BMG/Renew Records

On the heels of releasing his debut solo album, Speed of Heat, last Friday, former Steely Dan and Doobie Brothers guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter has lined up a series of California tour dates in support of the record.

Baxter currently has six shows on his schedule: July 30 in Sutter Creek, July 31 in Mill Valley, August 1 in Oakland, August 2 in West Hollywood, August 3 in Solana Beach and August 4 in San Juan Capistrano.

The new series of shows follows Baxter’s East Coast outing in May. Baxter’s band features Speed of Heat co-producer CJ Vanston on keyboards, as well as Mark Damian on drums and Hank Horton on bass.

“CJ suggested Mark and Hank and I didn’t actually meet them until we started rehearsing for the tour,” Baxter says. “But we meshed immediately, and the initial dates went so well we don’t want to stop.”

As previously reported, Speed of Heat is a 12-track collection that features a mix of original tunes and select covers. Among the latter are versions of the Steely Dan classics “My Old School” and “Do It Again,” and the 1960 instrumental “Apache” that was popularized by The Shadows.

The album features Baxter singing lead on some tracks, as well as some guest vocalists and musicians, including his one-time Doobie Brothers bandmate Michael McDonald, country star Clint Black, Toto keyboardist David Paich and blues-rock singer/guitarist Jonny Lang.

McDonald lends his vocals to a song called “My Place in the Sun,” which he co-wrote with Baxter and Vanston, while Paich plays an organ solo on the “My Old Town” cover.

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