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There’s no separating the unparalleled legacy of the Doobie Brothers from their upcoming release on HOR Records World Gone Crazy – not that anyone would want to. Nevertheless, the new album may be most remarkable for the extent to which it stands completely on its own. Yes, World Gone Crazy is another chapter in one of the great American music stories, but it’s neither comeback nor nostalgia. An exhibition of aggressive and emotional performances, evocative storytelling, unapologetic attitude and world class musicianship, the collection is its own justification.

In a sense, World Gone Crazy is an analogy for the Doobie Brothers as a whole. With founding members Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons, and 30 year-plus veterans John McFee and Michael Hossack, the Doobies have perfectly honored the band’s legacy with an offering that grows in unexpected new directions.

The songs on World Gone Crazy all feature Johnston and Simmons as writers and lead vocalists. Adding dimension to the project, in some cases there were co-writers involved, as well as some notable contributions or “guest appearances” by other vocalists.

Long time Doobie drummer Michael Hossack, of whom producer Ted Templeman has said “he’s the first band member-drummer in a rock group that was as good as or better than any session player out there…” is the rhythmic backbone of the album, continuing a tradition that began with his drumming on the band’s first hit single, “Listen to the Music.”

Multi-instrumentalist Doobie veteran John McFee says “I just tried to do what I could on this project as a team player to serve the songs and the band.” Modest words from an in-demand musician whose work can be heard on classic recordings with such artists as Van Morrison, Steve Miller, the Grateful Dead, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Rick James, Link Wray, Glen Campbell, Huey Lewis and the News, the Beach Boys and many, many others.

“This album has been in the mix for five years, but we didn’t seriously start putting the nuts and bolts together until three years ago,” Johnston says. Simmons adds, “We had been compiling songs with the idea we would eventually do a record. Our old producer Ted Templeman came by tour rehearsals one day and was impressed with how we were sounding. He asked if we were doing any new material or thinking about recording. And that’s where it really started.”

Aside from a few years of inactivity in the mid-eighties, the Doobie Brothers have continued to perform, create and record for over 21 consecutive years. “The Doobies have always been about playing live,” Johnston says. “We’re not a studio hot house group and we’re not a concept album band. We’ve always just brought in the tunes we had, put them together and made an album. That’s the way it’s been from the very first album and that’s still the way it’s being done.”

Reuniting with Templeman, whose first hit record as a producer included the playing of the Doobies’ own John McFee (Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey album featuring the song “Wild Night”), and who produced all the band’s albums through 1980, greatly influenced the project. “I’ve got a lot of songs on my home studio hard drive,” Johnston says. “That was a boon of having Teddy involved. He came up to my house in Northern California and we went through everything.”

“Tommy gave him some demos and I did the same,” Simmons says. “It took off from there. He got together with both of us at different times, went through the material and collected certain songs he wanted to start with. We did a little warm up at a couple places and ended up cutting the basic tracks at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles.”

McFee recounts “Teddy kept asking me to submit songs, but I really felt like this project was the time for me to step back from the songwriting and let Tommy, Pat and Ted get back to the chemistry that got this train rolling in the first place.” This from a Grammy nominated songwriter with numerous BMI awards to his credit.

Co-writers run the full spectrum from an enthusiastic young fan (P.J. Heinz) Simmons met years ago to musical icon Willie Nelson. The former contributed to the bittersweet love song “Far From Home” after years of musical encouragement from Simmons. The latter was a vocal collaboration as well, with Nelson joining Simmons in the studio for the recording of their composition “I Know We Won”, which features Doobie Brother John McFee (who, as a member of the group Southern Pacific was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum’s Walkway of Stars) on banjo, mandolin, and lead guitar.

Johnston says recording hasn’t changed much, but that may be the only similarity to earlier albums. “…The way the song comes in has changed a great deal because I’m using software to write. It frees me up to write the drums, bass and everything else. I can sing the background parts and do all the guitar and keyboard parts I had in mind.” This serves as a more complete guide of the writer’s vision when the other players get together to do the actual recording.

