The one constant since the inception of Donovan’s Brain has been instigator, Ron Sanchez. The current recording group is staffed by Scott Sutherland (Model Rockets), Joe Adragna (The Junior League), and Kris Wilkinson-Hughes (My Girl The River). Three core members have recently passed away: Bobby Sutliff RIP 2022 (The Windbreakers), bassist Tom Stevens RIP 2021(Long Ryders), and drummer Ric Parnell RIP 2022 (Spinal Tap, Atomic Rooster). This loss cannot be underestimated.
The band is augmented by bass players Joe Hughes (My Girl the River), and Jim Dickson (Barracudas, New Christs) The Donovan’s Brain expanded universe includes a star cluster of talent. Matt Piucci (Rain Parade), Peter Holsapple (dBs) and Deniz Tek (Radio Birman). Over the past 35 years, Donovan’s Brain has been joined in the studio and on stage by many of our friends: Jason Lytle, The Young Fresh Fellows, and members of The Posies, Help Yourself, Man, The Idle Race, Plummet Airlines, and the Nomads. Donovan’s Brain also serve as the Career Records house band, having recorded with Deniz Tek, Angie Pepper, Roy Loney, The Plaintiffs, Penny Ikinger and Richard Booth.
Donovan’s Brain has spent the last six months completing a new album and an EP.
The Ep, The Agitated Brain will be released on Friday February 2nd. Joe Adragna has been working with the band since last summer when he was introduced by Scott McCaughey. Joe appears on two of the three songs, one of which he wrote.
The songs were mastered by Pete Weiss who has stepped in to replace long time Brain associate, Gary Hobish who died last summer. Pete was recommended to master Bobby Sutliff’s solo album. He was agreeable to taking on the work.
The new album is nearly complete. It is scheduled for release this summer.The fifteen song album, titled Fire Printing was recorded over the last year. An expanded line up of musicians are featured on the album. Longtime Brain friend Scott McCaughey makes his first appearance on with the band since YFF played on the Eclipse And Debris album. Ron Sanchez and Scott collaborated on one of the new songs. The other fourteen songs were written by Scott Sutherland, and Joe Adragna with help from Tony Miller.
The new look Donovan’s Brain line up have been locked in the studio since this Spring. A new album is nearly completed. Twelve of the fifteen songs are now mixed. While waiting on the final contributions, they have turned attention to a digital EP planned for early 2024. The three new songs are unique to this release. It’s meant to be an introduction to the new line up and a preview of the forthcoming long player. As is the usual method, work on the follow up to these two 2024 releases is already underway.
The first video from Faith In Failure. Disappearing Firelight is a Sanchez-Sutliff collaboration
Faith In Failure is now available at the Donovan’s Brain Band Camp Shop and the Career Records Discogs Store. It will be appearing on all streaming platforms shortly.Donovan’s Brain are also heard on Penny Ikinger’s new album Travels And Travails, a collection of collaborations with various artists. The two Brain tracks were recorded at the rehearsals for the 2004 Career Records North West Tour. This is available directly from Penny’s Band Camp shop. Career Records should have copies soon.
Bobby Sutliff’s final solo album is about to go to press. A vinyl release is scheduled for 2024. Ric Parnell and Tom Stevens perform on two tracks which were originally intended for Donovan’s Brain. A CD release is expected in August 2023
The new Donovan’s Brain album, Faith In Failure is due to ship in March. Then new songs continue in the of the last four releases: Tight songs, lush dream scapes and instrumental explorations. The title track is one of two Bobby Sutliff contributions, his last two compositions. Ron Sanchez, Scott Sutherland and Kris Hughes also wrote for the album.Donovan’s Brain will continue with the three surviving core members and the floating group of heavy friends. Material for the next album is currently being reviewed and new songs are being written.
Two more Brain related releases are currently be prepared. More details soon.
The second Donovan’s Brain digital archive release is now out and available from the Band Camp shop.This Maxi Single features Richard Treece. The two songs are radically different versions of previously released tracks.
The Overture is the 2004 version of the song later released as After The Main Sequence. This earlier recording has Seth Lyon on drums. Richard added guitar while doing overdubs for A Defeat Of Echoes. The multitrack files for this were believed to have been lost. This is a fresh, extended mix using the two takes Richard performed.
Bok, The Lager Troll is the 1999 rough mix of Bok, The Beer Elf. This incendiary mix has never been heard. Bok was given it’s first proper mix for the Convolutions box set.
The new Brain album Faith In Failure is nearing completion and expected early in 2023.
