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Interview:
Founding member's appreciation grows for Doobie Brothers' longevity
 

By GARY GRAFF
@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

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Patrick Simmons has only positive thoughts as the Doobie Brothers celebrate the 40th anniversary of their first album this year.

"A band like this has always felt like a gift," says the guitarist, who's the sole mainstay over that entire four-decade span. "It's not just musically; it's the whole opportunity to kind of live the dream and be able to pursue something that you love to do and actually make a living at it.

"It's always kind of been an accident, really. You just kind of do what you do, and if you happen to fall into what people are looking for, then great. There's no way to predict that. It's just really a roll of the dice in so many ways.

The Doobies certainly have laurels to rest on -- more than 40 million albums sold and enduring hits such as "Listen to the Music," "Black Water," "China Grove" and "Takin' It to the Streets" -- but Simmons says new music is in motion. The group has started "a project" in Nashville that he says is in its early stages but could yield something fresh.

"It's kind of an Americana thing we're working on," says Simmons, 64, who's also been writing new songs with original Doobies producer Ted Templeman. "It's a collaborative thing with some other artists. It's so early that it's not really anything that has legs yet. It's probably just wishful thinking at this point, but I think we do want to do something (new), and this is kind of moving in that direction, so we'll see."

The Doobie Brothers and JJ Grey & Mofro perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $20-$45 pavilion only. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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