This is the point in the list where I suspect people will start to frown, mad at certain omissions and unaware that Jeff Baxter was a founding member of Steely Dan, and after several platinum albums, jumped right to the Doobie Brothers when Michael McDonald did… and went onto more platinum albums. In the end he racked up 17 gold and eight platinum records to go with his two Grammies.
As a session player, Baxter worked for Carly Simon, Little Feat, Stanley Clarke, Dusty Springfield, Rod Stewart, Nazareth, Kiss, Alice Cooper, and others. One of his first bands was with Jimi Hendrix, which is the ultimate credibility for any player. Baxter is impossibly versatile, a spectacular rhythm player, an imaginative lead player, with flawless ability and great imagination.
Also his nickname is Skunk. How cool is that?
Baxter has a fair amount of jazz in his playing, but he has a terrifying amount of range, which allows him so many techniques to pull from in songs. He’s been fortunate enough to work with Roland guitars, but there’s a signature model from Epiphone floating out there too.
Sometimes the ultimate testament to someone’s skill is to try to play their songs. So go ahead. Plug your guitar in, find some various Jeff Baxter and try to play it, and in roughly ten minutes, you’ll wonder why I didn’t rank him higher.