Donna Colton & Sam Troublemaker
Gig Seeker Pro

Donna Colton & Sam Troublemaker

Syracuse, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF

Syracuse, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2016
Duo Rock Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Music Notebook by Mark Bialczak"

Donna Colton was a proud member of of last year's Syracuse Area Music Awards Hall of Fame induction class. The singer and songwriter didn't let local fame slow her down as she demonstrates in this week's Music Notes vdieo interview and acoustic performance of the new song "Evil & Mean," with guitar partner Sam Patterelli. You can find them both at . - The Post Standard / Weekend Magazine

"Mark Bialczak's Music Notebook"

Colton Plays House Party with a Punch

Donna Colton and Sam Patterelli got in on the ground floor of a live-music fad that's becoming popular nationwide, thanks to David and Teresa Mott of Baldwinsville. The phenomenon is called the house concert. It's happening so much that there's even a Website, which includes instructions on how to make the event work smoothly.

The Mott's have been fans of Syracuse singer-songwriter Colton and her bass player/guitarist Patterelli since they saw them perform at Bladwinsville bar Brendon's 2 years ago.

"I'm her stalker," Teresa Mott said with a laugh.

Make that big-time fan. So the Mott's decided to invite Colton and Patterelli to play their original music in the Mott livingroom last Saturday night. The Mott's invited 40 friends. about 30 showed up. They were greeted by smiling hosts and a tasty table full of food and drink.

A collection box was set up to pay the musicians. Also, Ron Keck, of Subcat Studios in Skaneateles set up his digital sound board to record the two sets of music on discs that guests were able to register to purchase.

The duo combined old songs from Colton's first two discs and some catchy new material from a disc (being recorded at Subcat) that Colton hopes to release by the end of 2004.

From the opening song, the beautiful "Fatal Love," everybody was happy.

Colton said she hopes more fans ask her to play house concerts in the future.
- The Post Standard

"Music Critic Mark Bialczak lists his favorite 100 songs"

Making a List of favorites not easy

A couple of songs I'm lucky enough to listen to often live, too, because "Fatal Love" and "Good Time Woman" come from Central New York's Donna Colton and Los Blancos, respectively.

"Fatal Love", Donna Colton, Syracuse singer-songwriter exudes charm in acoustic-folk-rock-lounge kind of way.
- The Post Standard / Weekend

"Donna's Deep Roots"

Singer/Songwriter Colton has many ties to Marcellus

By Ellen Leahy

Donna colton knows how to roll out a song. She is a Central New York singer/songwriter whose style is hard to categorize because she crosses over into many genres with her acoustic guitar, her rockin' voice, her lean towards R&B and her country roots from her mom playing the likes of Marty Robbins and The Everley Brothers.

To sit and talk to her she could be the girl next door. Having her beginnings in Lafayette, she is all that; brown sugar eyes and apple cheeks with dancing dimples, but on stage she is transformed; she fills the room. There is no faltering, no question she's in charge.

"Mo's is about as rowdy as it gets," said Colton about Morris' Grille. She breaks her venues down into two styles; dancing and carrying on, or sitting and taking in.

"The best of both worlds," she said adding that there is something about being able to belt out the tunes, although she has to keepan eye on the mic to make sure it doesn't get bumped and break her teeth. But also, she gets spoiled by having people shut up and listen as they do when she plays a concert venue, such as,Happy Endingsor in a park as in Cazenovia.

Where Her Songs Come From

There is no set writing pattern for Colton. She often collaborates and pfrefers to finish rather than begin a song and tends to lean towards R&B, "can be a little raw there," she said.

A friend, Thaddeus "Ted" Wellenc contacted her to co-write, when they did connect he had cortons of half-finished songs she said. Their first was "Black and Blue Elaine," a song about spousal abuse.

She is currently playing out as Donna Colton +1. The plus one is a guitarist Sam Patterelli, who is also an audio engineer and producer. Together they are writingmusic as with "Leave the Light On," the fifth track on her most recent CD "Fatal Love".
Fatal Love was supposed to refer to that moment when one takes the leap of faith wholeheartedly into a romantic venture, butshe also took the opportunity tosing about her only brother, whowas killed. She played off her title singin about the love she has for this dear brother.