Acclaimed pianist Bill Payne (Little Feat), Grammy award winning sax man and long time performing Doobie lineup member Marc Russo, Santana percussionist Karl Perazzo, Tower of Power horn legend Mic Gillette, Ringo Starr’s drummer of choice Gregg Bissonette, Elton John keyboard player Kim Bullard and others joined the process over an extended period. “It’s been on again, off again as much as we’ve been on the road – a lot longer than you normally spend doing an album,” Johnston says. “But we’ve also utilized that time to really fine-tune stuff. It has worked out for the best.”

Simmons agrees. “We were able to reach out a little further to do all the things on the songs we had been imagining, which in the past was not always the case. We’d run out of time or didn’t have the opportunity to do some things we wanted. Because we weren’t rushed with a deadline we were able to get to the end of our ideas so the tunes feel a lot more complete.”

“I had a guy come in and play cello on one track,” Simmons continues. “On another song I wanted to bring in our friend Norton Buffalo on harmonica. It took me a while to get it all arranged, but I was able to get that done. We went a little further this time.”

“A Brighter Day,” Johnston says, is a case in point. “The song went from okay to where it is now solely because it took us so long to do the album. That gave us the chance to sit back, listen and figure out what each song needs.”

The project also gave Templeman an opportunity to address one of his longstanding frustrations. “Nobody,” the band’s first-ever single from their self-titled debut album, was never the recording Templeman hoped it would be – particularly the hard-to-distinguish rhythm section. “The nuts and bolts are the same, but there’s an intro that wasn’t there before,” Johnston says. “John’s doing a new Dobro part and the drum pattern is different.”

As the new album’s lead single, “Nobody” brings things full circle. World Gone Crazy also offers classic Doobie style harmonies and rock edge on “Chateau.” And the rhythm guitar work on “Old Juarez,” unmistakable vocal additions from Michael McDonald on “Don’t Say Goodbye” and doubled guitar work on “Young Man’s Game” ring Doobie true.

“The rest of the tunes go to places the band hasn’t necessarily visited before,” Johnston says. “‘World Gone Crazy,’ ‘A Brighter Day,’ and other songs were written on keyboards, not guitar. The style of songs like ‘Old Juarez’ and ‘New York Dream’ are a departure from anything we’ve ever done.” Simmons’ touching ballad “Far From Home” with his distinctive finger picking guitar work augmented with cello melodies, and “Don’t Say Goodbye” featuring John McFee’s Stéphane Grappelli-like violin intertwined with Norton Buffalo’s beautiful chromonica playing also break new ground.

And if fans have any understanding of what to expect from the Doobie Brothers, it’s probably the unexpected. “In a certain sense, it’s vintage Doobie Brothers,” Simmons says. “It certainly has the two original writers and there’s a certain signature there in terms of the vocal sound that comes from each of us as writers. As far as the songs are concerned, there are elements of things we’ve done in the past and some new ways we’ve applied them. There are also some newer approaches and elements we haven’t used.”

McFee says “The one thing that has always been true of the Doobie Brothers is an avoidance of limiting the music stylistically – it’s always been about making the best music the band can do, no boundaries involved.”

“The band is the band, and that’s a good thing,” Johnston says. “You don’t want to go so far that people say, ‘Who the hell is that?’ The vocals are big identifiers as Pat and I have voices people seem to know. And a song like ‘Old Juarez’ has a Doobie-ish feel even though it’s a Latin style track.”

“That’s been the goal with all of our records,” Simmons sums. “To try to achieve that diversity but at the same time remain true to ourselves.” And if World Gone Crazy is a microcosm of the (greater) Doobie Brothers, then the Doobie Brothers are as appropriate a projection of American music as can be found in one long running association of musicians. “This band represents a lot of American music styles,” Johnston says. “From the finger-picking stuff that Pat does – and John can do as well – to blues, jazz, rock and roll. By the time you get done you’ve got, to lift a song title from another group, an American band.”

Like the nation that spawned the many musical styles they’ve adopted, the Doobie Brothers’ deepest traditions are change, growth, striving and an abiding faith in the future. And so World Gone Crazy pays tribute to the Doobie Brothers legacy the most appropriate way possible … by moving resolutely forward.

