With the start of their tour just a month away, Steely Dan and Michael McDonald are beginning to figure out what they're going to do -- separately and together.

With the start of their tour just a month away, Steely Dan and Michael McDonald are beginning to figure out what they're going to do -- separately and together.

McDonald, who played with Steely Dan in the 1970s both before and while he was part of the Doobie Brothers, admits, "we haven't done a lot of pre-planning on that part of it," while Steely Dan's Walter Becker agrees that "it's going to evolve sort of organically."

But Becker notes that McDonald's history in the band -- including some mid-'70s touring as well as recording on albums such as "Katy Lied," "The Royal Scam" and "Aja" -- make some degree of collaboration a certainty.

"Prospectively there are certain songs that Mike played on stage with us back in the '70s and recorded on as well," Becker says. "Those are strong contenders for his participation. But I really think it's up to Mike, and we'll just see how the situation evolves. It's such a natural collaboration it seems to me there's just so many ways it can work."

The outing, dubbed the Steelyard "Sugartooth" McDan (and the Fab-Originees.com) Tour, will play 32 dates beginning July 7 in Milwaukee and wrapping Sept. 2 in Independence Township, Mich. Becker says there are no plans yet to record or film the tour.

Indeed, neither of the participants is promoting a new release, but there may well be new music performed on the tour. Steely Dan's Donald Fagen released a solo album, "Morph the Cat," earlier this year, while Becker is in the midst of recording a solo prokect he hopes to release later this year. And following his two Motown sets, McDonald is working on two albums -- one of non-Motown covers and another of original material.

A new Steely Dan album, however, is "in the far-flung future" according to Becker. The group's last release was "Everything Must Go" in 2003.