Pat Donohue

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Pat Donohue
Born (1953-04-28) April 28, 1953 (age 66)
St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
GenresFolk, country
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Years active1973–present
LabelsRed House, Blue Sky

Patrick Donohue (born April 28, 1953) is an American fingerstyle guitarist born in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a Grammy nominated, National Fingerpicking Guitar Champion songwriter. Donohue has several albums to his credit and his songs have been recorded by Chet Atkins, Suzy Bogguss, and Kenny Rogers. He has performed on A Prairie Home Companion for several years.


Donohue grew up in St. Paul but moved to Denver, Colorado in 1971 to study at Regis College (now Regis University). After two years at Regis, he transferred to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[1] After his graduation in 1975, he returned to Denver.

Donohue was influenced early in his career by blues guitarists Robert Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, and Blind Blake. He listened to folk singers Bob Dylan, Steve Goodman, and John Prine.[1]

In 1985 Donohue's first album, Manhattan to Memphis, was released by Red House. After another album for Red House, he started his label Bluesky Records.[2]

In the early nineties, Donohue became a member of the house band on the radio program A Prairie Home Companion.[2][3][4] He and his colleagues in the Guy's All-Star Shoe Band are on-screen throughout much of the film A Prairie Home Companion based on the radio show.[1] Donohue wrote or co-wrote several of the songs on the soundtrack.

Some of the recordings feature his singer/songwriter side; he has also released instrumental albums.[5]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 1982 he was runner-up in the National Fingerpicking Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. During the following year he won the championship.[6]

In 2008 the Martin Guitar Company released a signature model, the OM-30DB Pat Donohue Custom Edition.[7]

Donohue's songs have been covered by Kenny Rogers, Suzy Bogguss, and Chet Atkins.[8]

Guitarist Chet Atkins said, "Pat Donohue is one of the greatest fingerpickers in the world today."[2] Donohue wrote a song in praise of Atkins' skill and virtuosity called "Stealin' from Chet". He has recorded a studio version on his Backroads album and a live version on Radio Blues, a collection of his favorite performances from A Prairie Home Companion. Atkins joined him on each version. In the liner notes to the live version, Donohue wrote, "What can I say? The most exciting three minutes of my life. We miss you Chet." (Atkins died a short time before the album was released).


As guest[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Pat Donohue biography at C. F. Martin & Company". C. F. Martin & Company. Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Vanderhoff, Mark. "Pat Donohue". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  3. ^ Keillor, Garrison, Pat Donohue A Prairie Home Companion. Retrieved March 2011
  4. ^ Yanow, Scott (2013). The Great Jazz Guitarists. San Francisco: Backbeat. p. 218. ISBN 978-1-61713-023-6.
  5. ^ Boehm, Mike (7 April 1994). "Pat Donohue: A Force to Be Reckoned With". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  6. ^ Walnut Valley Festival web site list of winners. Archived 2009-04-14 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Martin Guitar Introduces the OM-30DB Pat Donohue Custom Edition". 20 August 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Pat Donohue interview at Prairie Home Companion website". A Prairie Home Companion. Retrieved August 14, 2011.

External links[edit]