Toto: Steve Lukather & Joseph Williams Announce New Lineup, Live Stream Concert Set for Nov. 21


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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The 40 Trips Around the Sun tour from Toto that wrapped up in Fall 2019 marked the end of an era for the long-running band, the final shows from that particular version of the group — but on Monday, guitarist Steve Lukather and vocalist Joseph Williams announced plans to keep things going with a new ensemble of musicians in 2021.

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Planning to continue to tour under the name Toto, Lukather and Williams hope to bring their “Dogs of Oz” tour worldwide, offering “Planned concerts across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia / New Zealand and other geographical destinations will be staged where the ensemble will perform all the hits, deep cuts, and solo music from Lukather and Williams individual catalogs.”

As for the personnel accompanying them on stage:

John Pierce (Huey Lewis and The News), drummer Robert “Sput” Searight (Ghost-Note / Snarky Puppy), and keyboardist / background vocalist Steve Maggiora (Elvis, Moms Mabely).  Keyboardist Dominique “Xavier” Taplin (Prince, Ghost-Note) and multi-instrumentalist / vocalist Warren Ham (Ringo Starr) have segued over continuing their tenure in the ensemble alongside Lukather and Williams. This marks the fifteenth incarnation of the Toto line-up in consideration of band members or sidemen who joined or exited.

Said “Luke” of this exciting new plan:

“We could not be more at peace with this move. There is a refreshing, optimistic enthusiasm to step in to the future. At this moment, Joe and I are the only long-tenured members of the band that want to be on the road continuing to bring music to our multi-generational fan base. I’ve spent almost four and a half decades of my life as the only original member who never missed a show or an album nurturing this legacy while enabling the music to continually exist in the live concert setting. That is something I’ll never stop doing, and the Dogz of Oz global tour offers a rare opportunity to reimagine our personal futures while simultaneously preserving the deep connection that exists with the audience while likewise yielding continual discovery. The hope is to move forward with the planned itinerary for Summer, 2021 that will bring us back to our fans across The World.”

And Williams:

“Luke and I have been through a lot with one another. He’s like a brother to me. Our creative partnership has always enriched our lives. As we look towards what’s to come in unison, there is nothing but anticipation to bring everything in our minds to life. I can’t think of anyone else on Earth I’d rather launch the next chapter with this lifelong, loyal and gifted friend and band mate. We’re the last men standing…The Dogz of Oz!” Luke adds, “Joe and I have been friends since I was 17, and Joe was 14. During the course of this pandemic we’ve been reevaluating our career and how to move forward. People are either not with us anymore or have retired. We still feel like kids who want to be back on the road as soon as possible. It’s where we live. Joe’s growth as a producer, songwriter, engineer, singer and performer is inspiring.  The timing of this move is perfect as Joe is at the top of his game, and he amazes me every day. We are enjoying this collaboration, and could not be more enthusiastic about the future.”

This new version of Toto will make its public debut on Nov. 21 as a special live stream concert event announced in connection with the big news, a one-night-only musical experience that will cost $15 to access from home. For more details and ticket information, click here.

Back in late August, Lukather and Williams (and pal Ringo Starr) shared a warmmusic video for “Run to Me,” a new song expected to be included in an upcoming solo album from Lukather:


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