Wednesday, January 8, 2014

America & Doobie Brothers

by Bill Holmes

America - Now
A quick review of a couple of AXS concerts that aired Sunday (1/5) night. The first was a recent show by America, the folk rock group from the 1970's. Originally a trio, there are two remaining members who still perform together. The guys still look pretty damn good. Dewey Bunnell's voice is still good. Gerry Beckley has lost a little bit but he's still OK. His voice got better as the concert went on. Their harmony was fine. They sang their big hits and some lesser known songs. 

I was never a big America fan. I didn't dislike their music but it was a little too mellow for me. They had several good songs that made the charts. If you are of a certain age you will surely recognize a couple of the songs. A Horse With No Name, was probably their biggest hit and reached number one as did Sister Golden Hair. Catchy but rather nonsensical songs.
America - Then

Here is the playlist from the show:
  • Riverside
  • Ventura Highway
  • You Can Do Magic
  • Don't Cross the River
  • Daisy Jane
  • The Last Unicorn
  • I Need You
  • Till the Sun Comes Up Again
  • Tin Man
  • The Border
  • Lonely People with guest Christopher Cross
  • Sandman
  • Sister Golden Hair
  • Horse With No Name 
It was an enjoyable concert. If you get AXS on your cable or satellite package, check the on demand. America should be available until February 17th. Give it a look.

Doobie Brothers - 1972
The next concert was the Doobie Brothers - World Gone Crazy Live and first aired in 2011. These guys have been around since the 1970's too. There have also been many different members of the band. Patrick Simmons is the only one who has been in every one of the various configurations. Tom Johnston, an original, has been in most including the current band. Guitarist John McFee is also a longtime member. Besides personnel changes, the group has also varied in musical style and size from the original four to the current eight and in between. They have several years and many miles on them but still sound good. The show was a good mix of old stuff with newer songs from their 2010 album World Gone Crazy. They finished with a 10 or 12 minute version of Long Train Running. Notably absent were any of the hits from their Michael McDonald years. This concert was all old time guitar driven rock 'n roll. None of the keyboard, blue eyed soul, softer rock that Michael brought to the group. That's fine with me. I like the McDonald stuff OK, but I like the harder edged rock more.  

The Doobie's playlist:
Doobie Brothers - 2010

  • China Grove
  • Chateau
  • Nobody
  • Black Water
  • Young Man's Game
  • Far From Home
  • Jesus Is Just Alright
  • World Gone Crazy
  • Long Train Running
This was a very good concert. The old boys are still getting it done and looked like they were having fun. I couldn't find a scheduled rebroadcast or on demand video of this show. There are a couple of songs on YouTube. Search for Doobie Brothers World Gone Crazy. I'm sure it will also show up again on AXS. If you like the Doobies this is worth the time.


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