Michael McDonald | Durham Performing Arts Center | Clubs & Concerts | Indy Week
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Michael McDonald 

When: Sun., Dec. 1, 7 p.m. 2013
Price: $45-100
Everyone knows freedom isn't free, but what about sweet freedom? Is the price even higher? Only Michael McDonald knows for sure. The soulful baritone of fiercely blue-eyed Michael McDonald, along with his luxuriously well-kept salt-and-pepper hair, so epitomizes a late-'70s American vision of "the good life" that it has yielded its own joke-subgenre: yacht rock.

But McDonald was always a far more complicated figure than Kenny Loggins or Christopher Cross. He began as a backup singer, adding his distinctive tone to Steely Dan songs before joining the Doobie Brothers as they were already on their mid-'70s roll. McDonald transformed the light-rocking Doobies into a Grammy-winning smooth-rock colossus and kind of commandeered the band. Now, millions of record sales into his own career, McDonald lives and performs unironically in a world where many view him with a knowing wink. But with a voice like his, not to mention that still-vital head of hair, he can silence even the hipsters when the lights go down. —David Klein

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