Jerry Donahue

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Jerry Donahue_table_infobox_0

Jerry DonahueJerry Donahue_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationJerry Donahue_header_cell_0_1_0
BornJerry Donahue_header_cell_0_2_0 (1946-09-24) September 24, 1946 (age 74)

Manhattan, New York City, USJerry Donahue_cell_0_2_1

GenresJerry Donahue_header_cell_0_3_0 British folk rock, blues rock, rock, countryJerry Donahue_cell_0_3_1
Occupation(s)Jerry Donahue_header_cell_0_4_0 Musician, producerJerry Donahue_cell_0_4_1
InstrumentsJerry Donahue_header_cell_0_5_0 GuitarJerry Donahue_cell_0_5_1
Associated actsJerry Donahue_header_cell_0_6_0 Fotheringay, Fairport Convention, Hellecasters, Gathering – Legends of Folk Rock, The Electric RevelatorsJerry Donahue_cell_0_6_1
WebsiteJerry Donahue_header_cell_0_7_0 Jerry Donahue_cell_0_7_1

Jerry Donahue (born September 24, 1946, Manhattan, New York City) is an American guitarist and producer primarily known for his work in the British folk rock scene as a member of Fotheringay and Fairport Convention as well as being a member of the rock guitar trio The Hellecasters. Jerry Donahue_sentence_0

Biography Jerry Donahue_section_0

Donahue was born in New York, the son of big band saxophonist Sam Donahue and actress Patricia Donahue and grew up in Los Angeles. Jerry Donahue_sentence_1

Encouraged by his parents, Donahue took classical guitar lessons as a child, but it was Gerry McGee (who later joined The Ventures) who made the biggest impression on him, when the 14-year-old Donahue witnessed him playing a behind-the-nut bend at a performance at the Sea Witch, emulating Earl Scruggs' banjo technique. Jerry Donahue_sentence_2

Donahue then took lessons from McGee. Jerry Donahue_sentence_3

Regarding regular bends on the fretboard, Donahue cites Amos Garrett as a major influence. Jerry Donahue_sentence_4

Other influences in his formative years were Chet Atkins, Duane Eddy, The Shadows and The Ventures; later influences were Clarence White, Danny Gatton, Albert Lee, Tommy Emmanuel and Robben Ford. Jerry Donahue_sentence_5

After moving to England, Donahue soon became a respected member of the developing British folk rock scene. Jerry Donahue_sentence_6

As a band member, he played with Poet and the One Man Band, Fotheringay and Fairport Convention. Jerry Donahue_sentence_7

Later he recorded and/or toured with artists such as Joan Armatrading, Gerry Rafferty, Robert Plant, Elton John, The Proclaimers, Mick Greenwood, Johnny Hallyday, Gary Wright, Cliff Richard, Chris Rea, Warren Zevon, Bonnie Raitt, Hank Marvin, Roy Orbison, Nanci Griffith, The Beach Boys and The Yardbirds. Jerry Donahue_sentence_8

In 1990 he founded the guitar trio The Hellecasters with Will Ray and John Jorgenson. Jerry Donahue_sentence_9

They recorded several instrumental albums and frequently toured in the 1990s and early 2000s. Jerry Donahue_sentence_10

Donahue has released instructional videotapes and more recently has produced solo projects including Sandy Denny's Gold Dust (1998) and The Animals' Instinct (2004) as well as finishing the second album by his short-lived Folk rock band Fotheringay in 2008. Jerry Donahue_sentence_11

In 2009, Donahue formed the band Gathering – Legends of Folk Rock with Clive Bunker, Rick Kemp, Ray Jackson, Doug Morter and daughter Kristina Donahue. Jerry Donahue_sentence_12

Jerry joined The Electric Revelators duo Gordon Wride & Simon Gregory in February 2011 for a UK tour of The Songs Of Robert Johnson in celebration of the king of delta blues birth in 1911. Jerry Donahue_sentence_13

During this period The Electric Revelators featuring Jerry Donahue, Gordon Wride and Simon Gregory headlined the Acoustic Stage Colne Blues Festival August 2011, once again performing the songs of Robert Johnson – this was a one off festival appearance. Jerry Donahue_sentence_14

On July 29, 2016, Donahue suffered a catastrophic, paralyzing stroke. Jerry Donahue_sentence_15