About Michaek Hossack

Drummer Michael Hossack was born in Paterson, New Jersey on October 17, 1946 (a real baby boomer). At age twelve Mike started playing drums in the Little Falls Cadets, a Boy Scout Drum and Bugle Corp. He credits his drum instructors, Joe Whelan (Little Falls Cadets), Bob Peterson (Our Lady of Lourdes Cadets), and George Tuttle (Fair Lawn Cadets) for teaching him the disciplines of playing with other drummers.

“People always ask me of it’s hard to play with another drummer. I tell them that after playing along with up to twelve other drummers at once in the drum corps, this is a snap!”

After serving in the Navy during the Vietnam era, Mike returned to New Jersey in January of 1969 and was about to embark on a career in law enforcement. Fortunately, a friend convinced him to audition for a California band called Mourning Reign, who were playing at a local resort. After a long winter of starvation and deprivation playing upstate New York, the band longed for the gentle breezes of the San Francisco Bay area they called home.

Soon after arriving on the west coast, the band signed a production contract with the same company as a new bay area band, The Doobie Brothers. Unfortunately for Mourning Reign, tough financial times hastened the demise of the band. Fortunately for Mike, the Doobie Brothers had heard of his abilities and invited him to jam with the band. What Mike didn’t know is that the “jam” turned out to be a real gig and audition at Bimbo’s in San Francisco. After his trial by fire, the band decided that the two drummer concept was just what they needed for that extra percussive punch. Mike was invited to join the band and soon after found himself in the studio laying down tracks for the bands’ second album for Warner Brothers called “Toulouse Street”, soon to be followed by “The Captain and Me” and “What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits.”

Mike’s unique drumming style can be heard on every song containing drums on these early albums which included hits such as “Listen to The Music”, “Rockin’ Down The Highway”, “Jesus Is Just Alright”, “China Grove”, “Long Train Runnin”, and the band’s first #1 hit single “Blackwater”.

Along with success also came the pressures of continual touring and after a particularly grueling ten months on the road in 1973, Mike left the band. After a short hiatus he helped found a new band called Bonaroo, which recorded one album for Warner Brothers before disbanding in 1975. In 1976 he did a short stint for another two drummer band called DFK, (LesDudek, Mike Finnigan and Jim Kreiger). Then in 1977, Mike became a partner in Chateau Recorders, a recording studio in North Hollywood and divided his time between working and raising his children.

In 1987, the Doobie Brothers called Mike and asked if he would like to join them in a series of benefit concerts for Veterans of The Vietnam War. Being a vet himself, Mike was more than happy to be included and rejoin his old buddies. The success of these concerts inspired the band to reform and soon they received an offer from Capitol Records to begin recording again, and have been going strong ever since, adding to Mike’s credits with the albums, “Cycles”, “Brotherhood” and “Rockin’ Down the Highway-The Wildlife Concerts”.

When not touring or in the studio, Mike enjoys spending time with his son Mike Jr., and his daughter Erica Rose. He also likes hunting, fishing, and riding his 105 inch Harley-Davidson.

About Tom Johnston

Tom Johnston was born in Visalia, California on August 15th, 1948. Tom’s favorite music as he grew up included Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Elvis, James Brown and lots of rhythm and blues on the radio. At the age of 12 Tom took up guitar, and had his first band at age 14. In his early career he played in a variety of bands, including such groups as a Mexican Wedding Band that played half soul and half Mexican music. His interest in rhythm and blues led to his singing in a soul group from a neighboring town and, and eventually his own blues band.

Tom moved to San Jose to finish college and started playing in bands around San Jose. It was here that he met the legendary Skip Spence. Skip was the original drummer of the Jefferson Airplane; Skip went on to become a founding member of the group which had a major influence on the Doobie Brothers and which many consider the finest group to emerge from the San Francisco music scene of the 1960′s – Moby Grape.

It was Skip who introduced Tom to John Hartman.

