Rhythm and Blues

‘He mouths at me, Oh my God’: Inside Michael McDonald’s off-the-cuff audition for the Doobie Brothers

‘He mouths at me, Oh my God’: Inside Michael McDonald’s off-the-cuff audition for the Doobie Brothers

They were in the early stages of what became 1976′s ‘Takin’ It to the Streets.’

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Share Your Love [With Me]” from Moondog Matinee (1973)

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Share Your Love [With Me]” from Moondog Matinee (1973)

Filled with depthless longing, “Share Your Love” gave this album an emotional center.

‘I just said immediately — this is it’: Steve Cropper knew he had a hit with this Otis Redding favorite

‘I just said immediately — this is it’: Steve Cropper knew he had a hit with this Otis Redding favorite

And it’s not like Cropper hasn’t had a slew of them, from Wilson Pickett to Otis Redding.

‘We really did come full circle’: Live Aid provided worldwide stage as Hall and Oates honored their heroes

‘We really did come full circle’: Live Aid provided worldwide stage as Hall and Oates honored their heroes

Nearly 2 billion watched as Daryl Hall and John Oates did the old Temptations moves.

‘The real Southern soul roots of music’: Steve Cropper opens up on his favorite new band

‘The real Southern soul roots of music’: Steve Cropper opens up on his favorite new band

Not that it’s easy to draw an answer out of the famously even-handed Stax legend.

Nick DeRiso’s Mid-Year Best of 2014 (R&B, Jazz and Blues): Paul Rodgers, Rebirth, Walter Trout, Brad Mehldau, Wilko Johnson + Roger Daltrey

Nick DeRiso’s Mid-Year Best of 2014 (R&B, Jazz and Blues): Paul Rodgers, Rebirth, Walter Trout, Brad Mehldau, Wilko Johnson + Roger Daltrey

Little other than a sense of soul holds this list together. That’s more than enough.

‘More like brothers than actual friends’: The complicated, but enduring, partnership that is Hall and Oates

‘More like brothers than actual friends’: The complicated, but enduring, partnership that is Hall and Oates

Forever linked by music, and by their band name, each is actually very different.

‘I’m going to go out on a limb’: Steve Cropper on how technology is ruining modern music

‘I’m going to go out on a limb’: Steve Cropper on how technology is ruining modern music

Cropper is set for another European tour with the Animals later this year.

‘A powerhouse not to be duplicated’: Dan Aykroyd on the secret to the Blues Brothers’ success

‘A powerhouse not to be duplicated’: Dan Aykroyd on the secret to the Blues Brothers’ success

They had the luck of timing and a classic R&B cut. They also had something else.

‘Anybody who was anybody’: For Hall and Oates, appearing on Soul Train was a signature moment

‘Anybody who was anybody’: For Hall and Oates, appearing on Soul Train was a signature moment

“An amazing show,” John Oates says, “that perfectly captured the R&B music of that era.”