Chris Donohoe
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Chris Donohoe

San Francisco, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2020 | SELF

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2020
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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What Drives You
Endings and Beginnings
Build a Bridge
Time and Truth
In the Way of the Water
Better Angels 
Let the Light In, Vol. 1



Chris Donohoe is inspired by a simple but empowering quote from bestselling author Brené Brown that perfectly captures his humble approach to expressing his musical truth: “Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.”

Committed to expressing himself honestly, openly, sincerely, without fear and stylistically wherever his heart and muse choose to collaborate at any given time, the multi-talented San Francisco based artist has - since the release of his 2009 debut album What Drives You - written and recorded songs about all the wonderful and challenging things that make us human: life, love, loss, pain, joy and gratitude.

Chris’ musical journey began in the early 2000s at the West Coast Songwriters Conference, where he met Liz Rose, then a top music publisher who later became a hit Grammy winning songwriter for superstars Taylor Swift, Martina McBride, Blake Shelton and Carrie Underwood. Impressed with his heartfelt musical storytelling, Rose encouraged him to head to Nashville and try his luck as a songwriter. Since Chris’ family (including four children) was based in the Bay Area, he made monthly visits to Music City for a number of years, “getting my true songwriting education”.

In 2008 Chris began writing, recording and producing his songs and dedicated to living and sharing his truth drawing from a variety of genres, including pop, rock country and even flamenco music on Hermosilla, the Spanish/English EP he recorded in 2010 with top musicians in that genre (including flamenco fusion pianist Pedro Ojesto) when he and his family lived for a year in Madrid. Chris followed that recording with March, an extraordinary EP sharing his reflections on courage, grace and gratitude in the wake of the untimely passing of his younger brother from progressive MS in 2011.

March marked a dynamic new phase of his career as he began working with Nashville based producer Tim Lauer, a former Executive Music Producer for the hit TV show “Nashville” who as a “first-call” keyboard player has worked with everyone from Robert Plant and Dolly Parton to Taylor Swift, Chris Cornell, Keith Urban and Blake Shelton. Chris hired Tim to lead his band for the recording and the two clicked.  “He is an incredible friend and as a producer sets an amazing tone in the studio.” Recording at such famed Music City facilities as Blackbird Studios, House of Blues, Ocean Way Nashville and RCA, Chris has recorded multiple EPs with Lauer and some of the city’s top studio musicians – including Endings & Beginnings (2012), Build a Bridge (2013), Time and Truth (2014) and In the Way of the Water (2016).

In 2018, Chris released several individual singles including “Love is the Only Road,” an ambient-acoustic re-imagining of John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” “Before I Found My Way,” “All I Need is You” (a beautiful, soulful love song dedicated to his wife) and “My Boy,” an affectionate conversation in song inspired by his relationship with his teenage son. “Better Angels,” a socially conscious pop/rocker that reflects on the harsh reality that “Better angels have flown/They’re looking for a home. . .Where love and kindness rule . . .Our better angels need a hand.”

Prior to pursuing his musical passions, Chris – a native of Sunnyvale, CA and graduate of UC Davis – worked as a weatherman and on-air reporter at local network affiliates in Florence, AL, Bakersfield, CA, San Jose, CA, and Oakland, CA. After retiring from full-time work in this field, Chris began writing music while working part time on air in Oakland and hosting the show “Computer Shopper” on the digital TV station ZDTV (later renamed TechTV), an affiliate of the Ziff-Davis publishing and internet company.  

“Nothing has been more gratifying to me than leaving a successful career, living out my dreams as a singer, songwriter and recording artist, and digging deep within myself and saying what I truly want to say,” says Chris. “It’s all a matter of finding the courage to do it and, in line with Brené Brown’s quote, allowing myself to be vulnerable. Historically, vulnerability has been thought of as a weakness but I believe it’s our greatest strength as it  allows us to connect profoundly with other human beings. My goal as a creator is to express, through my music, who I truly am so that I may connect meaningfully with my audience. That translates perfectly to the studio where it’s my goal to create an environment that is collegial, collaborative, creative, and loving for me, Tim and all of the wonderful musicians with whom I am blessed to work.”