The song and its accompanying video were recorded virtually, with Frampton and every member of the Doobie Brothers contributing their parts remotely. “Let It Rain” is a perfect choice for the Doobies and Frampton, who add a little extra instrumental oomph — especially when Frampton and Tom Johnston start trading guitar solos — but otherwise remain faithful to the original’s cathartic pop-rock charms.
Johnston tells Rolling Stone how the collaboration came together, saying: “A couple of months ago, Peter and I were going over various tunes after deciding to do a song or video together. I tossed out ‘Let It Rain’ by Eric Clapton and he loved the idea. He’s a phenomenal guitarist and a fan of Clapton’s as am I, so it seemed a great idea to take to the rest of the guys. Peter, Pat, and I took verses and solos and John played some cool pedal steel and helped us put that together with Bill Payne on piano, John Cowan on bass, and Ed Toth on drums. Also Rob Arthur who did all the video work played B3. It was a team effort! We really enjoyed working together on this with Peter.”
Frampton added: “It was so much fun playing with my friends the Doobie Brothers even virtually! I look forward to a time when we can, hopefully, play together in person.”
The Doobie Brothers have dropped a handful of at-home performances this year after they were forced to postpone their 2020 touring plans because of Covid-19. In April, they shared a socially distanced take on “Black Water,” and a few months later they dropped a rendition of “Listen to the Music.” In July, they got together with Traffic’s Dave Mason to help him re-record “Feelin’ Alright,” with additional help from Sammy Hagar, Mick Fleetwood, and Michael McDonald.