Both of his parents were musicians and his mother picked up a Martin D18 guitar in 1963. She would sing folk songs around the house, and taught her son a few chords. His father played a great phonograph and had a fabulous record collection. He was always playing Jimmy Witherspoon, T-Bone Walker, Sidney Bechet and JellyRoll Morton.
McDonald started taking guitar lessons in 1964. A friend of his in the neighborhood was learning and it was an opportunity that soon became available to him. McDonald went through Alfred's Basic Guitar Method books 1-4 in 6 months. Given an electric guitar for Christmas, he had his first band together for a New Year's Evening dance five days later in 1965. They called themselves the Seagrams 7, and rehearsed in a funeral home that was owned by the drummer's father.
Upon returning from Spain his father heard him playing Beatles songs, and his answer to the British Invasion was giving his son his T-Bone Walker albums as well as Snooks Eaglin's "New Orleans Street Singer." His mother taught him how to play "Trouble in Mind" from that LP.
On the inside of his liner notes, McDonald lists the instruments and amplifiers behind the guitar sounds on the recording. Most folks might not find this interesting, but fellow musicians enjoy being able to know what brand names and effects, etc. artists that they admire use.
Joining McDonald on this guitar-infested blues-rockin' CD is lead vocalist/keyboardist Raymond Victor, bassist Diane Dutra, drummer "Cap" Capdeville and saxophonist Dave Parnell.
This review is copyright © 2000 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.