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Michael McDonald - Wide Open

Posted by Kat Cullen on 2017/09/25

There are very few singer/songwriters from the 70s still making relevant new music today but with the release of "Wide Open", Michael McDonald can surely count himself a member in that revered society. Sure, the guy is an icon and sure, the guy has one of the most unique and easily recognizable voices in the history of recorded music, and sure, he has lent his mellifluous magic to Motown hits and covers and Christmas classics. The bottom line is the guy could sing the phone book and we'd all love it. But with this, his first completely original release in almost 17 years, McDonald reminds us that his songwriting skills rank way up there. And I mean waaay up.

These 12 original jewels, produced by Michael and drummer Shannon Forrest (Toto), showcase not only Michael's enviable pipes and the chops of numerous guest artists (guitarist-singer Warren Haynes {Allman Brothers Band}, guitarist Robben Ford, bassist Marcus Miller, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, Amy Holland and more) but remind us in no uncertain terms that the former Doobie's songwriting skills have not waned in the least.

"I knew I needed to do another record of originals," he says, "But I wasn't sure how that was going to take place. I try to let things happen at their own pace and hope for the best."


The best has finally arrived. From the debut single Find It In Your Heart (chill-groove at its finest) to Hail Mary (chunky laid-back funk) to Beautiful Child (beautiful indeed), Michael finds his groove and shares it soulfully and uniquely, track after track. He gets his blues on big-time on Just Strong Enough, goes roots-rock on Half Truth and then rocks out joyfully on Free A Man.No matter what the vibe, no matter what the lyrical content, no matter what the percussive palette (Forrest is a drummer after all), this entire record is a testament to a man who can do it all, has done it all and is now doing it all on his own terms with his own music.

 

McDonald states "I never really felt like songwriting was my strong suit. I wish I was Don Henley and a lot of other people. I'm a very slow songwriter; it takes me sometimes years to write one song, if I ever finish."

Wide Open is proof positive that good things do come to those who wait (and don't give up). Also proof positive that even the "old guys" have lots of cool tricks to share with music lovers of all ages. True talent is just that - true talent. It lasts. It is relevant. It is worthy.


Michael McDonald is already in possession of 5 Grammys. Could a 6th be on the way?

 

Vickie van Dyke

Morning Host



Comments

Posted by Arlene DiPaolo (Dundas) on 2017/09/26
Looking forward to MM's new release Wide Open. He is an oldy, but a keeper.

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