Jeff “Skunk” Baxter Debuts As A Solo Artist

It might be a surprise yet, for all his seeming omnipresence, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter – as easily recognizable by his guitar tone as he is for his lush mustache – has never released an album under his own name. Having laid down psychedelia with ULTIMATE SPINACH, fusion with STEELY DAN, soul with THE DOOBIE BROTHERS – all mixed with rock, of course – and leaving his indelible mark on such classic cuts as “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” and “Takin’ It To The Streets” with the two latter bands as well as Rod Stewart’s “Tonight I’m Yours” and Carly Simon’s take on “It Keeps You Runnin'” plus Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” and Joni Mitchell’s “In France They Kiss On Main Street” among other gems, the veteran’s résumé includes studio stints with Ringo Starr, Dusty Springfield, Barbra Streisand and the like, and live appearances with James Brown and more trend-setters. Skunk even worked as defense consultant – but, save for the “Plays The Hits” compilation of the songs from tribute platters, he never had a solo album. The situation is to be remedied with the issue of “Speed Of Heat” on June 17th.

It’s preceded with the 73-year-old’s rendition of STEELY DAN’s “My Old School” (listen below) that Jeff sings instead of Steven Tyler he intended on having on vocals, with other singers being Baxter’s DOOBIES colleague Michael McDonald, country star Clint Black, blues prodigy Jonny Lang and Rick Livingstone who fronted THE BEST – a supergroup in which Skunk rubbed shoulders with Keith Emerson, John Entwistle, Joe Walsh and Simon Phillips. As for the dozen of numbers on display, these feature the veteran’s reading of THE SHADOWS’ “Apache” and, again, STEELY’s “Do It Again” – so there’s a lot to enjoy.

Speed Of Heat

1. Ladies From Hell
2. My Old School
3. Juliet
4. I Can Do Without
5. Do It Again
6. Apache
7. My Place In The Sun
8. The Rose
9. Bad Move
10. Giselle
11. Insecurity
12. Speed Of Heat

March 24, 2022

Category(s): News

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