Legendary guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter is having a major impact right now with his powerful new single, “My Place in the Sun.” The haunting, gripping ballad, which features the sublime lead vocals of Baxter’s onetime Doobie Brothers bandmate Michael McDonald.
“My Place in the Sun” is from Baxter’s recent, first-ever solo album, Speed of Heat (BMG/Renew), a stellar 12-song set that features a host of brilliantly crafted originals co-written by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist, his co-producing and musical partner CJ Vanston, as well as inspired versions of beloved classics. Along with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Michael McDonald, the album features guest vocalists and songwriters such as Clint Black, Jonny Lang and Rick Livingstone.
With its arresting groove, McDonald’s transfixing vocals and Baxter’s always impeccable guitar playing (he plays two lyrical and evocative solos that absolutely shine), “My Place in the Sun” is a contemporary sound that also recalls the uniquely brilliant artistry the two musicians shared on multiplatinum hit after hit in the Doobie Brothers.
“CJ Vanston and I wrote the song with Michael,” Baxter explains. “It was fun because I knew that Michael always thrived on call and response, so I thought a little bit about how Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck worked together. I wanted to do something in that vein, and it came off great. You can really hear our chemistry on the track.”
The track has earned significant praise from critics. Rock and Blues Muse wrote, “Their call-and-response interplay is sublime, and the mood they create will keep you smooth and groovy all night long.”