The Doobie Brothers and Michael McDonald to Release First New Album Together in 44 Years

"I would put it half, maybe 60 percent where we’re at now as far as completion,” says Patrick Simmons

Photo: Clay Patrick McBride

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Mar 6, 2024

Do you hear that? Are you listening to the music? Well there's more of it to come yet from the Doobie Brothers and former frontman Michael McDonald: after rejoining the group in 2019 ahead of the band's 50th anniversary tour, he and the band are recording their first new album together in the 44 years since the release of 1980's One Step Closer.

Guitarist/vocalist Patrick Simmons shared the news on Facebook today, writing, "We are very close to finishing an album's worth of new songs."

Of the project, which also sees the Doobie Brothers reunite with producer John Shanks, he went on, "In my humble opinion it’s turning out to be some of the best music we’ve ever made together! We’re shooting for a Spring/Summer release."

Simmons and fellow co-founder Tom Johnston also opened up about the yet-untitled LP in a new Billboard interview, revealing that it contains a gospel-influenced track called "Walk This Way," featuring vocals from the legendary Mavis Staples.

“I would put it half, maybe 60 percent where we’re at now as far as completion,” Simmons told the publication of the album. “The songs are done. The arrangements are pretty close.”

“We probably kicked [a new album] around a little bit, but not a lot,” Johnston explained of the record's genesis amid the 50th anniversary tour, which was recently expanded into 2024. “Those things just start. They just sorta happen. This whole band has been like that; things just happen through the years — songs, albums.”

Simmons added, “It’s been a lot of fun. We’re having a good time. It’s kind of continuing what we’ve been doing for the last 50 years and we still do things the same way for the most part, but having Mike on board again is great. I think it’s just having great artists, great creative people and talented guys that write the material… and then we have a great band. We’ve always had really great musicians, great singers. I think that really helps with how people perceive the band at any given time. It’s as strong now as it ever was.”

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