Thursday, February 28, 2008


Michael McDonald
We keep forgettin’ to give the husky-voiced crooner his due—so here he is!
By John Sellers
  • Illustration: Rob Kelly
    Maybe it’s his stint with the Doobie Brothers. Or those famous team-ups with soft-rock relics Kenny Loggins and Christopher Cross. Or the prematurely gray hair. Whatever the reason, Michael McDonald has been catnip for comedians for more than a quarter of a century now. And his career certainly has been parodied—on SCTV, in the South Park movie and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and, most recently, via the Internet serial Yacht Rock. But the 56-year-old singer and keyboardist has survived the (mostly good-natured) ribbing with surprising grace: “It’s think it’s kind of great,” he says from his home in Nashville. “A lot of it is really funny.” This week at the Blue Note, McDonald will perform his maddeningly catchy classics as well as those from his latest album, Soul Speak, which features covers of songs by such non–Yacht Rock–y artists as Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen and Bob Marley.
  • You should know going into this that I’ve had “I Keep Forgettin’ ” stuck in my head for 25 years now. I think I’m technically insane.
    Well, that’s good to hear.
  • That “Regulate” song by Warren G and Nate Dogg? Didn’t help.
    It’s funny. To my kids, that’s the good version of the song. They say, “Why couldn’t you have written it that way?” They love that record—but not because of anything I did.

    As a guy with prematurely graying hair myself, I want to thank you for being a role model.
    I wish I had a choice in that one, but yeah, you’re welcome.You wore it proudly—like Steve Martin! I wish I could say that I was that way from the beginning. It was only after two or three humiliating episodes where the record company told me, “We’re not going to shoot a video unless you dye your hair,” and I looked like Mr. Chocolate Kiss from Clairol. It had to get really ugly before I decided that I would never dye it again.
  • Have you ever owned a yacht?
    No, but I thought Yacht Rock was hilarious. And uncannily, you know, those things always have a little bit of truth to them. It’s kind of like when you get a letter from a stalker who’s never met you. They somehow hit on something, and you have to admit they’re pretty intuitive.
  • Have you at least lived near a marina?
    No, I never did. Although a couple summers ago, when I opened for Steely Dan, I’d do the encore with them and come out in a little captain’s hat, like Alan Hale Jr. We all wore them onstage.

    And not one of you owns a yacht?
    Not that I know of. Well, David Crosby owns a sailboat. But I’m not sure he counts.

    Okay. So what’s the craziest thing you ever did with Kenny Loggins?
    We mostly worked a lot when we would get together. Kenny, he’s one of those guys who was a more serious artist; I was just a schlub. He was like, “C’mon, let’s get this right,” and I was like, “Got any beer?”

    I’m thinking that your tenure in the Doobie Brothers probably wasn’t drug-free.
    Not exactly, no. Not everybody had the same problems that I had, but there was a few of us who did the dust.

    Did fans almost expect that kind of stuff from you?
    I don’t want it to sound like I’m bragging about smoking pot, but there was a time when that was a big part of our day. Smoking in the morning was normal. But a lot of things became normal to me. Seizures, pissing my pants, waking up in a hotel room with the New York City police at the foot of my bed became normal. It’s not like I’m proud of it.

    Speaking of bad trips, I recently read that Skunk Baxter, the beret-wearing Doobie guitarist, is now a consultant for the Department of Defense.
    Yeah. That’s about as good a reason to store food and hoard cash as I can come up with.

    Michael McDonald plays the Blue Note Tue 4 and Wed 5. Soul Speak is out Tue 4.

Ben E. King on NY1...

Friday through Sunday. NY1's George Whipple came to the Blue Note last night with a cameraman to interview Ben E. King and record some of the show. King was very happy and Whipple was star-struck!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


The Delirium Blues Project featuring Kenny Werner and Roseanna Vitro will be hosting their CD Release Party here at the Blue Note from March 11-16. The Blue Note Blog is offering not only a pair of tickets to either set on opening night, but 2 FREE Pre-Release CDs of the brand new project on Half Note Records. The winner will be picked at random. To enter the contest, please following these instructions:

1. Send an email to, write "Delirium Blues Project Contest" in the subject line

2. Write your name, phone number, and address if you would like us to send you the CDs, and indicate which set you would like to come to.