Bobby Sutliff passed away Monday evening August 29th.
Donovan’s Brain joins his family and friends mourning this unexpected loss.Bobby Sutliff began working with Donovan’s Brain in December 2004. I’d asked him if he could do a solo on a track for A Defeat Of Echoes. He was happy to as long as he could sing a line too. He also got a call to help out on the Roy Loney album I was producing. His guitar contribution saved a track from being abandoned. He told me playing with Roy was a highlight of his career. When it was time to return to the next Brain album, Bobby asked if he could join the band as a full member. By the time Fires Which Burnt Brightly was completed, Donovan’s Brain was just Bob and myself. We assembled a new band in 2010 and have worked non-stop since. Bobby contributed guitar to the most recent Brain album Chiêm Bao Thấy Bậu and two songs to the follow up.
Bobby has been working on a solo album over the last few years. Two tracks which began as Brain songs were returned to him to use. The fate of this album is uncertain at this point.
Bobby’s presence as a band mate and good friend will be missed by us all.
A Go Fund Me page has been set up to assist Bob’s wife Wendy. Please Lend A Hand Here
Work on the next Donovan’s Brain album is moving forward on schedule for January 2023 release. Six of the new songs are now mixed. The ten songs are the follow up to Sandbox Shadows with some of the experimental sounds heard on Chiêm Bao Thấy Bậu return added to the mix.Meanwhile, here is the third video from the current album.
There is now a Donovan’s Brain page on YouTube. All the promo vids have been gathered up and live material is being collected.
Visit our page Here
Ric Parnell rip
Our good friend and musical partner Ric Parnell disappeared in a puff of smoke early this morning at his home in Missoula, Montana.He will be missed by his friends and fans.
In the twelve years he was a partner in Donovan’s Brain, he recorded over one hundred songs with us. He’s appeared on our last seven albums and an EP. He enjoyed a long and colorful musical career which began in his teen years. He first came to wider attention when he joined Atomic Rooster. His work with Spinal Tap brought him to a much wider audience.
Ric recorded three albums with Deniz Tek as well and tracks for Tom Stevens, Kris Hughes and Bobby Sutliff solo projects.
Donovan’s Brain will continue, but there are no plans to replace the irreplaceable Ric J Parnell. There is enough material material with Ric stockpiled for three more albums.
Much to everyone’s surprise there is a new Donovan’s Brain album due to be released in April. Chiêm Bao Thấy Bậu is a collection of film music commissioned for the movie of the same name. The band were only told the film is about two lovers who can only meet in their dreams. The album was completed in February.The core band contributed to the eleven songs. Scott Sutherland sings two, Kris Hughes sings one and Ron Sanchez sings three. The five remaining songs are instrumentals. The oldest song on the album was recorded in 2017. Two songs are from the Sandbox Shadows sessions, the remaining songs were recorded in 2021 and 2022. The songs were chosen to reflect the dreamscapes depicted in the film. Two of the songs clock in at over nine minutes.
Meanwhile work on the follow up to Sanbox Shadows has continued. There is a slim chance this might appear in the fall, Common sense says look for this new Donovan’s Brain album in January 2022.
The third video from Sandbox Shadows. Failure To Achieve is the opening track on the Sandbox Dispatches album
The second video from Sandbox Shadows
Meanwhile work on the next records is moving forward. Ten of the new songs have been selected for what will be the next album. This could change as the work progresses. More songs are being written. The final track listings are always in a fluid state until the very last moment.
The next day Ric arrived for a two day drum session. He added his parts to seven new songs. Work on the new material will continue as time allows.
13 July, 2021 The issues with the poster seem to have been resolved. The new album should be going to press this week. Early release should be on target. Here is a preview of he album, a song from Sandbox Dispatches, the Black Album.
7 July, 2021 Printing issues have delayed the release of Sandbox Shadows by at least a month. Career Records is closely following the progress and will announce the ship date as soon as the problems with the elaborate cover are resolved. Ron Sanchez and Bobby Sutliff have been busy collaborating one several news songs. You can follow the activities at the new chapter of the recording diary. Check out Paper Pilots Pushing for regular updates.
Two Brain archive projects ave also been going on in the background during breaks in the recording of the new albums. Tiny Crustacean Light Show has got a fresh new mix. A test remix of Arnold 4 Souls appeared on the Convolutions box set. The entire album got the treatment last fall. No plans for a release have yet been scheduled. The other project is the Penny Ikinger – Donovan’s Brain rehearsal sessions. Two hours of tape have been transferred to the GLEA Studio computer and reviewed for a future mix session. Nearly all of Penny’s debut Electra were attempted plus one new song. This alternative bit of history may or may not ever see the light of day. The Brain performing these songs gives them a slightly different feel. Any decision to release these recordings would be up to Penny.
