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Still runnin': Michael McDonald live at NARM

Still runnin': Michael McDonald live at NARM

Michael McDonald

Chances are, whether you're a fan or not, you've heard the blue-eyed soul vocals of Michael McDonald. He's best known for his formative years with the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan, however he's also had a remarkable career as a solo artist and a guest harmonizer on numerous pop hits such as Christopher Cross' "Ride Like The Wind" (he's the guy who echos "such a long way to goooo"). Basically, McDonald was the Timbaland of yesterday, as the go-to guy for hits in the '70s and '80s.

He recently released a Motown tribute album called Soul Speak, and even more recently--last night--he headlined the 50th anniversary gala at the NARM convention in San Francisco. He delivered a crowd-pleasing performance with originals such as "What A Fool Believes," "It Keeps You Runnin'," and covers such "Living For The City" and "Love T.K.O." And to top it off, BB King (who accepted an award earlier that night) came out and did the "The Thrill Is Gone" with McDonald and his band. Industry suits and biz-casual editors (like me) were all impressed.

Delta Goodrem

Newcomers Naturally 7 and Delta Goodrem had the honor of opening the night. It was a rare opportunity for them to perform in front of hundreds of major- and indie-label VIPs (who were all there schmoozing at NARM). The vocal group Naturally 7 brought everyone to their feet with their unique a cappella, beat box songs--they sound like a tight R&B band without instruments-- and Delta Goodrem's Australian charm and feel-good tunes made the large banquet hall feel intimate.

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Naturally 7 live at NARM