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Country stars, Doobie Brothers collaborate on new album

Image by Alan Poizner

Country stars, Doobie Brothers collaborate on new album

By Stephen L. Betts. CREATED Feb 28, 2014

Some of country's biggest hitmakers are teaming up with one of rock and pop music's most enduring bands. The Doobie Brothers, including returning singer-songwriter Michael McDonald, have joined forces with Zac Brown Band, Toby Keith, Jerrod Niemann, Love and Theft and more for an album of all-new recordings of the Doobie Brothers' biggest hits.

Plans for the album, set for release later this year on Sony Music Nashville, were revealed during last week's Country Radio Seminar at Sony Music Nashville’s annual, invitation-only show aboard the General Jackson Showboat. Radio, media, and industry VIPs were treated to a surprise performance by the Doobie Brothers, who teamed with three of the acts featured on the new project: Brad Paisley, Sara Evans and Chris Young.

Over the last few months, the participating artists have picked their favorite Doobie songs and recorded them with the legendary band. Many of the artists have performed iconic Doobie Brothers songs live in concert, and Sony Music Nashville label head Gary Overton has a special connection with the group. His first live concert was a Doobie Brothers show in Phoenix in 1972.

"Seeing the Doobie Brothers perform all those years ago was such a thrill for me," he says. "I loved their sound, and the enduring appeal and influence of the Doobies runs deep. Artists have been telling me how excited they are to be a part of this project, and that alone speaks volumes about the amazing heritage of music that the Doobie Brothers have created."

Formed in 1969, the Doobies are four-time Grammy winners and a longtime fixture at Top 40 and, now, classic rock radio. They continue to write and record new material and tour the world. In 2011, they filmed a "CMT Crossroads" special with Luke Bryan, and appeared for the first time ever on the Grand Ole Opry.

Fronted by group founders Patrick Simmons and Tom Johnston, the group also welcomes the return of distinctive vocalist and songwriter Michael McDonald for the upcoming album. More participating artists are expected to be revealed soon. No release date for the album has been announced.

Stephen L. Betts

Stephen L. Betts

Stephen L. Betts ("Steve") is a Nashville-based journalist who started his career as a tour guide, karaoke operator and library assistant at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.