Listen to the Music,  by Tom Johnston (featuring The Doobie Brothers, Ellis Hall, Rajhesh Vaidhya, Roots Gospel Voices of Mississippi, Char, and HIRAIDAI)

In music as in life, the things that make us different make us stronger. All the various instruments, tones, perspectives and cultures in this recording combine to create a new version of this classic Song Around The World.

The idea was born a few years ago during breakfast at the Byron Bay Bluesfest in Australia.  Our friend and drummer, Peter Bunetta, introduced me to Tommy Johnston of the Doobie Brothers and we talked about taking “Listen to the Music” around the world.  We started the track with an acoustic guitar demo played to a click track and then added bass from Colombia, tablas, and veena from India, and then headed to the Redwood Forest in Northern California to record and film Tommy Johnston live outside.  We then recorded and filmed Patrick Simmons and John Mcfee playing along to the track in a park in San Diego. The journey then continued throughout North and South America, Europe, The Middle East, Asia, and Africa. This final version features 30 musicians from 12 countries united through their love of music.

-Mark Johnson, PFC Co-Founder



"The lyrics were based on this utopian idea that if the leaders of the world got together on some grassy hill somewhere (...) and just listened to the music and forgot about all this other bullshit, the world would be a much better place."

Tom Johnston

Lyrics and Chords



  • Full Credits

    Listen to the Music: written by Tom Johnston

    Tom Johnston (The Doobie Brothers): Guitar/Vocals (USA)

    John McFee (The Doobie Brothers): Guitar/Vocals (USA)

    Patrick Simmons (The Doobie Brothers): Guitar/Vocals (USA)

    Char: Guitar (Japan)

    D. Chandrajit: Tabla (India)

    Hiraidai: Ukulele (Japan)

    Denis Lisboa: Congas (Brazil)

    Ellis Hall: Piano/Vocals (USA)

    James Gadson: Drums (USA)

    Juan Carlos Portillo: Electric Bass (Venezuela)

    Lara Johnston: Vocals (USA)

    Los Pinguos: Guitar/Vocals (Argentina)

    Massamba Diop: Talking Drum (Senegal)

    Mermans Mosengo: Vocals  (Congo)

    Nicola Hakim: Djembe / Darbuka (Lebanon)

    Rajhesh Vaidhya: Veena (India)

    Roots Gospel Voices of Mississippi: Choir (USA)

    Tarek Ayoubi: Oud (Lebanon)

    Playing For Change Band: Vocals (Argentina)

    Titi Tsira: Vocals (South Africa)