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Fagen, McDonald and Scaggs Team for Summer Tour

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By Andy Greene

Jun 17, 2010 2:40 PM EDT


Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs are hitting the road this summer nearly 20 years after their last joint tour. Calling themselves the Dukes of September, the longtime friends will share the stage for each full show and take turns singing. "This is a real band, not some TV thing like American Idol," says Fagen. "There's no synthesizers, a small, tight horn section and we're going to try really respect the music." The tour kicks off August 19th in Danbury, Connecticut.

The trio is still crafting the set list, but Fagen says he plans to play the Grateful Dead's "Shakedown Street" and the Band's "King Harvest," while Scaggs will cover Chuck Berry and McDonald will do Ray Charles numbers as well as hits from his solo and Doobie Brothers catalogs. "I think I might also do 'I.G.Y' and some other stuff from my solo records," says Fagen, "because I go out every summer doing Steely Dan. The show should move pretty fast. We'll do one or two songs apiece and then someone else will do something." He says they're considering breaking out some duets, as well.

Steely Dan are actually launching their own 10-city tour of Australia in November, but the band has no plans to record an album anytime soon. "We throw some ideas around once in a while," says Fagen. "We can't seem to get serious about it for some reason. I'm sure eventually we'll do something." Their tour last year featured complete performances of their classic albums ASA, The Royal Scam and Gaucho, and Fagen says more LPs might be staged in full in the future. "Everything went so well last time with the full album idea that we've been thinking we'd try some other ones," he says. "The reason we chose the three is because they were the most consistent all the way through. We never have any filler, but on the other albums there are certain songs we thought could have been better. Pretzel Logic is definitely one of the more consistent ones."

In the meantime, Fagen has just begun work on his fourth solo LP. "It's just starting to take shape," he says. "My previous albums were sort of an autobiographical type. I'm frankly glad that's all over with. There were certain limitations because it was all about me. Now I can concentrate on writing one song at a time. There's no theme to them — just stories." He says the songs have been developing as he gets "a good groove" going with his band. "I've noticed there seems to be some James Brown-ish type things happening in the rhythm section. Only one song is done, but the songs are mostly written. When Steely Dan gets back from Australia I'll probably resume work on it."

To stay busy between tours, Fagen has been playing keyboards in Levon Helm's band. "Levon's got such a great beat and it's forever fun playing with him," he says. "It's like a vacation from my job. The most fun I have when I'm playing music is when I'm part of the rhythm section and I try to lock in with the bass and drums. It's a great feeling."

Tour Dates:

August 19 - Danbury, CT @ Charles Ives Center

August 20 - Atlantic City, NJ @ The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa

August 22 - Loudon, VA @ Belmont Country Club

August 25 - Charlotte, NC @ Roadrunner Mobile Amphitheatre

August 26 - Atlanta, GA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park

August 28 - Raleigh, NC @ Raleigh Amphitheatre

August 29 - Richmond, VA @ Innsbrook Pavilion

August 31 - Boston, MA @ Wang Theatre

September 2 - Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center

September 3 - Wantagh, NY @ Jones Beach Theatre

September 6 - St. Paul, MN @ Minnesota State Fair

September 8 - Detroit, MI @ Fox Theatre

September 10 - Cincinnati, OH @ PNC Pavilion

September 11 - Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre

September 14 - Council Bluffs, IA @ Mid-America Center

September 15 - Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theater

September 17 - Tunica, MS @ Harrah’s Tunica

September 18 - Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theatre

September 27 - Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre

September 29 - Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre

October 1 - San Francisco, CA @ Golden Gate Park

October 2 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint

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I loved Steely Dan back in the day but honestly if I want to hear The Royal Scam or Aja I'll just play the records.

I don't ever need to hear or see Michael McDonald either..........EVER. Boz is cool though but not enough to get me interested in this trio thing.

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This tour sounds dreadful. First of all, I'm not a fan of any of those guys. Secondly, I wonder if the venues are prepared for a large volume of handicapped seating?

I can just imagine the day when the handicapped seating outnumbers the regular seating.

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