Bringing these three music heavyweights together for a tour means audiences are in store for hellacious helpings of jazz, rock, blue-eyed soul and R&B as they dive into songs made famous by artists such as Curtis Mayfield, Ray Charles and David Ruffin.
“Back in the early ‘90s, my wife (Libby Titus), was producing little shows in Manhattan restaurants featuring mostly friends – musicians, comedians and so on,” Fagen said. “This grew into the ‘New York Rock & Soul Revue’ which toured nationally for two years and produced an album, Live At The Beacon Theater. The 1993 show featured, among others, Mike McDonald, Boz Scaggs and myself. The shows were such a blast that we decided to tour together again this year as the mighty ‘Dukes Of September.’”
While Fagen says The Dukes will “be playing the kind of R&B tunes that made us want to be musicians way back” as well as songs from their personal repertoires, Scaggs offers a few more hints regarding the set list.
“How about Mike McDonald singing ‘Hurt So Bad’ by Little Anthony or doing Ray’s ‘Tell The Truth’ or Donald Fagen doing David Ruffin’s ‘My Whole World Ended?’ And I might get to do Mink DeVille’s ‘Cadillac Walk’ or some Curtis Mayfield. What I know for sure is that I’ll have the best seat in the house.”
For McDonald, who first gained recognition in the ‘70s when he sang backing vocals on Steely Dan albums including The Royal Scam, Katy Lied and Aja, The Dukes Of September Rhythm Revue tour gives him a chance to work with a couple of old friends.
“The music of Donald Fagen (with Walter Becker) and Boz Scaggs figures heavily in memories of my early years in California,” McDonald said. “Having the privilege to take the stage with them, two of my all time favorite artists, is one thing; but because they’re guys that I’ve shared such an ongoing history with, this makes it all the more special for me. I only hope it’s nearly as much fun for the audience.”
The Dukes Of September Rhythm Revue tour begins in Danbury, Conn., at the Charles Ives Center Aug. 19, then travels to Atlantic City for a show at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa Aug. 20 and stops in Ashburn, Va., at the Belmont Country Club Aug. 22. Other stops include Richmond, Boston, St. Paul, Detroit, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas.
Tickets go on sale beginning June 18. For more information, click here for Donald Fagen’s website, here for Boz Scaggs’ web home and here for Michael McDonald’s digital hangout.