Doobie Brothers and Michael McDonald Reunite for First Album in 44 Years and Tour

Rock legends unveil plans for eagerly awaited musical return.

by Nouman Rasool
Doobie Brothers and Michael McDonald Reunite for First Album in 44 Years and Tour
© Jason Kempin/Getty Images

The Doobie Brothers have announced an exciting extension of their legacy, both on the road and in the studio. Since reuniting in 2019 to commemorate their half-century milestone, the iconic "Listen to the Music" creators have not only captivated audiences with their dynamic performances but are also set to enhance their discography with a groundbreaking new album, their first in 44 years to feature the incomparable Michael McDonald.

This eagerly anticipated project emerges as the band's 16th studio effort, a sequel to the 2021's "Liberté," and marks a significant reunion with McDonald, a revered figure in the music industry known for his stint with The Doobie Brothers from 1975 to 1982, and his earlier association with Steely Dan.

His return to the fold for the 50th-anniversary tour, nearly four decades since his last collaboration on a Doobie Brothers album, has injected an invigorating energy into the group's creative endeavors.

Album Genesis Revealed

In an enlightening conversation with Billboard, co-founders Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons, alongside McDonald and fellow long-time member John McFee, shared insights into the genesis of this new album.

Their collective enthusiasm for this venture shines through, with Simmons, aged 75, highlighting the natural progression from touring to recording: "As long as we're doing this, it would make sense to do a record. I think people would really get a kick out of that." The collaboration in the studio has been described as particularly fulfilling, especially considering McDonald and Johnston's rare previous interactions in this context.

Simmons expresses joy at witnessing this renewed partnership, emphasizing the unique blend of talents contributing to the project's richness. Fans can anticipate a blend of new tracks, including a notable collaboration titled "Walk This Road," which features lead vocals by both McDonald and Johnston and a guest performance by the legendary Mavis Staples.

As The Doobie Brothers prepare to embark on a 38-date North American tour, the excitement builds not only for their live performances but also for the fresh sounds they promise to deliver. The tour promises to cover several cities previously missed, running from June 15 until August 30.

Adding to the anticipation, Michael McDonald is poised to release his memoir, "What a Fool Believes," on May 21, offering fans a deeper dive into his storied career and personal journey. The memoir, named after the Grammy-winning hit, is a collaborative effort with actor Paul Reiser, exploring McDonald's reflections on his remarkable journey through the music industry.