Saturday, June 30, 2012
40 Year Itch: Like a Lazy Flowing River
Named after a slang word for one of them marijuana cigarettes, The Doobie Brothers got their start as a Hell's Angels bar band. Their first album of country boogie failed to sell and Warner Brothers was tempted to drop the band when producer Ted Templeman stepped in to produce Toulouse Street. The album contains their first hit "Listen to the Music" ( US #11) as well as the Top 40 "Jesus Is Just Alright ( picked off from The Byrds' 1969 album Ballad of Easy Rider and backed by its B-side "Rockin' Down the Highway").
Yes, you've probably heard all three of those songs far too many times. With the exception of "Listen To The Music" which I loved as a kid, I know I have. But the revelation comes in the deep cuts on Toulouse Street ( something I've found to be true on a lot of Doobie Brothers albums).
Aberdeen, WA 's Patrick Simmons finger-pickin' acoustic guitar numbers like "Mamaloi" and the title cut and his playing on Tom Johnston's "Snake Man" and "White Sun" all sound great. The Doobie Brothers were on their way to challenging Chicago and The Eagles as the top American bands of the 70's.