Michael McDonald Prepping Two Albums
Michael McDonald, who has spent the last decade covering soul music classics and Christmas songs, is working on two albums -- one with the guitarist Robben Ford and the other with his son Dylan.
Rather than go through a traditional label, McDonald intends to make tracks available through social media and then decide what tack to take.
"We'll see if it captures the public's imagination," he says of the tracks recorded in Los Angeles and Nashville with Ford, a longtime friend.
"Robben and I started impulsively," McDonald told Billboard.com. "It's a very eclectic collection of songs. Our energies are focused on writing songs -- not necessarily blues and nothing specific (genre-wise). We think it's good but we don't know if it's cohesive enough in a conceptual sense to make an album of it or to release track by track. I'm kind of confused about what to do with it."
McDonald says he tends to "overthink" while making records, cutting tracks while he is rewriting lyrics. Ford, on the other hand, prefers to "knock things out" without laboring over them. "It's a little bit of a hurdle," McDonald says, "and maybe it makes him a bit frustrated at times."
Ford's last album was 2009's "Soul on Ten," his fourth release on the Concord label.
McDonald's project with his son Dylan McDonald includes a collections of covers -- songs by Bob Marley, the Beach Boys, Radiohead and Stealer's Wheel -- a couple of Dylan's songs and an original penned by Michael McDonald. He expects to finish mixing the tracks by the end of the year and will post them online as well.
The McDonald family project is a bit of a reunion for them as Dylan shied from even discussing music with his father during his teen years. McDonald says they reconnected musically by listening to music they both liked -- Neil Young, for example -- after years of dad attempting to play educator.
Ultimately, McDonald says he realized, "music needs to be a spiritual experience of his own."