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Bruce Donnola: Press

Mick Skidmore, Relix Magazine -
I can't tell you much about singer-songwriter Bruce Donnola except that he writes pretty damn good songs. His album, Vaudeville, was produced by Jono Manson and also features instrumental support from members of 5 Chinese Brothers, Ian Wallace (Dylan, Stills etc.), Joe Flood, and a couple of Manson's band members as well as Manson himself. The 14 cuts are a little meatier than what you would expect from your average guitar-toting singer/songwriter. The opening accordion-led "Towards Alberta" has an endearing roots feel, while "Definition" is reminiscent of The Band. Better still are the country-rock tones of "Gratitude" and the eloquent, folky "Fedora," which has a country-bluegrass sound mixed with a slight Celtic twist.
"It is hard to stay modest" Peter Blanken used to sing, and he was right. Bruce Donnola luckily is the exception to the rule. This singer/songwriter from NY is so modest he seems to be avoiding publicity, he doesn't even have his own website {alas, no longer true - ed.}. His last album "Vaudeville" dates back to 1998 and was recently promoted again by CD-baby. A just decision because the man recently went back into the studio with his producer, Jono Manson, who also produced this album, and he is so kind as to send us an advanced copy soon.

Until then there is "Vaudeville" and secretly we hope Donnola continues in the direction he took with the fourteen songs that are on this album, which is a collectors item by now. Responsible for this succes are songs like "Towards Alberta", on which Bruce gets help from Andy Resnick (mandolin) and Neil Thomas (accordion); and the Radio-One hit single "Cafe Vertigo" that gets him very close to singing like James Taylor. More comparisons can be made i.e. the Band might feel the urge to consider a comeback with Bruce's "Definition", the Cajun/Zydeco rootsrocker " Pop 13" looks at "the Midnight Special" and "Fedora" gives us a taste of very good Celtic influences.

The man really had his ears and eyes wide open and that results in some real gems. "Joe Sawyer", "Tomorrow We Live", "No Strings", the very professional and lovely country rockers "Longitude" and "Gratitude" with David Hamburger on dobro and the master himself on bottleneck guitar.

His own material that can effortlessly compete with the best work of his heroes Dylan, Young, Gordon Lightfoot and James Taylor. With the help of Jono Manson, some members of the 5 Chinese Brothers, Ian Wallace (Dylan, Stills) ,Joe Flood, this is an album to cherish. But still we are eagerly looking forward to new material.
"Songwriter Bruce Donnola is proof that life isn't fair: he's prolific AND ridiculously good. His thoroughly-crafted songs are chock-full of characters who stay with you long after the music's over, and he consistently succeeds in synthesizing his encyclopedic knowledge of American popular music into something compellingly original."
David Hamburger - Acoustic Guitar (Jul, 2006)
"One of my all-time songwriting heroes."
Jono Manson - "Under the Stone" cd liner notes (Nov 1, 2001)