Tom Johnston - guitar, vocals
Patrick Simmons - guitar, vocals
Jeff "Skunk" Baxter - guitar
Tiran Porter - bass, vocals
John Hartman - drums
Keith Knudsen - drums
This third set of the S.N.A.C.K. Benefit captures The Doobie Brothers at the height of popularity, just before health issues forced the replacement of founding member and songwriter Tom Johnston, and as they were finishing up sessions on the Stampede album. The trademark Doobie harmonies and intertwined guitars, with the dual drummers, are here - as are some of their most memorable songs.
Following Bill Graham's introduction, they kick off their set with a rockin' cover of "Jesus Is Just All Right," in much the same arrangement as The Byrds' great version years prior.
The next two songs, "Neil's Fandango" and "Take Me In Your Arms," would prove to be two of the best on their forthcoming album, and are heard here in early form, prior to becoming familiar radio fare. "Neal's Fandango" is a fast rocker with country overtones, written and sung by Simmons and inspired by the legendary Merry Prankster, Neal Cassidy (a.k.a. Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac's On The Road). "Rock Me In Your Arms" would soon become one of the band's biggest hits.
Possibly their most enduring song, "Black Water," follows. When the album What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits was first released, "Black Water" was thought to be a weak link and was relegated to the B-side of the LP's single, "Another Park, Another Sunday." Southern radio stations began playing the B-side and it literally took off on national radio, much to the surprise of everyone involved.
Another new number, "I've Been Working On You" is up next. Written and sung by Johnston, this funky hard rocker shows just how well the band could synchronize new elements into their trademark sound.
They close the show with the one-two punch of their formidable power rocker "Long Time Runnin'" that jams along right into their most infectious early single, "China Grove," to close the set.