“We put together several bands that featured horns and even several power trios. We lived in a house that served as the musical headquarters for the now functioning Doobie Brothers Band. Pat Simmons joined the group with Dave Shogren playing bass.” Tom’s sense of humor comes through when describing the results of their early efforts: “We made our first album for Warner Brothers which went teflon!”

Then some things happened which seem to have given the group the right combination: “The group changed when Tiran Porter replaced Dave on bass.” The finishing touch, which has become an important part of the Doobies’ music – double drummers – came when “Michael Hossack was added as the second drummer.”

From that point forward the band started to really take off! Tom wrote “Listen To The Music” and “Rockin Down The Highway,” and with help from “Jesus Is Just Alright,” the band and Toulouse Street was on it’s way!

About John McFee

John McFee was born on September 9, 1950, in Santa Cruz, California and began playing music “so young I can’t remember a time when I didn’t play music.” With his interest in a wide range of musical styles he seems to have found the perfect band in The Doobie Brothers. “I was a big fan of the group before I ever thought about joining them – they were always experimenting and mixing blues, country, jazz, rock – all into their own style.” Before joining the Doobies on guitar, violin, pedal steel, vocals (and whatever else the music calls for) in the late seventies, John’s varied musical interests were reflected in his own career. He has recorded with Van Morrison, The Grateful Dead, Carlene Carter, Steve Miller, Emmylou Harris, Boz Scaggs, Elvis Costello, The Kendalls, Eikichi Yazawa, Link Wray, Crystal Gayle, Rick James, John Michael Montgomery, Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, Ricky Scaggs, Nick Lowe, Pam Tillis, The Beach Boys, and many others besides his work as a Doob. He was also a long time member of the group Clover, which was to evolve into Huey Lewis and the News, and has played on two of Huey’s albums.

John and late Doobies drummer Keith Knudsen (along with former Creedence Clearwater Revival bassist Stu Cook) teamed up to form the country rock group Southern Pacific, and released five albums (Southern Pacific, Killbilly Hill, Zuma, County Line, and a Greatest Hits package) during the ’80s, creating several number one and top ten hits on the national country charts. John was a writer on most their hits, and “For me it was a way of getting back to my musical roots” he says, and he continues to do session work for various top country artists. Southern Pacific was named New Country Group of the Year when they debuted and have been honored by having their name added to the Country Music Association’s Walkway of Stars in Nashville, Tennessee.

One thing that John has long had in common with other Doobie members (as you can see from Pat and Tom’s pages) is his admiration for the legendary group Moby Grape. In 1992, John produced Moby Grape founding member Peter Lewis’ solo album for European release, a project John feels ranks amongst the best albums he has ever worked on (high praise considering this list includes, besides the Doobie recordings he has done, such albums as Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey and St. Dominic’s Preview, Elvis Costello’s My Aim Is True, Huey Lewis’ Sports, Steve Miller’s Fly Like An Eagle, etc.)

John lives with his wife Marcy near Santa Barbara in California, and their son Shane recently graduated from college with a degree in music. Besides John’s music and his family, his interests include Apple computers, motorcycling, and surfing.

About Pat Simmons

Patrick Simmons was born in the rainy western coastal town of Aberdeen, Washington on October 19, 1948. Since his parents were both school teachers, five year old Patrick spent time after school with a babysitter, who just happened to be a piano teacher. This sparked an interest in music, which has continued throughout his life. At the age of six Pat and his family moved to San Jose, California. By the age of eight, Pat had discovered the guitar. With the help of an eight year old neighbor he was able to learn the basics of chording and accompanying himself as he sang. He continued to play all through elementary school and by the age of thirteen he was in his first rock and roll band. Later on in high school he also sang in the choir.

Pat’s first professional gig, at age fifteen, was at the Brass Knocker Coffee House in Saratoga, California. He played folk, blues and traditional music along with some original tunes. He continued to play a circuit of small coffee houses, bars, restaurants and clubs by himself and with various bands around the San Francisco Bay Area while finishing high school.

