Living once again in the carefree boogie days that are Michael McDonald-less, the Doobie Brothers are doing just fine touring the world and playing the tunes that have everyone lightly grooving. Live at Wolf Trap captures a July 2004 show, but it's really just the soundtrack to a DVD that's much longer. Unless you're a hardcore fan who needs to see how veteran members like Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons are looking, you're probably better off with the audio version, since "Rockin' Down the Highway" -- along with everything else here -- is best for doing just that. The DVD's longer playing time doesn't sound like a great deal for the non-diehard either, since Live at Wolf Trap could be tighter, especially if it dropped the latter-day "Dangerous," which tries way too hard to generate excitement. An especially bright horn section complements this edition of the Doobies well, since a bit of early Chicago suits them now more than ever. Be it overdubbing or not, the harmonies and powerful exuberance of the Doobies' voices are still spectacular, and Wolf Trap's crystal-clear recording does a mind-blowing job of capturing them. The emotion pulled out of "Another Park, Another Sunday" shows this band still puts genuine heart into its playing, and the last five tracks are a dizzying whirlwind of what the Doobies do best. While they've slipped a little too comfortably into their B-list role -- and putting lesser new songs next to the classics just points it out -- Wolf Trap is still 80 percent feel-good boogie music played by musicians who remember why they were so beloved, 100 percent.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries