The one constant since the inception of Donovan’s Brain has been instigator, Ron Sanchez. The Donovan’s Brain universe has expanded to include a star cluster of talent. The current recording group is staffed by Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman) and Bobby Sutliff (The Windbreakers), bassist Tom Stevens RIP 2021(Long Ryders), drummer Ric Parnell (Spinal Tap, Atomic Rooster), and Scott Sutherland (Model Rockets), Kris Wilkinson-Hughes (My Girl The River), Matt Piucci (Rain Parade), Peter Holsapple (dBs), Joe Hughes (My Girl the River), and John Goodsall (Brand X). 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.
This Montana based recording workshop was formed as a reply to the “anyone can start a band” philosophy found in the mid 80’s local Bozeman music scene. Donovan’s Brain first entered your consciousness in 1994 when they appeared on the premier edition of the Hit The Hay compilations. The path the band has followed over the next three decades has been as complex and unexpected, much like the modern psychedelic sounds they create. Two new Donovan’s Brain albums will be released summer 2021. A trip around this site will reveal some of the answers you might be looking for about Donovan’s Brain. You can purchase Donovan’s Brain music at the Career Shop, or go directly to the Career Records Shop at Discogs. There is also now a Donovan’s Brain shop on Bandcamp, where you can purchase digital downloads as well as vinyl and CDS. The Career Records site and the Donovan’s Brain Face Book page are updated regularly.
16 November, 2021
Reviews of the new Donovan’s Brain album have appeared in Terrascope and Shindig. The reviews have been very good too.
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.
13 August, 2021 The finished copies of Sandbox Shadows arrived on Monday the 9th and orders are shipping. You can order the new double CD from our Discogs and Bandcamp stores.
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
27 February, 2021 The new Donovan’s Brain albums are nearing completion. Fifteen of the twenty songs have received final mix. It’s expected the remaining five songs will be completed by the end of March. During the breaks in work on the new release, attention turns to the Tiny Crustacean Light Show remix project. This idea was tested on Arnold 4 Souls, which appeared on the Convolutions Box Set. The new mix is a dramatic improvement over the original Get Hip release. The new mix will be released in the near future. The format is yet to be determined.
25 February, 2021 With much sadness we say goodbye to our friend and band mate Tom Stevens, who left this planet on January 23rd. Tom’s passing was sudden and unexpected. He leaves behind a wife and three adult children. Tom has been a strong steady force in Donovan’s Brain, helping direct the band and music forward. Tom had just scheduled time for the final work needed for the new album. As a tribute to Tom, we will finish the album as planned. He’d played on four songs and would have appeared on four more. Friends of the band, Joe Hughes and Jim Dickson accepted my request to step in and fill this huge gap in the band.
September, 2020 Donovan’s Brain has taken advantage of the lost summer, moving forward with the next release. Songs are being completed and more new songs written. Sandbox Shadow will be two new albums in one deluxe CD package. The release target date is August 2021. There is a chance it might appear in the spring. Another new album is scheduled for 2022. More about the new records here: History Page
20 April, 2020 Since the release of Burnt Trees In The Snow, Donovan’s Brain has returned to the studio to move towards completing the next album. Eight new songs have been written. A late Winter visit from Ric Parnell added drums to ten songs. The finish work has now resumed on the 23 songs being prepared. The release date and format for this new album has yet to be determined. Visit the History Page for a detailed diary.
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.
27 December 2017 Convolutions Of The Brain, the Donovan’s Brain archival box set is now scheduled for spring 2018 release. The complexities of the book and cover art required we delay the release.
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.