Spread the word!

Michael McDonald's Letterman Performance

As promised, Michael McDonald performed on Letterman last night...and here it is! Enjoy.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Michael McDonald On Letterman Tonight!

Plan on watching TV tonight? Yes? Well, if so, make sure you stay up for Michael McDonald's performance on the David Letterman Show (who will perform after Letterman's interview with actor Will Ferrell) on channel 3 CBS from 11:35pm - 12:30am, EST.

What does Michael McDonald's performance on Letterman have to do with you and the Blue Note? Well, for starters, McDonald will be performing HERE at the club on March 4 and 5, just one week away. If you try for tickets and they're all sold out, remember, there will be spots available at the bar, first come first served! So get here early, folks!

And get ready for Letterman tonight!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Clark "Mumbles" Terry

Check this one out - Clark Terry doing his best "Mumbles" (if you don't know why he's called Mumbles, you'll know now) - while Chris Botti and Ramsey Lewis look on! All on Legends of Jazz...and Clark will be at the Blue Note with his big band all week!


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Crusaders Set List for 02/12/08...


1. Free As The Wind
2. Creepin'
3. I Felt The Love
4. Ballad For Joe
5. The Territory
6. So Far Away
7. Way Back Home
8. Put It
9. Sonwflake (Encore)


1. Sweet & Sour
2. Viva Da Funk
3. It Happens Everyday
4. Street Life
5. Spiral
6. Way Back Home
7. So Far Away
8. Put It
9. Snowflake (Encore)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

NY TIMES listing on the Crusaders...

THE CRUSADERS (Tuesday through Sunday) This crossover soul-jazz outfit, led by the keyboardist Joe Sample, has gone through multiple revisions since its heyday in the 1970s. Here the lineup features one other founding member, the saxophonist Wilton Felder, and includes Nils Landgren on trombone, Hiram Bullock on guitar, Nicklas Sample (Joe Sample’s son) on bass and Steve Gadd on drums. (Through Feb. 17.) At 8 and 10:30 p.m., Blue Note, 131 West Third Street, West Village, (212) 475-8592; cover, $45 at tables, $30 at the bar, with a $5 minimum. (Chinen)


Monday, February 11, 2008


2 8pm only shows have been announced and are currently on-sale as of this afternoon for Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan legend Michael McDonald. McDonald will release his latest CD "Soul Speak" just days after his two nights at the Blue Note. It's one show per night, so get your tickets while they last!

For the Tuesday, March 4, 8PM show click here:
For the Wednesday, March 5, 8PM show click here:

Saturday, February 9, 2008


John Scofield and Larry Grenadier

Lionel Loueke

Jason Moran

Francisco Mela

Francisco Mela

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Blue Note Blog Series: Blast From The Past

Congratulations to McCoy Tyner, winner of this year's President's Award at the Grammys. This week's Blast From The Past is a video of McCoy playing with John Coltrane in 1965 - an incredible, lesser-known version of Naima...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Italian Women In Jazz Festival


Cross-cultural events, jazz music, female creativity, Italian culture, the city of New York: these were the mixed basic ideas that created the first edition of the “Italian Women in Jazz" Festival, back in 2005.

Enzo Capua, a PR pioneer and music promoter known for his repeated successful work as the US representative for the “Umbria Jazz Festival", a reporter for SBS Radio, a correspondent for “Musica Jazz" magazine to name a fiew credentials, produced the concert at Symphony Space Theater with the support of the Italian Cultural Institute. It was the first time in the history of the New York Jazz scene to have an event that grouped Jazz bands with Italian women as leaders in one night.

For this third edition the Festival will be held at the world famous Blue Note Jazz club, during the first week-end of February: 1st , 2nd and 3rd . This represents a big step ahead for “Italian Women in Jazz". After two successful editions in a single day, the forthcoming Festival will be displayed during three nights in the most important jazz venue of New York City.

Check out the whole article here!