In 1967, Pat enrolled at San Jose State College where he pursued a degree in Psychology. He alternated his studies with performances on most weekends. It was during one of these performances in 1969 at the Gaslighter Theater in Campbell, California that Pat first met Tom Johnston and John Hartman, who were at the time playing in a band with former Moby Grape member and mutual friend Skip Spence. The three musicians, introduced by Skip, began a relationship that would last for over twenty-five years.

At the time Pat was playing in a band called Scratch with future Doobie bass player Tiran Porter and violinist Mike Mindel. A short time later, when Scratch broke up, Pat accepted an invitation to join with Tom, John and bass player Dave Shogren to form a new band and the Doobie Brothers were born.

Throughout the bands’ career, Pat has contributed many songs that have become Doobie classics. The hit “Black Water”, was the group’s first #1 record. He also penned such memorable songs such as, “South City Midnight Lady”, “Dependin’ On You”, “Echoes of Love” and the motorcycling song “Dangerous”. While the group has experienced many personnel changes over the years, Pat has remained as the only member who has stuck with the band and continues to be the driving force behind the Doobie Brothers.

He has also recorded two solo albums, “Arcade” in 1983 and in 1995 the Japanese release “Take Me To The Highway”.

Recently Pat produced, played on, and engineered a recording by Tim O’Connor, the “hitch hiking poet” – a project worth giving a listen to. Entitled Run Over by Love, the album features songs from the movie “Dead Calm”, starring Billy Zane and Nicole Kidman.

Pat lists some of his musical influences as Chet Atkins, Rev. Gary Davis, Mike Bloomfield, B.B. King, Doc Watson, the Moby Grape, Jorma Kaukonen, the Byrds, the Beatles and Bob Dylan.

Pat loves spending time with his lovely wife Cris and his three wonderful children Lindsey, Josh and Patrick Jr. He and Cris are avid motorcyle enthusiasts. Both love to ride their Harleys and enjoy attending motorcycle events and collecting motorcycle memorabilia. They also enjoy horseback riding and surfing.

World Gone Crazy

1. A Brighter Day
Tom Johnston; Windecor Publishing (BMI)
TJ: This was just a track I'd put steel drums on and our producer, Ted Templeman heard it and said it would be great if I wrote about an island. He mentioned the word "shout," but he was taking it from another context. But with that bit of an idea I came up with this little boy who's been gifted with the ability to see the future. I created the spin that people in the U.S. want to go down to Jamaica to hear what he says. Then I used "shout" in the chorus. Billy Payne's keyboard parts play a huge role in the feel of that tune. It's gospel crossed with an island sound that only he could do.
The other thing that was a big addition was when our engineer Ross Hogarth hipped me to these background singers he knew in LA. The breakdown in that song really needed something, so I was talking to the group's Dorian Holley (formerly with Michael Jackson) and they came in with that vocal thing they do. It lifted that whole section to another place.

2. Chateau
Pat Simmons/Ted Templeman; Need Publishing
PS: I had that track, the riff, and had a few ideas in the back of my head. Ted really liked it and we started brainstorming. He said I should write a song about The Chateau, which was a club we played in California in the early '70s. It was a really neat bar way up in the mountains in the middle of a redwood forest. You could maybe get 500 people in there with a couple hundred more hanging out in the parking lot. No supervision to speak of; there were some bouncers and stuff, but nobody ever got bounced. The Hell's Angels used to park up there and nobody would act up because they made sure there was no trouble; no fights. It was a really cool scene, actually.
Ted came up there with Lenny Waronker, who was the president of Warner Bros. – straight as arrows in their penny loafers and pullover sweaters. Ted never forgot it and said it was just the most outrageous place. He said this track reminded him of The Chateau and he wrote some of those lyrics.

3. Nobody
Tom Johnston; Warner Chappell (BMI)
TJ: This was the first single from our first album and Ted always thought we didn't capture a good recording, so we took it and retooled it. Although the guitar rhythms and lyrics are the same, everything else is different. Sonically, it's head and shoulders above the old one. The bass and drums weren't really present on the original, but we've got Bob playing bass on this entire album except for one track, too. Pat and John came up with the intro as we were rehearsing for the road last year. And they finally recording it while we were touring. That's the one of the positive sides of digital recording. And I really like that intro.