8 May, 2021 The New Donovan’s Brain album will be completed this week. The last song is in the mix stage. One of the two albums is currently being mastered. The current timeline puts the release before the end of June.
The Career Records official website has been relaunched this week. The new page is mobile friendly. The Career Records Shop has now been moved to the Discogs.com platform. This resolves the ongoing world wide postage issues and adds credit card payment as well as PayPal
16 August, 2019 The Career Records Shop is now shipping Burnt Trees In the Snow and the CD edition of the new Deniz Tek album Fast Freight. The Deniz Tek vinyl edition will be shipping at on September 15th,.
When you visit the Career shop check out the discounted bundles they are offering. This is a chance to pick up Donovan’s Brain catalog at a very good price. The shop will build you a custom bundle with the purchase of Brunt Trees In The Snow or the CD box set Convolutions Of The Brain. Just tell them what you want in the notes field on the order page. They will get back to you with the price for your selections.
12 August, 2019 The new Donovan’s Brain album is now available from the The Career Records Record Shop. Burnt Trees In The Snow is the eleventh Brain album and the eighth on Career.
The Brain made a rare live appearance on July 30 at the premier of the Montana music documentary So Good I Can’t Take It. Kirk LeClare’s film covers the creative period of the 1970s and 1980s in Montana. Ron Sanchez is one of the many principles interviewed, and the Brain have three songs featured. A DVD will be included with the companion album to be released this fall. The 2019 version of Donovan’s Brain was Ron, original member Kels Koch, Beat Nothings drummer Eric Danzer and young Jake Williams on bass.
The first review of Burnt Trees was published today on the I-94 Site
3 July, 2019 At the end of 2018, a casual encounter with the Australian label Kasumuen has resulted in a split album with Donovan’s Brain and Fraudband. The Brain side features five new songs. Four of those will be familiar as they have been on the short list for the next two Donovan’s Brain albums. One more song was written and recorded for the new album which is titled Burnt Trees In The Snow, An Evening With Fraudband and Donovan’s brain. The ten song album will be a limited edition vinyl only release. A download card with six bonus tracks, three from each band. The three Brain bonus tracks are out takes from the Convolutions box set. An alternate rehearsal version of Tad’s New Cymbal Stand features some sizzling guitar from Richard Treece.
Career Records has scheduled September 1st as the release date. Yet another new Deniz Tek album will be released on the same day.
6 October, 2018 Deniz Tek’s new album, Lost For Words was released on September 1st. The ten track instrumental record features Brains Ron Sanchez and Ric Parnell. The Fleshtones’ Keith Streng is also featured.
Donovan’s Brain will have two songs released this fall/winter. The Best Mistake will appear on Hit The Hay Vol 10. Donovan’s Brain and Bobby Sutliff had songs on the debut Hit The Hay collection, 24 years ago. Best Mistake was pulled from the large cache of songs currently under construction. Release should be in November. The Career Shop will have a few copies for sale. It will also be offered by Sound Asleep Records out of Vara Sweden.
The second Brain compilation track will be a part of a Green Monkey holiday benefit comp. Gray Whiskers features Xmas themed lyrics by Kris Hughes. The track with the original lyrics will appear on a future Brain album. Both of these compilation tracks will remain unique to these limited releases.
Several new songs have were written in the last few weeks and will be added to the 20 or so already recorded for the next Donovan’s Brain albums.
1 June, 2018 Convolutions Of The Brain is now out and available from the Career Records Shop. The complex cover design caused some unexpected delays on our side and with the manufacture.
The large format 20 page booklet contains a Brain recording history, track details, rare photos and an essay by Malcolm Morley.The DVD size 8 panel cover features more rare photos and original artwork by Richard Treece.
Track details are now posted on the Convolutions Of The Brain Discography Page The Brain are currently working on a track for the 10th volume of Hit The Hay.
A very busy year also conspired against the original date. Shortly after the mixing and mastering, Ron Sanchez did a short East Coast tour with Deniz Tek. A nonstop program of songwriting has followed. Five songs written inn th Summer/Fall of 2016, before work on the box set started, have all now been finalized. At the moment there are 22 songs on the a list, with another 10 pieces which will be reviewed.Deniz returned to GLEA in August with his studio band and Keith Streng, who is now part of the touring band. Eleven songs were recorded for the new record. Ron Sanchez spent the month of September adding extensive overdubs before the tracks were taken to Australia. Birdman keyboardist Pip Hoyle added piano to a pair of the songs. Mixing will take place this spring at Sugarhill, in Houston. Mort Bradly will engineer.
