Excitement Surrounds Doobie Brothers Tribute Album

Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Zac Brown Band Are Recording With Iconic Rock Band

You know we can’t wait to “listen to the music,” especially when Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, the Zac Brown Band, Sara Evans, Chris Young, Jerrod Niemann and Love and Theft are singing their favorite Doobie Brothers tunes.

Yep, it’s happening with a new project set to feature these country stars putting their spin on the Doobie’s biggest hits.

Say it with my mama and me: “Yes!”

When I was a kid, one of the first musical memories I shared with my mother was sifting through her collection of vinyl. It was chock full of everything from Carole King’s Tapestry to Gregg Allman’s Laid Back to other albums by everyone from the Eagles to Boz Scaggs. The Doobie Brothers were a personal favorite of hers. They, of course, quickly became a personal favorite of mine.

Albums like Toulouse Street, The Captain and Me and songs like “Listen to the Music,” “China Grove” and “Long Train Runnin'” were among the sounds and lyrics that filled my house growing up. Believe me, I knew every single line.

But I’m far from unique or special in my passion for the Doobies’ music, as evidenced by the country artists appearing on the tribute album to be released later this year by Sony Music Nashville. That’s why it will be extra fun to see which hit they each choose as their favorite to record for the album.

What’s even more special about this project is that it’s not simply a tribute to the Doobie Brothers. Founding members Patrick Simmons and Tom Johnston, along with Michael McDonald and John McFee, will also be recording the tracks with the country stars. And who wouldn’t want the chance to sing and play with those guys?

It’s not the first time the Doobies have gone a little country. Not only did they surprise Nashville’s elite for a surprise performance during the recent Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, they joined Luke Bryan for a rocking episode of CMT Crossroads in 2011. And, yep, even country’s hottest guy couldn’t contain his excitement over performing with the legends.

We’ll have to patiently wait for a track listing for the upcoming album and maybe have some fun trying to guess which choices the country artists will pick from the band’s song catalog.

I could hear Paisley shredding a guitar part on “Jesus Is Just Alright.” I could hear Evans absolutely slay a female vocal part on “What a Fool Believes.” And the way Niemann can layer vocal harmonies, he could add even more righteous soul on a new version of “Black Water.”

Yeah, mama and I would definitely like to hear some funky Dixieland.

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.