Singer/songwriter David Dondero doesn't claim to have the keys to staying sane in the music business. But over the past several decades his musical skin has toughened and grown as he's ventured out around the country and experienced a wide range of highs and lows. It's bled into the very fabric of his personality and that in turn has come out in song. He's a man wise on the roller coaster that life can be and has an uncanny ability to uncover and unearth the sinking lows and soaring highs of the human condition. His narratives tell stories made with the blood and sweat of growing up in America.
Dondero started his journey in Duluth, Minn., but at the early age of 7 he started what has turned out to be a frequent move around the country. He grew up in Illinois and New Jersey, moved to the Carolinas for his college days, and afterwards got a really big taste of the country through Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, California and Alaska.
In between that, Dondero has continued to find his footing as an active touring musician through bands like punk outfit Sunbrain and as a solo musician. Sometimes his experiences with labels or bands haven't always been pleasant, but for the most part they have acted as stepping stones in helping him grow his craft. He's gotten the attention of many, including NPR and Conor Oberst's Team Love label. While album sales might be less than desirable, Dondero has kept his sights high with determination to write songs that mean a lot to him and others.
OnMilwaukee.com talked via email with the singer prior to his performance Wednesday at the Cactus Club (Blessed Feathers and Greatest Lakes are openers) to discuss his songwriting and his many ventures as singer, guitarist and drummer.
OnMilwaukee.com: With your writing and lyrics you really seem to hone into the things that make up life, twisting words in clever ways and sometimes using humor. Could you talk about the process and your relation with the song as it comes together? Has it …Read more...