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  • Doobie Brothers

    Tennessee Theater

    Knoxville, Tennessee

    May 6, 2015


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    I don’t know about all baby boomer aged males, but I can honestly say that I played more air guitar to Doobie Brothers tunes than almost any other band or artist of the era.

    That said, I restrained from showing off my mastery of the Fender Telecast-aire when I caught the Doobie’s Wednesday night’s show at the Tennessee Theater. It was very hard but I did. Besides, I was mesmerized by the high energy exhibited by Pat Simmons, Tom Johnston, Jeff McFee (all three on guitar), John Cowan (bass), Ed Toth and Tony Pia on drums, Guy Allison on keys and Marc Russo on white hot saxophone. 

    From the opening strains of “Jesus Is Just Alright” through the encore numbers (“China Grove” and “Listen To The Music”), the band brought the audience for the long sold out show to their feet and down a very enjoyable trip down memory lane. Our generation had the best music and the Doobie's showed us that they made up a large part of the soundtrack of our youth.

    The band was tight. Their vocals strong. Their enthusiasm in delivering songs that they must have sung millions of times came across fresh and new.  

    The opening act was Pat Simmons, Jr., the son of Doobie Bro, Pat Simmons. His songs reflected his love of nature, sustainability and, as a cancer survivor, life. Armed with an acoustic guitar and ukulele, he song with warmth and sincerity. I look forward to hearing more from this young man.

    The Doobies will be touring until October. Their schedule and other Doobie news can be found on

  • Michael McDonald

    September 11, 2018

    Tennessee Theatre – Knoxville, TN


    michaelmcdonaldpianoLast night’s Michael McDonald concert was the third time I’d seen him perform and it was the third time that I was blown away.I was blown away by the reminder of the breadth and depth of this man’s work. I was blown away by his musicianship (keyboards and guitar). I was blown away by the strength, quality, and range of his voice. I was blown away by the tightness of his band. 

    Yeah, I was just blown away.

    Performing at Knoxville’s beautiful and historic Tennessee Theatre, McDonald had the sellout crowd eating out of his talented hands from the opening notes of “Ya Mo Be There” to the ending bars of the four song encore that concluded with “Takin’ It To The Streets”.

    Michael didn’t just rely on the crowd-pleasing hits, which is always a safe bet with his fan base. He was also confident enough to perform several tunes from his latest CD, “Wide Open”.

    As I said, the band was tight, and I do mean tight. Backing vocalist, Drea Rhenee’, was nothing short of absolutely amazing. The michaelmcdonaldguitarstrength and range of her voice made her an absolute delight to listen to – especially during: Ain’t No Way” and “On My Own”.

    Wow. Just wow.

    Joining Michael and Drea were Bernie Chiaravalle (guitar/vocals), Dan Needham (drums and percussion), Mark Douthit (incredible sax as well as keys), Pat Coil (keys), and Jacob Lowery (bass, vocals, and harmonica). 

    I try to catch McDonald’s shows every chance I get. You should, too. The man will take you on a musical journey that will stay in your heart and mind for years to come.