Michael McDonald appears on the latest episode of the new online streaming series Sanborn Sessions, which features Grammy-winning sax player David Sanborn interviewing and jamming with select guest artists.
On the program, the ex-Doobie Brothers singer/keyboardist is featured performing along with St. Louis-based soul singer Brian Owens, Sanborn and several lauded studio musicians, including longtime Steely Dan touring guitarist John Herington.
Songs performed include the Sam Cooke classic “A Change Is Gonna Come” and the 1979 Doobie Brothers hit “Minute by Minute,” which Michael co-wrote.
In an interview segment, McDonald laments that his singing voice has gotten more inconsistent as he’s gotten older.
“My voice at my age now is never the same instrument on any given night,” he maintains. “I always have to kind of adjust to what do I have tonight, what do I don’t have. Where should I go and where should I probably not go. ‘Cause there are nights where I’ll have a whole upper range that I don’t have, like, today.”
Sanborn responds by saying he didn’t notice McDonald having any vocal limitations, then notes that he feels it’s more important for a music artist to focus on conveying emotion than displaying an impressive range.
“What you have is what you have,” says Sanborn. “And if you do your best, it makes you start to really clarify what’s important. And what’s important is to tell the truth, and if you’re telling the truth, I believe…that people relate to that.”
As previously reported, McDonald is rejoining the Doobie Brothers for an expansive 50th anniversary tour that kicks off June 9 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
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