China Grove

Author: Janet


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“China Grove” is a song from The Doobie Brothers‘ 1973 album The Captain and Me. It was written by original lead singer Tom Johnston, before he fell ill in 1975 and was replaced by Michael McDonald.

The song is based on a real town in Texas with the same name. The connection is obvious given its real-life proximity to San Antonio, which is referenced in the lyrics. However, the rest of the song is largely a fictional account portraying China Grove as Texas’ version of Chinatown.

Notable is the mention of samurai, who in fact are Japanese, not Chinese.

The bass riffs in the song feature clave.

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