What To Expect Next

Colton performed last Thursday in the Jazz in the Square Festival with fellow musicians who contributed to the "High Hopes" album. This was a tribute to Syracuse songwriter, Jimmy Van Huesen, produced to raise funds for St Camillus. she had never sung any of the jazz standards before this project and felt surprisingly quite at home.

"Colton is effortlessly branching out as evidenced by her participation in "High Hopes," said Russ Tarby, a music reviewer who was at the performance in the square.
In the works is a Christmas album as one does have to plan ahead and she'll be out and about performing.

"In essence she's an entertainer," Tarby said.

- Eagle Newspapers

"Sammys 9"

Simply Red: She may not have a Sammy yet, but Donna Colton's performance of country, blues, rock and jazz styles proves she has the chops to win one.

One artist who doesn't yet have a Sammy on her shelf, Donna Colton, performed a big set that combined coutry, rock, blues and jazz. While inroducing her, Big Mike Fiss from Sunny 102 radio noted that Colton's cross-genre sound is an asset and a deterrent: "She hasn't won yet because she can't be fit into any category." That could change as this year's Sammy's added a Best Other Styles Recording award giving Colton a chance next time around.

She demonstrated her "channeling Aretha" singing style in the original, Fatal Love and her mastery over multiple styles as heard in another original, Leave The Light On. The blues-tinged ditty with bubbly bass interludes highlighted other members of her band, the TroubleMakers, including bassist Sam Patterelli, currently known as Colton's "Plus One". - Syracuse New Times

"Tryst - Donna Colton & the Troublemakers"

A little bit country, a little bit blues and a lot of heart --- that's New York-based Donna Colton. Donna owns every syllable; she sings with a compelling kind of womanly swagger, not unlike that of Melissa Etheridge, Bonnie Raitt and Loretta Lynn. She strums some heartache, some wistful dreaming, but also an impassioned social commentary. "They try to hold you down if you're ethnic or you're queer, 'Cause terroists and liberals are the sum of all their fears," she sings on "Time For A Cahnge," a breezy number that would make a good campaign ad. All told, a fine sounding band.
Review Date: July 8, 2007. - Low Budget Superhero - Lexi Khan

"Top 10 CD's of the Year"

To pick my 10 Favorite Central New York CD's for 2007, I perused the pile of local music that came my way. To the right went the ones that I'd put on my list without second thoughts. It became a mountain of music; 35 CD's in all.
That's good news... very good news.
First the good: Many local musicians are making memorable music.
Now the very good. Here are my Top 10 for 2007:

1. Donna Colton and the Troublemakers, "Tryst."

Colton's always-rich voice seems to reach even greater hights on this collection of songs mostly co-written with partner Sam Patterelli. Backed by the Troublemakers --- Patterelli on guitars and bass and Dave Salce on drums --- Colton comfortably and confidently strides down well chosen roots-rock paths.
If the life's-good imagery in the song "Summer Face" doesn't make you smile, you're an incurable grump.

MB, Sunday, Dec 30, 2007 - Stars - Mark Bialczak - Post Standard

"Regular Band, special guests back Colton on new CD"

Donna colton enlisted some Trouble makers to make sweet noise on her new CD "Tryst". Great move.

With the help of her trusty regular band mates, Sam Patterelli on guitars and bass and Dave Salce on drums, Colton showcases the big, rich, powerful voice that's entertained Central New Yorkers for two decades worth of live shows now.

Colton and Patterelli ably share the bulk of songwriting duty, too, taking credit for nine tunes --- one by Colton solo (the sad break up song "Another Love") and Patterelli alone 9the epic protest closer "Time For A Change") and the rest together.

They add the rest-easy ballad "Just Let It Go" from Colton's cousin, Leo Visconti, Joni Mitchell's spicy "Carey" and the soulful "Ring the Living Bell" by Melanie Safka.

Good friends add intoxicating layers throughout.

