Last week, Laura and I went to NYC’s Beacon Theatre to take in an awesome show by the Dukes of September – A.K.A. Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald, and Boz Scaggs. In case you did not come of age in the 70s, these guys were huge:
– Bard College buddies Fagen and Walter Becker founded Steely Dan as a college band. (Trivial Pursuit Question: Who was their original drummer? Answer: Another Bard buddy named Chevy Chase.)
– McDonald started out as a Steely Dan vocalist and went on to front The Doobie Brothers.
– Scaggs commanded a whole lot of 70s FM air space with his unique brand of soulful “pop blues” on albums like “Slow Dancer” and “Silk Degrees.”
This fall the trio went on tour with a cracker jack 10-piece band. (Guitarist Jon Herington is amazing!) They did their own songs. They did the songs they loved growing up. They did songs from the rock canon. Suffice it to say that the night goes on my top-5 all-time list.
The thing I will remember about it was they way they covered some songs that other bands might parody or poke fun at. Three stick out in my mind:
– “Help Me Rhonda” by The Beach Boys
– “Something in the Air” by Thunderclap Newman
– even the ubiquitous “Love Train” by The O’Jays
They brought both expert musicianship and personal style to all three songs. Overall, it was a great time and I encourage you to check them out if you get a chance.
If you’re a Hyde parent, your kids are in for special treat when Michael, a Hyde alumni parent himself, comes to Bath this February to run his annual week-long singer-songwriter workshop. Joined by other professional musicians, some of them Hyde alums, a once-in-a-lifetime experience will be provided to a dozen or so students. Hey, who cares if some of them ask, “Who are the Doobie Brothers, anyway?”
Onward, Malcolm Gauld