'Follow us on Spotify': Biden's top diplomat has rock ambitions

Antony Blinken uses his political platform to plug his band, Ablinken

Then US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken playing with The Coalition of the Willing and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter of Steely Dan & Doobie Bros during an event at British Embassy in Washington DC on Sept 9, 2016. Posted on Blinken's Twitter.
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Like most people in high-pressure jobs, politicians often still find time for a hobby.

For Donald Trump and George Bush, unwinding from the stress of high office usually involved rounds of golf.

That is not the case for Antony Blinken, nominated as the next US Secretary of State by Joe Biden, the president-elect. Mr Blinken's band, Ablinken, are now internationally known, partly because the high-profile diplomat has been busy promoting his music online.

Mr Blinken, known by political pundits for working on Syria policy and the Crimea crisis, also plays great blues guitar, something he made clear on his old twitter bio, urging followers to "follow Ablinken on Spotify..

The bio has now been edited, referring only to his political career, but the politician is still partial to plugging his music on twitter.

Despite high-pressure commitments, Mr Blinken also finds the time to rehearse and play live with his band, something that can rarely be said of most amateur musicians holding down day jobs.

When not playing with Ablinken, Mr Blinken also moonlights with the band Coalition of the Willing, who played live at the British embassy in Washington in 2016, joined by none other than Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter, one-time guitarist with Steely Dan, who had a string of hit singles in the 1970s and early '80s.

At 58, Mr Blinken is four years younger than Madonna, but is finally starting to get the critical acclaim he appears to have wanted for years. According to music magazine Rolling Stone, Ablinken's song Lip Service, "is a very fine beach bar jam".

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