Brad Paisley and Sara Evans are teaming together for a country tribute album, with the help of the classic rock band Doobie Brothers, Billboard reports on Friday (Feb. 28).
Also on the upcoming project: Zac Brown, Jerrod Niemann, Toby Keith, Chris Young and Love & Theft will contribute tracks, re-imagined versions of the iconic group’s hits.
Legendary singer Michael McDonald, who left the band in 1982, is returning for the project, too.
During last week’s Country Radio Seminar (CRS) in Nashville, Paisley, Evans and Young performed on the Sony Music Boat Show, alongside Doobie band members Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmons and John McFee. The set included “Long Train Runnin,'” “China Grove,” “Black Water” and “Listen to the Music.”
“That was an interesting night. I met a lot of cool people and really enjoyed myself,” Johnston says of the experience.
“Their iconic rock has spanned generations as the Doobies carved out their own unique place in American music,” says Sony Music Nashville chairman/CEO Gary Overton. “We’re very proud to share in a chapter of the Doobie legacy by bringing them together with some of country’s top artists for an album that honors both the band and their music.”
“Having been in the studio with both the studio guys and some of the artists, it’s amazing,” Johnston adds of working in the studio with some of the Nashville musicians and singers. “It’s been more fun that I ever could have imagined. It’s really been a kick.”
If this collaboration seems out of left field, it really isn’t. The Doobie Brothers have been planting ties in Nashville, especially at the Grand Ole Opry. “A lot of that had to do with when we put our last album out, which was ‘World Gone Crazy,'” Johnston explains. “We released a song [“World Gone Crazy”] to country [radio]. It didn’t do what we wanted it to do, but nevertheless we gave it a shot and we were in Nashville a lot pushing that. We went to Country Radio Seminar and went around town doing interviews. And at the time we didn’t know we’d be doing CMT Crossroads. That was a lot of fun.”
And, of course, fans will recall the CMT Crossroads event with superstar Luke Bryan in 2011. “The was one of the most fun things we’ve ever done. That and the thing we did the other night [the Sony boat] are two of our highlights.”
The track listing and additional details have not been revealed.
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