The Doobie Brothers Shine On New Live Album

Live From The Beacon Theatre presents hits and deep cuts from Toulouse Street and The Captain And Me albums

When I saw The Doobie Brothers are coming out with Live From The Beacon Theatre, I didn’t pay a lot of attention initially. At first glance, it largely looks like a greatest hits compilation played live, i.e., tunes we’ve heard many times before. Finally, I got curious yesterday, and, man, what an amazing and fresh-sounding album – if you dig the Doobies, there’s no way you’re not gonna like this!

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised in the first place. After all, I saw the southern rockers last July together with Steely Dan, and they were dynamite! Just like Donald Fagen and co, after the co-headlining summer tour, the Doobies hit The Beacon Theatre in New York for special album-focused performances, which in this case included Toulouse Street (1972) and The Captain And Me (1973).

The Doobie Brothers
The Doobie Brothers (left to right): John Cowan (bass, vocals), Patrick Simmons (guitars, vocals, co-founder), Ed Tooth (drums), Marc Russo (saxophone), Tom Johnston (guitars, vocals, co-founder), John McFee (guitars, pedal steel, dobro, fiddle, vocals, core member since 1979) and Bill Payne (keyboards; not in photo)

Given the band’s sophomore and third studio records, respectively, included tracks like Listen To The Music, Rockin’ Down The Highway, Jesus Is Just Alright, Long Train Runnin’, China Grove, South City Midnight Lady and Without You, it’s really no wonder this new  album looks like a greatest hits live compilation. But there is more to picture. Plus, amazingly, even these well-known tunes sound very fresh!

The Doobies’ two concerts at The Beacon Theatre last November marked the first time they returned to the renown venue in 25 years. In addition to the above hits, the set lists included deep cuts and songs the band had never performed live before like Mamaloi, O’Connelly Corners, Ukiah and The Captain And Me. The live album is available in audio and video formats, including CD, DVD and Blue Ray. Let’s listen to some music!

I’d like to kick things off with the aforementioned Mamaloi. Written by Patrick Simmons, this tune first appeared on the Toulouse Street album. Check out the harmony vocals – these guys still sound mighty!

Here’s another great track from Toulouse Street, which I don’t believe is very well known: Cotton Mouth. This song was actually penned by Jimmy Seals and Dash Crofts, a.k.a. Seals & Crofts. Listen to that beautiful horn work, which together with some funky guitar action give the tune a southern soul flair – fantastic!

Let’s jump to The Captain And Me set. Ever heard of Ukiah? Frankly, I did not recall that tune written by Tom Johnston. Another nice rocker!

Last but not least, I simply couldn’t resist highlighting one of the Doobies’ best known songs, since their Beacon performance is just so damn good and it’s available as a video clip on YouTube: the funky Long Train Runnin’, another Johnston composition. Again, check out the horns on that one – it simply is friggin’ amazing!

Here’s the album’s complete track list:

Disc One: Toulouse Street
1. “Listen To The Music”
2. “Rockin’ Down The Highway”
3. “Mamaloi”
4. “Toulouse Street”
5. “Cotton Mouth”
6. “Don’t Start Me To Talkin’”
7. “Jesus Is Just Alright”
8. “White Sun”
9. “Disciple”
10. “Snake Man”

Disc Two: The Captain And Me
1. “Natural Thing”
2. Band Intros
3. “Long Train Runnin’”
4. “China Grove”
5. “Dark Eyed Cajun Woman”
6. “Clear As The Driven Snow”
7. “Without You”
8. “South City Midnight Lady”
9. “Evil Woman”
10. “Busted Down Around O’Connelly Corners”
11. “Ukiah”
12. “The Captain And Me”

13. “Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me)”
14. “Black Water”
15. “Listen To The Music” (Reprise)

The Doobies nicely timed the album’s release with the start of their tour with Carlos Santana. Tonight they’re playing Ridgefield, Wash. This is followed by Salt Lake City (Jul 2), Denver (Jul 3), Dallas (Jul 6) and Austin (Jul 9). The full schedule is here.

Sources: Wikipedia, The Doobie Brothers website, YouTube


13 thoughts on “The Doobie Brothers Shine On New Live Album”

  1. I like these guys but haven’t paid much attention to them for quite some time. This sounds good. I’ll give it a spin on Spotify when next I’m driving around.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey, I was driving around listening to this today. You might say I was rockin’ down the highway while I listen(ed) to the music. You were right. This is excellent. Horns? Since when? Coincidentally I heard some slower number by them with horns just the other day on the radio. Can’t remember the name of the tune, sounded kinda Steely Dan-ish.

    It just so happened that at one point I heard the band introductions on this album. I don’t follow these guys at all so I was surprised to see that Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons are still members. And that former Little Feat keyboard guy Bill Payne is touring keyboardist, former long-time Allmans percussionist Marc Quinones is with them too. Great stuff that I will definitely give another listen to. It keeps you runnin’ while you’re takin’ it to the streets minute by minute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, you may not have followed them, but you surely know your Doobies shit!😆

      What I find striking about this album is how fresh these songs sound. In fact, I just listened to it again myself to get in the mood for some Doobies live music I’m going to hear in a few minutes – yes, you guessed it correctly, by a tribute band!

      Ingeniously names The Doobie Others, these guys seem to be pretty good, based on some YouTube clips I’ve watched. Plus, it’s a nice summer evening for an outdoor concert, and it’s for free – hard to beat!😎


      1. And that’s saying something! I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen a non-tribute band. I think you’ve probably seen tribute bands that were tribute bands to other tribute bands!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hey, I tell you one thing. If I make it to 75 and only have 1/3 of Jagger’s energy, you can call me an old fart any day!😀

        BTW, I completely forgot – I’m planning to see another non-tribute band tomorrow: Southern Avenue are playing in Asbury Park as part of a free summer concert series!😎


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