Doobie Brothers Light Up Merlefest
Friday’s Merlefest headliners the Doobie Brothers had the crowd on their feet with classics as well as songs from their new album World Gone Crazy released in 2010. Crowd pleasing favorite classics included China Grove, Black Water, Listen to the Music and Takin’ it to the Streets. According to a pre-show interview the band says Jesus is still, in fact, alright with them.
Original members of the Doobie Brothers still performing with the band included Pat Simmons and Tom Johnston. Longtime Merlefest performer John Cowan joined the band on stage, having formerly played bass with the Doobie Brothers from 1993-1995.
The Doobie Brothers were an unusual headliner at the typically Bluegrass and folk genre based festival, relative to previous headliners including Del McCoury, Steve Martin and Elvis Costello. The Doobie Bothers won’t be the only headliner from the Classic Rock genre as formed Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant will take the stage with the Band of Joy this Sunday.
Doobie Brothers Interview:
John Cowan has been at Merlefest 21 years, what do you like about Merlefest the most?
JC: I like the tradition of wackiness. The tradition is that the spirit of Doc and Merle, they were inclusive about music. They didn’t think something was too wild or too crazy. They thought if you were a great musician or a great player then they accepted you and that tradition is continued here.
What kind of music would you classify yourselves as now?
PS: We’ve done everything from rock to blues to country. We actually pride ourselves because we can play so many different genres, it keeps it interesting for us.
Is it as much fun as ever?
TJ: It is. Playing live is what it’s all about.
Would you say Jesus is still alright with you?
PS: He’s alright. (Laughing)
What is so special about the Merlefest audience?
JC: They are strictly here for the music.
If you missed tonight’s show make sure you get to the festival Saturday and Sunday. Merlefest is held on the campus of Wilkesboro Community College in Wilkesboro, NC. Get more info at Merlefest.org
UPDATE: View all the Live photos from the Doobie Brothers Merlefest performance on the FlyingRooster flickr page.