Call it a reunion of sorts when the Steely Dan with Michael McDonald Summer 2006 tour arrives in Florida for a "Pavilion Only Performance" 7:30 p.m. August 10 at the Ford Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds, in Tampa. Needless to say (but I will anyhoo), beach blankets and sand chairs will be unnecessary for tonight's gig what with ticket prices going for $85, $55 and $45 for the reserved seats-only concert.
My unconfirmed source didn't know if the two luminaries will appear on stage together — "though Michael McDonald was once a member of Steely Dan, so it could happen; Steely Dan has its own band and is the headliner."
That having been said, Michael McDonald (possessor of inimitable, soulful sounds), doesn't take a back seat when it comes to competing with rock 'n' roll greats. While it's true the five-time Grammy winner honed his honeyed vocal cords as a singer with Steely Dan in the 1970s, he earned commercial and creative success writing and singing lead while aligned with the Doobie Brothers. McDonald then dominated the charts as a solo artist with I Keep Forgettin, and Sweet Freedom, followed by the dreamiest of duets On My Own with Patti LaBelle. Most recently, McDonald achieved gold and platinum certifications with his version of Motown classics titled I and II. He'll be opening tonight's program with the same super six-piece band, including Vince Denham, an18-year McD veteran who excels on sax, flute and keyboards, as well as Bernie Chiaravelle, on guitar and vocals since 1984. Rounding out the ensemble are Yvette "Baby Girl" Preyer, the drums, percussion and vocal powerhouse; Lanice Morrison on bass guitar and vocals; keyboardist John Dederick; and percussionist Drea Rhenee.
Equally, concertgoers will need no introduction to Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, the jazz-rock icons who brought substance to '70s music genre with hits like Rikki Don't Lose that Number along with Babylon and Hey Nineteen, harvested from seven platinum albums earned through 1980, including the definitive Aja in 1977.
Tonight's sonic soiree, sometimes dubbed the 32-city "Steelyard 'Sugartooth' McDan and the Fab-Originees" summer tour 2006, is bolstered by a terrific 10-piece band that numbers Jon Herrington on guitar, Keith Carlock on drums and Freddie Washington on bass to beef up Becker and Fagen's brand of sleek songs and subversive grooves. Attentive listeners will be able to discern delectable excerpts from Fagen's Morph the Cat and may also be treated to a few surprises. 'Nuff said!