Published on June 20th, 2022 | by Darren Paltrowitz


Jeff “Skunk” Baxter On His New “Speed Of Heat” Album, Working For The U.S. Government, Learning, Reading, Goals & More

No matter who your favorite band or musical artist is, you have heard Jeff “Skunk” Baxter play on many occasions. The legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter is of course known to millions from his groundbreaking work with Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers. Yet his touring and/or recording credits include Dolly Parton, Donna Summer, Bryan Adams, Ringo Starr, Rod Stewart, Joni Mitchell, Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, James Brown, Cher and Dusty Springfield.

The first ever solo album from Jeff “Skunk” Baxter is 2022’s Speed Of Heat. The 12-song collection is a riveting and rewarding musical experience that features a host of brilliantly crafted originals co-written by the guitarist and his production partner, CJ Vanston, as well as inspired versions of some of the great classics. Along the way, Baxter is joined by guest vocalists and songwriters such as Michael McDonald, Clint Black, Jonny Lang and Rick Livingstone. Its first single, a hard-driving remake of Steely Dan’s “My Old School,” features a rare lead vocal by Baxter himself. The second single “Bad Move” was co-written by Baxter, Clint Black and CJ Vanston, and includes some impressive instrumental dueling.

On June 16, 2022, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jeff “Skunk” Baxter via Zoom, as embedded below. Beyond Speed Of Heat, we talked about his successful decades-long career consulting for the United States government, his endless appetite for learning, music theory and what else is planned for him. More on Baxter and Speed Of Heat can be found by clicking here, here and here.

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

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