It's funny to think an act originally from California could sound so swampy and Southern. But the Doobie Brothers were very much of their time.
It was the early '70s, and these happily hairy guys seemed to embody everything about a sort of freewheeling, post-hippie, motorcycle-on-a-long-road sort of aesthetic. "Listen to the Music," one of the band's biggest hits, captures it all in feel-good song form with an added dose of booze and maybe some pharmaceuticals.
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The Doobies rode out the '70s hard, disbanding in the early '80s. But the breakup lasted only a few years. And from about 1987 to today, the band has played more or less continuously.
With such a long lifespan, though, it's natural that the lineup has changed due to disagreements and even deaths. The current iteration, which hits Hard Rock Live this Friday, features original members Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons on guitars, vocals, and various other instruments, with a large cast of assorted supporting players.