Doobie Brothers – More Than All Right – by Darcy Nybo

The Doobie Brothers, at the South Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton, October 27, 2014 – Photos by Kirstin Wakal

Every concert has a certain feel to it. Monday night, the Doobie Brothers managed to bring a feeling of friendliness onto the stage that oozed out over the entire SOEC and infected everyone around. Back stage techs, greeters, vendors, concert goers, darn near everyone appeared to be in a fantastic mood.

Lara_JohnstonFrom the moment Tom Johnston’s daughter, Lara Johnston, stepped onto the stage until the last note of Listen to the Music; the evening was pretty much flawless. (With the exception of a few minor technical difficulties, which were rapidly dealt with by the techs) But I digress; Lara Johnston… this girl has a great set of pipes!  Her vocal range, and the passion behind it, is evident in every song she sings. Her band is tight; her stage presence is that of a seasoned performer and her tunes, especially Pity Party, had the crowd clapping, head bobbing and chair dancing.

By the time the Doobies took to the stage, the crowd was more than ready for them. Only two of the founding members remain. Not surprising since the band first formed 44 years ago. Tom Johnston on guitar, keyboard, harmonica and vocals, and Patrick Simmons on guitar, banjo, flute and vocals, still have enough of that special something that makes the Doobie Brothers who they are. This rest of the line-up consists of John McFee (guitar, dobro, pedal steel, harmonica, violin, vocals), John Cowan, (bass, vocals), Guy Allison (keyboards, backing vocals), Marc Russo (saxaphone) and Ed Toth and Tony Pia on drums.

Marc Russo and Tom Johnston

While everyone in the band was exceptional, I must say there’s just something about a saxaphone that makes a band complete. Marc Russo added that tasty morsel of beefy sax sounds that made the finished product highly appealing.

The concert itself was what one would expect from a Doobie Brothers concert. They snagged the crowd with Jesus (is Just Alright), reeled them in with Rockin’ Down the Highway and had them squarely in the palms of their seasoned musical hands by Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me). 

Patrick_Simmons2After that, the evening was a melding of southern rock twang and bluesy rock boogie the way only the Dobbies can do it. What stood out for this reviewer was the diversity of the instruments and the sounds that came off that stage.

Aside from the basic guitar, keyboard, and drums, there was the aforementioned sax, as well as violin (Black Water), Hawaiian style guitar (Slat Key Soquel Rag), and steel guitar (South City Midnight Lady). There could have been more, but this concertgoer was well into chair dancing by then and fully immersed into the feeling of being at a Doobie Brothers concert.

The evening ended with an encore that included China Grove and Road Angel, followed by a true wall of sound version of Listen to the Music with Lara Johnston and her band joining everyone on stage. It was, without a doubt, a night jam packed with great music and memories, and it ended all too soon.

Previous articleThe Record Box for Monday, October 27th
Next articleThe Record Box for Monday, November 3rd
Publisher and CEO. First & foremost, father, son, brother and uncle. I am also a huge music fan, promoter and marketing & promotions maniac. As a fulltime musician for the past 35 years myself (yikes, that’s a long time!), I’ve come to appreciate the fact that I am able to perform and sing for people and in return, them enjoy it as much as I do. There is something to be said for that exchange of energy and good vibes that live music brings to all, from the stage to the seats, there is nothing like it and I so look forward to feeling that again when we are out of this crazy mess we are in. Music is needed desperately in everyone’s lives. The goal is to reach out and bring some awareness and light into the music scene by featuring their new music, events and in general, some light into the changes we’ve all had to adjust to in 2020. We all feel the strain in every aspect of these changes and are going to try to do our best to fill our cups up with some fantastic local music while many so of us hang on through this bumpy ride we are on. ? Making an effort to change our own thoughts and habits, can strike a chord mentally and change us along with our communities lives. Be safe and…let’s ROCK N ROLL!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.