Thursday, August 3, 2017 at 8:46 a.m.
When Michael McDonald appeared on-stage with Thundercat at the Brainfeeder extravaganza at the Hollywood Bowl last September, few would have expected that would be the jumpstart to a career renaissance. After all, for many of a certain age, McDonald is the guy whose music is played on a loop in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. That warm late-summer night was merely the start.
This year has seen many things in America continue to hit rock bottom, but McDonald’s renaissance has been a pleasant reminder that good things can happen. Beginning with a well-received appearance with the aforementioned bassist at Coachella compounded with a festival-stealing slot at Okeechobee set that featured Solange, Allen Stone, Lawrence and members of Snarky Puppy and Vulfpeck, the 65-year-old has seen his fortunes soar.
McDonald contributed a song to Thundercat’s terrific Drunk album. If the pairing seems a bit odd, well, it is. The artist also known as Stephen Bruner has spoken highly of both he and Kenny Loggins’ laurels, which caught the ear of Loggins. He asked McDonald if he’d be interested in writing a song with the bassist. They got together at a studio in Santa Barbara and that’s how “Show You the Way” was birthed. Performing on the Tonight Show didn’t hurt either.
“A lot of unexpected things have happened this year and I’m grateful,” the singer says as he rides shotgun on a ride through Santa Barbara with his wife. “At my age, I’m grateful to be working, nevertheless be above ground.”
Thus, the timing for the crooner to strike with a new album couldn’t be…
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