David Dondero, an American troubadour, was born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1969. His love of music began with folk rock and country of the early 70’s and evolved to include punk rock and hip hop of the 80’s. He spent his formative years in suburban Chicago and northern New Jersey listening to pirate radio and heavy metal. As a young man, music molded Dondero’s life.
Dondero began writing songs in the late 80’s while at Clemson University. Initially a drummer and lyricist, he formed Sunbrain in 1991. A post-punk indie rock quartet heavily influenced by Donovan and Fugazi. Sunbrain was signed by Grass Records and they recorded 3 albums. When the group disbanded he went on to play drums for the folk punk band, This Bike is a Pipe Bomb. After 2 years he left the band in 1998 and began his solo career. He’s been touring ever since and his music has taken him around the world multiple times.
His style and ongoing narratives are hard to fit into a particular genre. He manages to tackle difficult subject matter with a wry sense of humor. The music is inspired by heartbreak, hopefulness, everyday work, and his never-ending state of flux. Dondero’s lyrics are influenced by the angst of Black Flag, the wanderlust of Bruce Springsteen, the sentimentality of Paul Simon, and the politics of Woody Guthrie.
He’s shared bills and tours with Pedro the Lion, The Mountain Goats, Darren Hanlon, Daniel Johnston, and Against Me! In 2006, Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton of NPR put David on their list of the top ten greatest living songwriters. Aside from multiple years at South by Southwest, he was invited by Mudhoney as a featured artist at All Tomorrow’s Parties in Rye, England. God Speed You Black Emperor brought him to The Sled Island Festival in Calgary and he’s played at the Bellow Winter Music Festival in Australia under the recommendation of Australian songwriter Darren Hanlon.
Dondero has split seven inches with Mischief Brew and the Pine Hill Haints. He’s recorded ten albums and his 11th album called Immersion Therapy is slated to come out on Fluff and Gravy Records in the Summer of 2023. Recorded in Portland, OR, at Fluff and Gravy Studio. Dondero currently resides in Pensacola, FL, and is about to publish his first novel, Chaos the Cat.