Known for his distinct husky baritone, five-time Grammy-winning, singer-songwriter Michael McDonald and his band will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at the Reichhold Center for the Arts, delivering an evening of American soul that spans the decades.
The 56-year-old St. Louis native rose to popularity as a member of Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers, churning out time-honored hits such as "What a Fool Believes," "Takin’ It to the Streets," and "I Keep Forgetting."
Getting his start playing in several local bands in Missouri, McDonald moved in 1970 to Los Angeles to launch his music career. He sang backup and played keyboards and piano as an original touring member of Steely Dan during the mid-70s, performing on recordings such as “Katy Lied,” “The Royal Scam” and “Aja.”
McDonald began to develop his signature style in 1975, when he was recruited by the Doobie Brothers after lead singer Tom Johnston fell ill on tour. His success with the group included churning out hits such as "Little Darling," "It Keeps You Runnin’" and "Minute By Minute."
He won his first Grammy in 1978 for "What a Fool Believes," which captured best song and best album of the year. By 1982, McDonald struck out on his own to pursue a solo career, releasing his first solo album, “If That’s What It Takes,” featuring hits such as "I Keep Forgettin’" and "I Gotta Try." In 1985, his duo with James Ingram, "Yah Mo B There," sealed a Grammy Award for best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocals. The following year, his collaboration with Patti LaBelle, "On My Own," rose to No. 1 on the national charts.
Having moderate success in the 1990s with the release of subsequent albums, in 2003 McDonald held the limelight again with Grammy nominations for the platinum tribute album “Motown.” The same year, he was honored with a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.
Audiences will get to hear selections from his latest album, 2008’s “Soul Speak,” a testament to the journey and inspiration for his 30-year-old career. The CD includes covers of songs such as "Walk on By," "Love TKO," and "Redemption Song," in addition to original songs "Only God Can Help Me Now," "Getting Over You" and "Enemy Within."
"These songs span my life – they’re the ones where I can remember where I was when I first heard them," he said.
McDonald has been married to singer Amy Holland since 1983 and has two children.
Ticket prices are $88, $67 and $47. Ticket outlets on St. Thomas are: Urban Threadz, VI Bridal and Tuxedo, Home Again, Essentric Shoe Boutique, Reichhold Center Box office, UVI Bookstore; and on St. John: Connections.
The Michael McDonald concert is sponsored by International Capital & Management Company, First Bank, First Insurance, VI Lottery, Tropical Shipping, Innovative Cable TV, Marriott Frenchman’s Reef Resort, and the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts.
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