Karen Savoca's lovely harmony vocals enrich "Just Let It Go" and "Share My Love." Savoca's longtime CNY guitar star, Pete Heitzman, jangles richly on "Just Let It Go" and "Summer Face." Los Blancos keyboardist Mark Nanni adds a lovely harmonica riff to "another Love" and dynamic organ to "Time For A Change." Syracuse vetran Arty Lenin's lead guitar sends an energy bolt through the swinging title cut; a wonderful tune that plays over in your heard for hours afterward.

Joe Davoli on fiddle, Ron Keck on percussion, Dave DeSiro on percussion, triangle and shaker, Julius Williams on percussion, Marcia Hagan, Jenniferr "Tee" Davis and Cathy Good on soul chorus, spring peepers making their natural nighttime racket. That's a little help from your friends.

Nevertheless, Colton's voice rightly shines center stage and serves as the glue for it all.

the CD was mastered by Peter Moshay at his own A-Pawling Studios Downstate. He offered these words of praise:
"Donna not only sings with amazing power, control and conviction, when I hear her sing her songs, it's like seeing the movie too. A true master and her CD's are filled with great songs."

That's something coming from a man who's mixed the work of Barbra Streisand, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and Hall and Oates. - Mark Bialczak, Music Critic, The Post Standard, Syracuse NY

"A Christmas Present from Donna Colton"

Mark Bialczak - Music Critic

The pure voice of Central New York singer Donna Colton, matched with 10 great holiday songs, makes a great Christmas present.
Colton's rich vocals warm a room, setting the mood perfectly for a crackling fire and reflection time about the graces of life.
An all-star band of Colton's usual performing partner Sam Patterelli on bass, bouzouki and guitar; versatile Arty Lenin on guitars, mandolin and baritone; and Subcat Studios producer Ron Keck on percussion help Colton shine on traditional favorites such as "White Christmas", "I'll Be Home for Christmas", "Silent Night" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in a truly gorgeous light.
To further set it apart from you've- heard-it-all-before holiday fare, Colton starts the collection with a totally hip rendition of Joni Mitchell's great song "River" and closes it with a goose-bump-raising version of "Amazing Grace".
On the latter, sit back and admire the range, depth and sonics of Colton's beautiful voice. - The Post Standard / Stars


Red Lip Records Releases:
Donna Colton & the Troublemakers - Tryst 2007
Tryst just got the #1 spot on Mark Bialczak's Top 10 CD's for 2007!!!
We are getting internet and radio airplay on ExPats Radio ( in UK, France, and Holland.
Donna Colton +1 'Live at the Mott's' House Concert 2005
Donna Colton Christmas 2004
Fatal Love 2000
Black and Blue Elaine 1996



Donna and Sam make music that straddles genres.  She plays acoustic guitar with a percussive style that wants to dance right along with her voice.  Sam Patterelli plays bass, acoustic, electric and baritone guitars along with harmonica and harmony vocals.

  Both Colton and Patterelli are based out of Syracuse, New York and play clubs, vineyards, house concerts and theaters in the surrounding area, with trips to NYC, Nashville, KC, Chincoteague; wherever they can play their own music.   Colton has showcased as a solo artist at The Bitter End and The Spiral Club in NYC and built a reputation as a hard working performer.  In 2009 Donna Colton was inducted in the Syracuse Area Music Hall of Fame.

   The duo began working together on her first CD (Black and Blue Elaine)  and haven't stopped since.  A skilled ear for audio production and engineering, Patterelli has worked with such notable artists as Greg Brown, Karen Savoca and Pete Heitzman, Mark Doyle. He also won a SAMMY award for producing the Best Jazz Record - Sox Tiffault. 

  • Black and Blue Elaine - Donna Colton - Acoustic Amazon
  • Fatal Love - Donna Colton 
  • Tryst - Donna Colton & the Troublemakers
  • Donna Colton Christmas
  • Donna Colton & Loren Barrigar - Relative Harmony
  • Donna Colton - Evening Ride 

In 2016, Donna & Sam were invited to be a part of the Acoustic Guitar Project - one guitar - one week - one song, Shattered Stars was what they wrote.  It was songwriting therapy for both as Donna had been battling cancer and the two were glad to work some of the stress out in music.