By Kellen M. Quigley
Get the spring started off right this Saturday with an unforgettable night of all-American classic rock at the Seneca Allegany Resorts and Casino in Salamanca.
The record-setting, award-winning band the Doobie Brothers will perform for an audience ready to “listen to the music” filled with incredible harmonies and stunning guitar work April 13 at 7 p.m. in the Seneca Allegany Events Center.
For over five decades, the Doobies have been delivering hit after hit to fans around the world. With over 48 million albums sold and four Grammy Awards, the Doobies continue to perform and record.
Today, the core of the band consists of Patrick Simmons, a founding member of the band, on guitars and vocals; Tom Johnston, another founding member, also on guitars and vocals; and John McFee, who joined the band in 1979, on guitars, pedal steel, dobro, fiddle and vocals.
In the course of the band’s lifetime, they’ve amassed 10 platinum albums, 14 gold and even a very rare diamond album for their “Best of the Doobies” compilation, which sold more than 12 million copies.
Coming out of San Jose, Cali., the late 1960s with an authentic rock and roll sound built on sweet three-part harmonies and roots-based, acoustic flavors, the Doobies finally hit it big in 1971 with their self-titled album and never looked back.
“We’re basically an American band — we cover a lot of areas,” Johnston said in a statement on the band’s website. “We cover blues, R&B, country, bluegrass, and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s based on rhythms, rhythm structures, picking and harmonies. That’s been the signature of the band.”
The band’s history can be roughly divided into three eras. From 1970 to 1975 it featured lead vocalist Tom Johnston and a mainstream rock and roll sound with elements of folk, country and R&B.
Johnston quit the group in 1975, and was replaced by Michael McDonald, whose interest in soul music changed the band’s sound until it broke up in 1982.
The Doobie Brothers reformed in 1987 with Johnston back in the fold and are still active, with occasional contributions from McDonald. Every incarnation of the group emphasized vocal harmonies.
“We all have the same work ethic,” said McFee, the multi-instrument virtuoso self-described as the “new guy.” “Tom, Pat and I are still surging ahead. We’ve stayed together as friends as well as musicians.”
With huge songs like “Listen to the Music,” “Long Train Runnin’,” “Black Water,” “What a Fool Believes” and “Real Love,” the Doobies have cemented their status as arena-rock kings.
The Doobie Brothers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004.
As of 2018, the band continues to tour regularly, performing an average of 70 to 80 shows a year. The Doobies will even begin touring with Santana as part of their 2019 summer tour.
Still getting incredible airplay even today, the Doobie Brothers continue to be the inspiration for countless bands and musicians. And their tuneful, melodic songs have stood the test of time, connecting to generation after generation of fans.
“We didn’t really sit around and think, ‘Oh, we need this element or that element,’” Simmons said. “The music has always been an honest representation of whatever we happen to be working on at the time.”
For more information about the tour and ticket prices, visit senecaalleganycasino.com and ticketmaster.com.