There’s a good reason the Doobie Brothers play the annual B.R. Cohn Charity event that bundles a music festival, gala charity auction dinner and a celebrity golf classic into one fantastic weekend at the B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen, Calif. Bruce Cohn, the man who purchased the grounds in the early 1970s, is the Doobs’ manager. Every year he holds a mega-charity event at his winery and packs it with musical talent.
Oh, and Michael McDonald performing with the Doobie Brothers.
Actually, McDonald will only sit in with the Doobies on the festival’s first day, marking the singer’s first gig with the band in six years.
McDonald’s time as a Doobie Brother was one of those rare moments when a new singer actually takes a band to previously unexplored heights. While the Doobie Brothers were incredibly popular during the 1970s, the band’s original singer / guitarist Tom Johnston was experiencing health problems, including a bleeding ulcer. Contracted to record a new album, Skunk Baxter, who was pretty much the new guitarist in the band during those days, suggested a vocalist/keyboardist he knew from his days with Steely Dan, thus opening the door for McDonald.
The 1976 album Takin’ It To The Streets followed, taking the band into jazz territory. But it was The Doobie Brothers’ third album with McDonald, 1978’s Minute By Minute, that really exploded, helped in part by a hit single – “What A Fool Believes” – that radio just couldn’t quit playing.
This year’s B.R. Cohn Charity Events Fall Music Festival will be held in the memory of long-time Doobie Brothers drummer Michael Hossack who passed away this year. Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit several charities, including Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, Redwood Empire Food Bank, The Guardsmen, Operation Homefront and American Legion Post 489. Click here for more information.