Michael McDonald Preps First New LP in Nine Years, 'Wide Open' - Rolling Stone
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Michael McDonald Preps First New LP in Nine Years, ‘Wide Open’

Former Doobie Brothers singer also plots massive summer-fall U.S. tour

Michael McDonald performs onstage during 'Celebrating the Music of Bill Withers' at Carnegie Hall on October 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)Michael McDonald performs onstage during 'Celebrating the Music of Bill Withers' at Carnegie Hall on October 1, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)

Michael McDonald

Santiago Felipe/Getty

Michael McDonald will release Wide Open, his first studio album in over nine years, on September 15th via BMG. The LP will feature collaborations with guitarist-singer Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule), guitarist Robben Ford, bassist Marcus Miller and saxophonist Branford Marsalis.

Wide Open – which follows a trio R&B/soul cover LPs for Motown, the most recent being 2008’s Soul Speak – marks the singer-songwriter’s first set of original material in 17 years. McDonald wrote Wide Open over several years and recorded the tracks at his Nashville studio with drummer Shannon Forrest (Faith Hill, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Toto) and a crew of the city’s session players.

McDonald will promote the album with a massive U.S. tour launching June 10th in Lincoln, California. The trek’s first leg stretches throughout the summer and concludes August 20th; following a September 15th slot at the Kaaboo Festival, the trek will resume October 13th and conclude November 17th in Los Angeles.

The former Doobie Brothers frontman and Steely Dan collaborator – known for his distinctive, ultra-smooth vocal style, which famously enraged Paul Rudd’s character in 2005’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin – will celebrate the LP with a performance on PBS’ Soundstage, scheduled for this fall.

A younger generation of artists have embraced McDonald’s music in recent years, leading a groundswell of unexpected collaborations. Virtuoso bassist Thundercat recruited the singer (and Kenny Loggins) to co-write “Show You the Way,” a track on his 2017 LP, Drunk, which they performed together at last month’s Coachella Festival. They also performed the 1978 Doobie Brothers hit “What a Fool Believes” last year at the Hollywood Bowl. 

“[McDonald’s] singing is so specific, and it has so much depth,” Thundercat recently told the The L.A. Times. “Michael is such a stark example of staying honest and open in your music.”

Michael McDonald 2017 Tour

June 10 – Lincoln, CA @ Thunder Valley Casino
June 12 – Sugar Land, TX @ Smart Financial Centre
June 14 – San Antonio, TX @ Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
June 16 – Thackerville, OK @ WinStar World Casino
June 17 – Kansas City, MO @ Kauffman Ctr for the Performing Arts
June 18 – Des Moines, IA @ Hoyt Sherman Place
June 20 – Moline, IL @ iWireless Center
June 23 – Aspen, CO @ Jazz Aspen Snowmass—June Experience
June 25 – Denver, CO @ Hudson Gardens & Event Center
June 27 – Highland Park, IL @ Ravinia Festival
June 28 – Interlochen, MI @ Interlochen Center for the Arts
June 30 – Lenox, MA @ Tanglewood Music Festival
July 1 – Cohasset, MA @ South Shore Music Circus
July 2 – Gilford, NH @ Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
July 7 – Hyannis, MA @ Cape Cod Melody Tent
July 8 – Atlantic City, NJ @ Tropicana Hotel & Casino
July 9 – Ridgefield, CT @ Ridgefield Playhouse
July 12 – Dayton, OH @ Fraze Pavilion
July 14 – Mequon, WI @ Gathering on the Green
August 6 – Costa Mesa, CA @ OC Fair & Event Center
August 8 – Saratoga, CA @ Mountain Winery
August 10 – Woodinville, WA @ Chateau Ste Michelle Winery
August 11 – Spokane, WA @ Northern Quest Resort & Casino
August 12 – Goldendale, WA @ Maryhill Winery Amphitheater
August 15 – Livermore, CA @ Wente Vineyards
August 16 – Paso Robles, CA @ Vina Robles Amphitheatre
August 18 – Reno, NV @ Carson Valley Inn Casino – TJ’s Corrall
August 19 – West Wendover, NV @ Peppermill Concert Hall
August 20 – Steamboat Springs, CO @ Strings Music Festival
September 15 – Del Mar, CA @ Kaaboo
October 13 – Northfield, OH @ Hard Rock Live
October 15 – New London, CT @ Garde Arts Center
October 19 – New York, NY @ Carnegie Hall
October 21 – Clearwater, FL @ Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park
October 22 – Atlanta, GA @ Atlanta Symphony Hall
October 24 – Durham, NC @ Durham Performing Arts Center
October 28 – Washington, DC @ Warner Theatre
October 30 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
November 2 – Minneapolis, MN @ State Theatre
November 3 – St. Louis, MO @ Peabody Opera House
November 4 – Memphis, TN @ Orpheum Theatre
November 16 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
November 17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Orpheum Theatre

In This Article: Michael McDonald


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