Brothers include singer-guitarist Johnston, along with guitarists Patrick Simmons and John McFee.

Those who long for the McDonald era, though, can check out the 10- CD box set "The Doobie Brothers: The Warner Bros. Years," which encompasses more than 110 songs from albums spanning 1971 to 1983, including the self-titled debut (1971), "Takin' It to the Streets" (1975), and "Minute by Minute" (1978).

"Quite a lot happened including the beginning of the Michael McDonald era," Johnston says. …

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