Matt Piucci has once again agreed to contribute guitar to the new material. Three songs were sent to Matt for consideration, and all were approved. Ron may travel out to California to oversee the sessions.
The next new Brain album should be out in Spring 2019, with a second album shortly after.
1 July 2017 Work on an album of new material resumed this spring. Ric Parnell was in the studio recently to add drums to several new tracks.
Deniz Tek will take over the studio for a few days in August to begin work on his new album. Ric and Ron Sanchez will be joining Deniz and Keith Streng to cut an instrumental surf record. Ron was asked to become part of Deniz’s band for a short east coast tour in April.
It may seem quiet around here, but at Brain HQ 2016 has been a full on year. New songs have been written for the next album. Much of the office time has been spent managing the release of Deniz Tek’s new album Mean Old Twister. In the Fall Ron Sanchez and Bobby Sutliff met up in Ohio to plan the next Brain moves. A much discussed Donovan’s Brain archive set has been under construction since August. The original plan was to mix the 2000 Terrastock rehearsals with Richard Treece and gather up a few strays. Once all the potential material was cataloged, it became apparent that this was a much bigger project.
Most of the 47 song, three cd set has now been mixed or remixed. The 4 hours of music will include 34 previously unreleased songs. This includes the live in the studio rehearsals with Treece and two more with Deniz Tek. 8 unreleased film soundtrack songs recorded for three film projects are also previously unreleased. 7 rare compilation only tracks have been remixed for the box set. Three album tracks have been remixed. Eclipse and Debris’ Joey’s In The Pouch will appear twice, each featuring a previously unheard Richard Treece guitar track. Still Waiting Still Dreaming aka To One Who Waits has been remixed to include the original vocal track which was omitted from the released version. The cd set will also include an extensive booklet with many previously unseen band photos and complete recording details.
Expect this as yet untitled box set at the end of summer 2017. A new Donovan’s Brain album is scheduled for fall 2018.
Heirloom Varieties is now arriving in shops around the world. The vinyl release is expected on October 23rd. The new album has got radio play in the US and Australia.
Meanwhile Bobby Sutliff and Ron Sanchez have been exchanging new musical ideas. Future plans include an album of new material and another archival release. An album of material recorded with Richard Treece and Dave Walker between 1998 and 2000 will be prepared while work on a new album continues.
Heirloom Varieties is now available at The Career Records Shop. The 14 song CD is shipping now. The 11 song vinyl edition will be in stock on October 23. You can pre-order now. Heirloom Varieties is the ninth full length Donovan’s Brain album and the sixth for Career Records.
Ken Shimamoto has published the first review of the album on his Stash Dauber blog. The new album has also had airplay in Australia and The US.
Richard Treece, longtime Brain associate, passed away on May 26th at his home in London.
Richard joined Donovan’s Brain in 1996 after the collapse of the Brain MK2. Richard and Ken Whaley stepped in to salvage the sessions which became Eclipse And Drebris.
Work on the follow up to Turned Up Later is now complete. The vinyl version has been sent off to press. Fourteen songs have been recorded with everyone contributing to the songwriting. Matt Piucci will again apprear on with the Brain. Deniz Tek has also contributed gutiar on two songs. Our newest member Kris Wilkinson-Hughes added some very important vocal parts as we were mixing.
You can expect to see the album and CD at the beginning of October.
A limited edition release of the restored 1994 Shambaholic album is now shipping. This is the first of a planned series of releases from the vast archive of unheard Brain matter.
Shambaholic is not a new Donovan’s Brain album. The fact that it is finally being released 20 years to the day after it was completed is purely coincidental. Shambaholic might have been the first Brain album, if the band were not so prolific. In the end the album was broken up into smaller pieces and most of it appeared on various Donovan’s Brain releases.
You can read more about it here.
A split EP with The Nomads is also now available from Career Records.
The Brain are heard performing a new song, Bread Man Burning, and Snow In Miami which was was recorded in 1998 for Tiny Crustacean Light Show but never used.
The Nomads cover the unreleased Donovan’s Brain hot rod instrumental No Cops, Haul Ass.
The 2013 album of new material is titled Turned Up Later. It is released as a 12 song CD and a 13 song extended album.
Work on the follow up has already begun.
The Brain can also be heard on the Dwight Twilley Tribute album Twilley Won’t Mind, released in July 2014.