Michael McDonald - keyboards, vocals; Tom Johnston - guitar, vocals; Patrick Simmons - guitar, vocals; Jeff "Skunk" Baxter - guitar; Tiran Porter - bass, vocals; John Hartman - drums; Keith Knudsen - drums
The Doobie Brothers had just undergone a major musical change when this recording was made for the King Biscuit Flower Hour at the Spectrum in Philadelphia in 1976. Founding member Tom Johnston had departed during the recording of 1975's Stampede to address his personal health problems, and during the transition they recruited Steely Dan guitarist Jeff Skunk Baxter. For the recording of their next album, the band hired another Dan alumnus, keyboardist and vocalist Michael McDonald.
McDonald would take the band in a whole new musical direction, as apparent with this performance from the Takin' It to the Streets tour of 1976. The band, led by vocalist/guitarist Pat Simmons does most of their classic hits, such as "Jesus Is Just Alright," "China Groove," "Rockin' Down The Highway," "Long Train Running" and "Listen To The Music," but with the musicianship of Baxter and McDonald, they take on a new life.
The Doobie Brothers used this tour to really introduce the world to Michael McDonald, whose lead vocals and keyboard work on songs like "Takin' It To The Streets," "It Keeps You Running," "Black Water" and "Wheels Of Fortune" would take the band into the upper reaches of the pop mainstream. This would really become apparent in 1978, when the band cleaned up at the Grammy Awards with their Minute by Minute album.
Both McDonald and Baxter would exit The Doobie Brothers by 1979, when McDonald left to pursue what has become an enormously successful career. The Doobie Brothers split up in the early 1980s, but re-grouped with the pre-McDonald lineup in 1988. They have continued to work on and off with Michael McDonald on a number of U.S. and world tours since then.
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