Jeffrey ‘Skunk’ Baxter is known for a number of unconventional and cool things in rock and roll, in missile defense and asymmetrical thinking– but he has never been known- exactly- for his vocals…until now.
Skunk, 73, recently released a teaser to his upcoming album Speed Of Heat, with a rousing, updated, and new version of the timeless My Old School, with Baxter-himself- on lead vocals.
Rick Livingstone is heard doing some background vocal work.
I asked Skunk if he had fun rocking out to this new version..and I got a thumbs up-“affirmative”.
The first thing I thought of when I heard the much-anticipated release of Baxter’s first solo of the album- was that Baxter was living out his personal motto, one that he told me about a long time ago- one that he had picked up from his old buddy, former US Rep. Dana Rohrabacher; both walked it out….”Fighting For Freedom and Having Fun.”
This album and this song was the fun part- obviously.
I can hear it in this song… Skunk was having a blast..I recognized his voice instantly and thought.. wait.. Skunk is belting it out– kinda like I do when I hear it come on my music device. Cool- now I am singing along with him. I am rocking out with a rock legend.
Who doesn’t jam out to this song? Check out the new licks.
Have fun yourself:
THE LEGEND OF MY OLD SCHOOL
“My Old School” is a single taken from Steely Dan’s 1973 album Countdown to Ecstasy, the group’s second album and a classic standard for everyone- on the entire planet.
“Countdown to Ecstasy was the only album written by Steely Dan for a live band. “My Old School” features reverent horns and aggressive piano riffs and guitar solos. “The Boston Rag” develops from a jazzy song to unrefined playing by the band, including a distorted guitar solo by Jeff “Skunk” Baxter,” Rolling Stone reported in 2003 about the tune.
According to Songfact:
“The “Old School” referred to in this song is Bard College in Annendale, New York, where Donald Fagen and Walter Becker met. The song is at least partially inspired by an event that occurred at Bard, where both Becker and Fagen, along with their girlfriends, were arrested in a pot raid on a party that was orchestrated by an ambitious young District Attorney named G. Gordon Liddy (hence the line “Tried to warn ya about Geno and Daddy G”). Despite the fact that California has not (yet) tumbled into the sea, both Fagen and Becker have returned to Bard. “
ALBUM OUT JUNE 2022
Baxter told reporters this month that he had always wanted to perform a rock version of My Old School and he said that he had originally intended to have Steven Tyler of Aerosmith do the vocals, however, Tyler convinced Baxter to release the song with his own lyrics.
Baxter’s version will be featured on the new album, Speed of Heat. The 12-song disc will deliver originals co-written and produced with CJ Vanston.
Magnificent contributions to Speed of Heat come from Michael McDonald, Clint Black, Jonny Lang and Rick Livingstone.
GO SEE HIM LIVE
Baxter has a few live performances before the album comes out in June. Dates are located at his site JeffSkunkBaxter.com at excellent venues, where audiences can hear the former Steely Dan and Doobie Brother guitar icon play more surprising tunes, including My Old School.
Perhaps he will throw some other surprises in his shows for his fans. Get your tickets quick, though, because there are only a few shows.
Baxter is often seen on his Facebook page interacting with his fans and old friends if you want to drop him a note.
Rock on, Jeffrey. Listening to you rock out to your awesome tunes, just like everyone else in the world, has been such fun to do. I am glad you left your vocals in. Can’t wait to hear the whole album.