4. World Gone Crazy
Tom Johnston; Windecor Publishing (BMI)
TJ: Written on piano and it kind of wrote itself. I didn't have to sit around and beat my head against the wall to come up with lyrics. Everything just happened; you sit there and it channels through you. There was no shortage of ideas, and that's the great part of working with MIDI – I can record piano parts that I could never play live. I can put little New Orleans parts over the top. The drum work, bass, background vocals and everything was written at the house. Horn parts, too. It's a story about a guy who grew up in the streets and now has a government job. The lament is that he's hoping to make enough money to pay the rent so the government doesn't take his house away. His brother gets popped for robbing a liquor store, which he didn't do. The juxtaposition of the words not being totally cheerful, but the track is so upbeat somehow works. When we play it live people just get up and start dancing, which is really neat because new songs don't usually engender that in a crowd.
We made it the title track for two reasons. The record company really likes the song. And, it's a very colorful song that portrays a part of the world we're really involved with – New Orleans. Pat and I have written about it and been there numerous times.

5. Far From Home
Pat Simmons/Ted Templeman/PJ Heinz; Need Publishing
PS: I have a friend I've known since he was just a teenager. He's from New Jersey and used to come to our shows. He's maybe 30 now. He used to bring me bits and pieces of music he was working on and ask me to listen to it and tell him what I think. He'd hand me a CD, I'd go back and listen and I always encouraged him. Every year we'd come in to Atlantic City and he'd show up to the gig with another CD. We just kind of stayed in touch; I got his phone number and called him a couple times to encourage him to keep doing it. I really thought he had some talent and I like to do that when I see it.
About two years ago he came to the gig and handed me another CD. I had never heard anything from him I thought we could work on. Other times he'd brought me stuff we weren't recording so I hadn't even thought about it. This time he handed me a track with some guitar changes I really liked. I took it home, kept listening to it and finally called him. I asked if he minded me taking these changes to see if I could come up with a song. He said, "No, of course. I've been hoping all these years you'd say that."
So I picked out certain changes I thought were kind of hooky, speeded it up a little bit and made a track at home. I played it for Ted and he said that something about it was really magical. So Ted and I started talking about our lives and kids. I told him my son was getting ready to go to college, and he told me about his kids leaving and how it was great they were moving on, but bittersweet, too. That was how the song developed. A song about letting go of someone you love. We came up with lyrics and a basic arrangement. I sent it back to the kid who'd handed me the original idea on a CD and he was totally knocked out. He said it made him cry.

6. Young Man’s Game
Tom Johnston; Windecor Publishing (BMI)
TJ: This is just what it sounds like. We've been out doing it 30 or 40 years, we're still out doing it, playing great and, hey,gre rock and roll isn't just a young man's game. There are a lot of us still rocking pretty hard. Once again, that's Billy playing piano, adding a nice texture. And we had Gregg Bissonette doing the drums, and he really nailed it. Gregg is a killer drummer.

7. Don’t Say Goodbye (featuring Michael McDonald)
Pat Simmons/Ted Templeman; Need Publishing
PS: Being in Hawaii, I think the original track was called "Kona Winds." Ted wasn't nuts about that idea, so I asked if he wanted to work on it together. He ended up telling me about Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. I went and read the story and we came back to work on the song, but rather than make it Hemingway's story, I suggested we it our own. It keys off that story, but it's our take. Everybody has had the experience of running into someone you had a relationship with and you want to forget about the past, focus on the present and capture that moment. I made it more about San Jose, where I grew up. There are some references to a carnival type atmosphere you might find in Spain, Mexico City or Rio in there, too.
Ted said he'd heard a European movie soundtrack that was basically violin, harmonica and guitars. He put that in my head and I really liked the idea. So I called Norton Buffalo, who passed away recently. This may be his last recorded performance as it wasn't long after this session that he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He did this incredible exchange on harmonica with John McFee on violin. It's an unusual combination of instruments.
So I was doing overdubs in Maui and I stay in touch with Mike McDonald; he and I are still close friends. He comes to Maui occasionally and stays. He and his wife were in town and I kept thinking I'd love to hear the sound Mike created on some of those Steely Dan records. It was usually Mike and a female vocalist. So I got him, his wife Amy and a good friend of mine Gail Swanson to come in and sing the background on the tune. Different kind of tune, but an indirect tribute to Steely Dan, too.

