Record Collector (magazine) - p.934 stars out of 5
-- "THE CAPTAIN AND ME proved to be a major breakthrough, with Johnston's celebratory 'Natural Thing' and the mellow country of 'South City Midnight Lady' clear highlights..."
The Doobie Brothers: Tom Johnston (vocals, guitar, harmonica, ARP synthesizer); Pat Simmons (vocals, guitar, ARP synthesizer); Tiran Porter (vocals, bass instrument); John Hartman (vocals, drums, percussion); Michael Hossack (drums, congas, timbales).
Additional personnel: Jeff Baxter (pedal steel guitar); Bill Payne (piano, organ).
CAPTAIN AND ME found the Doobie Brothers boasting three strong vocalists, two expert guitarists, and a brace of rhythmic drummers, refining a sound that crossed AM pop-rock, soul-tinged R&B, country-folk, jazzy gospel, and strong musicianship. The result burst the band into national prominence. Traces of Moby Grape, whom the group adored, can be heard in their vibrant harmonies and flowing hooklines, but THE CAPTAIN AND ME showed an act of singular purpose.
The effervescent urgency propelling the percolating groover "Long Train Running" and the leaner rock of "China Grove" into the US singles charts is apparent on every selection. In addition to the band's gorgeous layered harmonies and twin guitar arpeggios, THE CAPTAIN AND ME features the band's strongest and most consistent set of songs. Patrick Simmons's mellow, country-rock numbers, such as "South City Midnight Lady" and "Clear As the Driven Snow," abut Tom Johnson's rockers, like the majestic title track. In short, this record defines the classic sound that would make the Doobie Brothers one of the most popular and commercially successful bands of the '70s, and it still stands--arguably--as their finest moment.