According to reports published several weeks later, doctors told his family that he would probably never play the guitar again. Jerry Donahue_sentence_16

Style and techniques Jerry Donahue_section_1

Feeling at home in the US as well as in the UK, Donahue musically draws from influences of both countries like Celtic music, rock, blues and country. Jerry Donahue_sentence_17

Technically, Donahue mostly plays in fingerpicking or hybrid picking style with his right hand. Jerry Donahue_sentence_18

However, his left hand technique made him famous among guitar players: Since his first encounter with guitarists Gerry McGee and Amos Garrett as a teenager, Donahue was fascinated by and eventually mastered the technique of string "bending", often bending several strings at once and even bending notes by pressing down the strings beyond the nut (by the headstock). Jerry Donahue_sentence_19

Telecaster player Danny Gatton praised him as "the string-bending king of the planet". Jerry Donahue_sentence_20

Equipment Jerry Donahue_section_2

Around 1997, Fender made a Jerry Donahue signature Stratocaster in Japan, but Donahue's style and technique are closely associated with his signature Fender Telecaster (from Japan) and the Telecaster in general. Jerry Donahue_sentence_21

His signature Stratocaster was even modified with a metal plate under the bridge pickup to more closely emulate the Telecaster sound. Jerry Donahue_sentence_22

The JD Telecaster is noticeable for replacing the chrome Tele neck pickup with a Strat pickup and the addition of a 5-way switch with custom wiring. Jerry Donahue_sentence_23

More recently (2005) Peavey released the Omniac JD signature guitar. Jerry Donahue_sentence_24

The current guitar bearing the Jerry Donahue name is the Fret King Black Label Jerry Donahue model, designed by Jerry and the world-renowned guitar designer, Trev Wilkinson. Jerry Donahue_sentence_25

Guitarist magazine in the UK have given this guitar the coveted Guitarist's Choice award with 4.5 stars out of 5. Jerry Donahue_sentence_26

Still popular on the used music gear market is the Jerry Donahue signature Award-Session Sessionmaster Compact JD10 live/recording preamp pedal which was made in England from 1979 to 2004. Jerry Donahue_sentence_27

The JD10 offers a range of classic clean and overdrive tones with speaker emulation and also acts as a line-driver/buffer. Jerry Donahue_sentence_28

Discography Jerry Donahue_section_3

Partial discography only, for a fuller list, refer to the Hellecasters site and Jerry Donahue at Allmusic. Jerry Donahue_sentence_29

Jerry Donahue_unordered_list_0

  • Fotheringay: Fotheringay (Island 1970)***.Jerry Donahue_item_0_0
  • Johnny Hallyday: Live at the Palais des Sports (Paris, 1971)Jerry Donahue_item_0_1
  • Fairport Convention: Rosie (Island, March 1973)Jerry Donahue_item_0_2
  • Fairport Convention: Nine (Island, October 1973)Jerry Donahue_item_0_3
  • Fairport Convention: A Moveable Feast (Island, October 1974)Jerry Donahue_item_0_4
  • Fairport Convention: Rising for the Moon (Island, July 1975)Jerry Donahue_item_0_5
  • Jerry Donahue: Telecasting (Spindrift, 1986)Jerry Donahue_item_0_6
  • Jerry Donahue: Meetings (Fun, 1988)Jerry Donahue_item_0_7
  • Jerry Donahue: Neck of the Wood (Cross Three, Road Goes on... 1992)Jerry Donahue_item_0_8
  • Jerry Donahue: Country Tech (CPP, Warner Bros., 1992)Jerry Donahue_item_0_9
  • Jerry Donahue: Telecasting Recast (Pharaoh, 1999)Jerry Donahue_item_0_10
  • Fotheringay: Fotheringay 2 (Fledg'ling, 2008)Jerry Donahue_item_0_11
  • Arlen Roth: Telemasters (Aquinnah Records, 2019) "Promised Land"Jerry Donahue_item_0_12
  • Jerry Donahue & Susan Rey: Ashgrove Sessions (Susan Rey Music, 2017)Jerry Donahue_item_0_13
  • Svenson feat. Jerry Donahue: Yeehaw „Journey into Twang„ (Zimbalam, 2016)Jerry Donahue_item_0_14


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry Donahue.