8. My Baby
Tom Johnston; Windecor Publishing (BMI)
TJ: In a way, it's my salute to Taj Mahal, although I wasn't thinking that when I wrote it. It's a guitar song and I write it on acoustic, and all the words wrote themselves, which is nice. Billy played on it a little bit and Guy Allison is playing the tremolo Rhodes part on it. John is playing slide, as he did on Nobody, Law Dogs and Chateau. The is the first album we've featured so much slide playing.

9. Old Juarez
Tom Johnston; Windecor Publishing (BMI)
TJ: I had everything else for this, but I didn't have the words. It got to the point I was going through the encyclopedia looking for stories of Old Juarez, not what's going on now. That's not a happy scene. This is an Old West story with a Latin twist to it. We used to visit Juarez when we played El Paso in the '70s. We'd jump across the border and walk around for a while. I was trying to get that vibe and finally came up with the idea of this young gunslinger having his eye on a lady who is already married, and what the result of that would be.

10. I Know We Won (featuring Willie Nelson)
Pat Simmons/Willie Nelson; Need Publishing
PS: I wrote the track a year before we recorded it, but was never really happy with it. I had the melody, some changes and the first verse, but that was all I really liked. I'd been talking to Willie for ages about it would be fun to get together and write a song. My wife must have finally asked him for me. I gave him what I had and within a couple days, on the back of the lyrics I gave him, he wrote the whole second verse and chorus. We talked and I made a demo of it, and I asked if it was what he had in mind. He said it was exactly what he was thinking. When I was in Maui I brought a file over to the studio, had Willie come in to sing. He's a fantastic person. Writing it I was feeling kind of nostalgic about my own youth, growing up in the Santa Clara Valley – that was the picture I had. And he perfectly captured the sentiment I was thinking about.

11. Law Dogs
Tom Johnston; Windecor Publishing (BMI)
TJ: This was basically finished when I presented it. Another of those Old West kind of things about a girl who's not exactly leading a healthy life and her affection for a guy who's less than stellar. An outlaw. She basically hooks during the day and hangs out with him at night. She ends up in jail. It's a departure for me because I'm not a slide player, but I wrote it playing slide acoustic Dobro at home. That's a place I'd never gone before, so that was really fun for me. I used drum loops on that, as well as on "Old Juarez" and "A Brighter Day." It's a minimal loop and sets the whole thing up.

12. Little Prayer
Pat Simmons; Need Publishing
PS: That's a song I wrote in Puerto Rico, of all places. We were at a compound way up on a hill removed from everything. We had a day off and not much going on. I had my guitar and started playing these changes and before the day was out I had the whole song. I thought it was a neat tune, but wasn't sure if it would make it to the record. It's kind of mellow and I wasn't sure how everyone would react to it. Everybody seemed to like it, and then I played it for Ted and he liked it the way it was. He originally wanted me to play it with one guitar and a vocal. Being an over-producer I doing background vocals and wanted to hear what the electric piano would sound like on it. Ted walked into the studio while Guy was doing a piano part and loved it. He suggested we add a little string part, and that's how it became a little more than a guitar and vocal.

13. New York Dream Tom Johnston; Windecor Publishing (BMI)
I probably wrote this in 1981, but it didn't have words. I cut it with some friends of mine in Fantasy Studios and it was called "Electric Car." It sat for the longest time, then I recreated it in digital format and we ended up redoing it. Ted had some ideas about a direction for the lyrics. We went with the cougar approach, which is kind of what it's about. It's a tip of the hat to James Brown and Tower Of Power, utilizing a guitar solo instead of horns. [Tower of Power's] Mic Gillette wrote the horns, Billy played B3 and Bob played bass. Mike Hossack played drums.