Michael McDonald on who imitates him the best — and the collabo that made him cool enough for Coachella

Credit: Timothy WhiteEarlier this week, Michael McDonald and his longtime pal Kenny Loggins performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. McDonald says Fallon is one of the many people who’ve imitated his famous voice over the years — and he’s starting to feel like one of those celebrities who everyone has an impression of.

“I met him at the elevator and we talked for a minute,” Michael recalls of his first meeting with Fallon, before a show they were both part of. “Then, later on at the gig, when I walked in, he was doing an impression of me!”

He adds, laughing, “I kinda feel like the new Ed Sullivan…everyone does [me]!”

On The Tonight Show, McDonald and Loggins performed a song called “Show You the Way,” a collaboration with Grammy-winning bass player and producer Thundercat. Earlier this year, Michael and Thundercat performed the song together at the ultra-hip music festival Coachella. He says the collaboration has introduced young people to him and his music.

“[I’ve] certainly have felt the energy behind this record…the groundswell that it seems to be producing, and [I’m] so grateful for the opportunity,” he tells ABC Radio.

Show You the Way,” which sounds like a classic McDonald/Loggins track from the ’70s or ’80s, is from Thundercat’s latest album, Drunk.

“It’s just one of those things that kinda happened that I could never have planned,” he says. “But I’m really having a ball being part of it.”

McDonald will release Wide Open — his first album of new, original material since 2000 — in September, and launch a major tour in August. But getting back to that question of imitation…who does he think does the best Michael McDonald impression?

“I dunno, maybe [pop/gospel singer] Patti Austin,” he laughs. “She does a pretty good one!” 

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