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Doobie doobie do

Old musicians don't die. They reunite and play their hits and some new stuff on the state fair circuit

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If you get to the State Fair early enough, maybe youll - run into the Doobies on the teacup ride. Or maybe not.
  • If you get to the State Fair early enough, maybe youll run into the Doobies on the teacup ride. Or maybe not.

It's been nearly 30 years since the Doobie Brothers reached a commercial peak. And it's now been 20 years since the band with essentially its core original lineup regrouped in 1987 to begin what has been an uninterrupted run of touring and recording.

But for much of the time during this second coming, the Doobie Brothers have flown somewhat under the radar.

Do they miss ruling the charts?

"For us, it's not so much about making a big splash as much as coming up with something that we can be proud of and continues the kind of legacy that we've set for ourselves," guitarist and singer Pat Simmons says by phone. "I feel like we've put out some good, quality stuff in the past, and we've been proud of where we've been so far. So we want to make sure that it continues along those lines."

Actually, the current lineup which includes guitarist-singer Tom Johnston, drummer Michael Hossack, guitarist-multi-instrumentalist John McFee, bassist Skylark, keyboardist-singer Guy Allison, sax player Marc Russo and drummer Ed Toth has been intact longer than any previous Doobie Brothers unit.

This kind of stability, fans know, is a new twist for the Doobie Brothers. From 1969 to 1982, the band endured key lineup changes including the addition of guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter in 1975 and the arrival of keyboardist/singer Michael McDonald later that year.

McDonald's soul and jazz roots informed hits like "What a Fool Believes" and "Minute by Minute" that made the Doobie Brothers among the most popular bands of that period.

But by 1982, the run had ended. The group fell apart and McDonald went solo.

Five years later, the group's producer, Ted Templeman, convinced the band's early lineup to make a new album.

Unlike many reunited bands, they recaptured much of the early spark, turning out two solid albums, Cycles (1989) and Brotherhood (1991), and three rock-radio singles, "The Doctor," "Dangerous" and "Need a Little Taste of Love," that reached Top 5 in the charts.

Though the band continued to tour each year through the 1990s, it didn't make another studio CD until Sibling Rivalry in 2001. Now, it's in the early stages of working on a new CD.

In the meantime, the Doobie Brothers have a busy touring schedule, and Simmons is proud that today's band has been delivering consistently good shows.

"We always pretty much do a lot of the songs that people have come to hear the hits and stuff," Simmons says. "People want to hear the songs that they grew up with and that they're familiar with. Then we kind of sprinkle it with songs that we like to do basically stuff that we've done through the years that maybe weren't hits but they're [the] kind of things that we've enjoyed playing."

scene@csindy.com

The Doobie Brothers and Los Lonely Boys

Colorado State Fairgrounds, 1001 Beulah Ave., Pueblo

Sunday, Sept. 2, 8 p.m.

Tickets: $36 (not including fair gate admission if purchased day-of); visit ticketmaster.com.

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