GREAT PERFORMANCES: Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs: The Dukes Of September
March 15 broadcast was cancelled - new date & time TBA
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Credit: Courtesy of Joseph Sinnott
Rock and roll royalty Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Michael McDonald (The Doobie Brothers) and Boz Scaggs join forces as their own new super group, The Dukes of September, paying tribute to the R&B and soul music that inspired them along with fresh, exciting performances of some of their greatest hits. The concert, taped at New York’s Lincoln Center, will air in March 2014 on GREAT PERFORMANCES on PBS. Among the many crowd-pleasing favorites are “What a Fool Believes,” “Lowdown,” “Lido Shuffle,” “Pretzel Logic,” “Reelin’ in the Years” and many more.
The Dukes of September Rhythm Revue, formed in 2010, is a resurrection of their previous New York Rock and Soul Revue. They play a combination of hits from the members’ respective careers as well as a number of classic R&B and soul covers.
Donald Jay Fagen, musician and songwriter, was the co-founder (along with Walter Becker) and lead singer of the jazz/rock band Steely Dan. After the breakup of Steely Dan in 1981, he launched a long-running solo career in 1982, with four albums to date. In 1993, Fagen and Becker reunited as Steely Dan. Their first comeback album, “Two Against Nature,” won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 2001.
Five-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Michael McDonald is renowned for his soulful baritone. He began his career singing back-up vocals with Steely Dan. He was a member of the Doobie Brothers from 1976 to 1982, a period that resulted in several hit songs for the band, after which he began an illustrious solo career.
William Royce “Boz” Scaggs, singer, songwriter and guitarist, gained fame in the 1970s with the album “Silk Degrees,” which earned him a Grammy for R&B Song of the Year, “Lowdown.” He records in various genres, including blues, R&B, pop and jazz. Scaggs continues to write, record music and tour.
During the early 1990s, the three front men worked together in the Libby Titus-produced New York Rock and Soul Revue which, during its short life, included Phoebe Snow, Chuck Jackson, Eddie and David Brigati of the Rascals, Charles Brown, Walter Becker, Cornelius Bumpus and Mindy Jostyn.
In 2010 it was announced that Fagen, McDonald and Scaggs would do a fall tour together as the Dukes of September Rhythm Revue, the name harking back to 1950s doo-wop bands with aristocratic names. The current lineup is rounded out by Jon Herington (guitar), Freddie Washington (bass), Shannon Forrest (drums), Jim Beard (organ), Jay Collins (horns), Michael Leonhart (horns), Walt Weiskopf (horns), Carolyn Leonhart (vocals) and Monet Owens (vocals).
This ensemble has been thrilling audiences and wowing critics across the country. The three principals, taking turns on lead vocals, are always on stage as part of the band. In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Fagen says that the idea behind the group “…was to play music that we all liked when we were kids — music that made us want to become musicians in the first place.”
The song list includes: "People Get Up and Drive Your Funky Soul," "Who’s That Lady," "I Keep Forgettin’," "Kid Charlemagne," "Lowdown," "Peg," "What a Fool Believes," "Miss Sun," "Reelin’ in The Years," "Hey Nineteen," "The Same Thing," "Takin’ It to the Streets," "Sweet Soul Music," "Lido Shuffle" and "Pretzel Logic."
Directed for television by David Horn, "Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs: The Dukes Of September" was produced by Mitch Owgang; John Beug and David Horn are executive producers. For GREAT PERFORMANCES, Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.
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