FONDLY referred to as the “man with the moustache” who just happens to surf and play music, Donavon Frankenreiter is living every indie-lover’s dream.
The American musician was born in California in 1972 and began his pro-surfing career after signing with Billabong at the age of 15. He began playing guitar at 16, and joined his first group, Peanut Butter and Jam three years later.
It was on a surfing trip that a friend taught Frankenreiter three guitar chords that had him instantly hooked. Eric Clapton and Hendrix were his first musical idols, which later inspired him to charmingly name his sons Hendrix and Ozzy.
The California native formed his first band, Sunchild, in 1996. But it was only after their split in 2001 that Frankenreiter began writing his own songs, seeking a more meaningful and personal experience with his music. He is a long-time friend of Jack Johnson whom he met while renting a room from Johnson’s parents. In 2004, he merged friendship and business after he released his debut self-titled album on Johnson’s Brushfire Records.
For his fifth and latest studio album, Start Livin’, Frankenreiter hid out in a Southern California studio for seven days with only his long-time friend and bassist Matt Grundy. The album is a melodic mash-up of DIY instrumentals such as clapping hands, a Zippo lighter and even pots and pans, coated with sunny and soulful vocals.
Frankenreiter has performed worldwide and continues to craft parallel careers both in and out of the water. He appears on 20 March 2014 on the same bill as KT Tunstall (see article below) to satisfy the longing for an up-close experience endured by loyal fans – and maybe he’ll catch some waves too.