“We went through some dirty weather and emerged at full sail.” – Admiral Sutherland GSV Resilient Tide


Fire Printing, the sixteenth Donovan’s Brain album finds the band stepping back from the brink of extinction after the tragic loss of two principal members in 2022. As it often happens with the Brain, divine intervention put the band back on course.

In this case is was longtime Brain associate Scott McCaughey (Minus 5, Baseball Project, Young Fresh Fellows) who stepped in to collaborate on the tribute to Bobby Sutliff and brought Joe Adragna (Junior League, Minus 5) to fill the drum position and more.

The revised Donovan’s Brain hit the ground running. They completed the album and an EP in six short months. Fifteen songs deal with a diverse range of topics including death, dying, insurance giants, pirates, and sad Victorian women.


The sound of Donovan’s Brain begins with melody and guitars, and spins off from there. Jangly guitars and psych allsorts mutate into a kaleidoscope of sound. This album also continues the electronic explorations heard of the soundtrack album Chiêm Bao Thấy Bậu.

Fire Pringing opens with Deniz Tek’s (Radio Birdman) searing guitar on the cautionary tale about explorer Sir Francis Drake. Scott McCaughey takes the lead vocal on the piano ballad Hey Bobby! The band’s Beatles roots are proudly exhibited.

The album is presented in three movements. Joe Adragna’s Sunset Heart opens the second side. Tony Miller (Ideal Free Distribution) contributed the lyrics to Mirror Pieces. Joe Hughes and Kris Hughes add weight to Stranger In The Light Of Day.

The third movement goes heavy with Ron Sanchez, Joe Adragna and Scott Sutherland carrying the vocal chores. There is no doubt Joe is fully integrated into the Brain matter.


Donovan’s Brain are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their first release.

The Agitated Brain +/-


The Agitated Brain. A new EP marks the debut of Donovan’s Brain MK7.Joe Adragna comes on board at full speed. More than just the new Donovan’s Brain drummer. He sings, he writes and he plays. Scott Sutherland and Ron Sanchez each have a song on the EP too.

Ric Parnell makes a ghostly appearance on one song. He’ll be around for a while more.

Three new, noisy songs explore what upsets the Brain: A toxic bandmate, a member of a murderous cult and an evil televangelist/false for profit preacher.

This is the third in a series of Band Camp digital Eps. A new Donovan’s Brain album with the full, expanded Donovan’s Brain lineup is on schedule for a release this summer. These three songs will not appear of the new album.

Ron Sanchez and Donovan’s Brain area celebrating the 30th anniversary of their first release.

For the five musicians who comprise the Brit-pop influenced Donovan’s Brain, the COVID era was a remarkably creative period. The quartet dropped an astounding three LPs over the past 18 months with a fourth – Faith in Failure (Career Records) – slated to release May 8th.Perhaps it’s fitting that Faith in Failure is arguably the band’s strongest output to date, given the tragic news that two members, Ric Parnell and Bobby Sutliff, died in 2022.

“Faith In Failure is a bittersweet affair,” says founder Ron Sanchez, who is the Brain’s principal songwriter and lead guitarist. “It includes Bobby Sutliff’s last two compositions and performances from Ric Parnell’s final recording session. Losing two core members was not on the agenda for 2022.”

Faith in Failure seamlessly blends the bright, jangly guitar sounds from the British Invasion with the era’s West Coast psychodelia. Sanchez was a deejay in San Francisco in the 1960s and ’70s and a fixture of the Bay Area’s incredibly rich music scene. Both of which undoubtedly left an indelible mark on his musical sensibilities.

“Exhibit A” is Faith in Failure’s opening track, “Bancroft Way,” which pays homage to the era that was so pivotal to pop music’s evolution.
“Exhibit B” is “You Will,” which opens with a Beatle-esque harpsichord and features winding lyrics throughout.

Taken as a whole, Faith in Failure is part reverberating time capsule (in the very best sense), and part reminder of the warmth notably found in contemporary analog pop and retro beat poetry.
Despite the loss of musical giants Parnell and Sutliff from its lineup, Sanchez says this is not the end for Donovan’s Brain.

“The last 14 years have been the most productive and creative period for the band in no small part due to the talents Bobby and Ric brought to the table,” he says. “Donovan’s Brain will carry on, paying tribute to our fallen friends with an eye to the future.”

Donovan’s Brain recently paused work on their new album to honor a request from Viet Nam for soundtrack music. Ron Sanchez took inventory of the songs currently under construction and submitted nine tracks for consideration. The response was positive. Two new songs were added to the mix which was passed on to the film’s director.The music for the film Chiêm bao thấy Bậu is not a new direction, but rather shows off a side of Donovan’s Brain which is in contrast to the usual high energy and liquid modern psych they are known for. An astute listener would have noticed the strains of prog and Krautrock influences that have appeared in rationed doses in the past. A film soundtrack gave the band a chance to share a full collection in this style. Earlier Donovan’s Brain film work can be heard on the Convolutions Of The Brain box set.

Ron Sanchez and the band had scant information to work with on this project. Our contact in Viet Nam had shared a copy of Shambaholic with a friend who knew the director who works under the name Mr Tam. The recurring theme of sleep and dreams caught his ear and he sent word back to Donovan’s Brain he was interested in hearing more.

Our contact passed on this information:

Tam was born in the village of Tiền Giang, He attended Ho Chi Minh Academy of Theatre and Cinema where he created a series of short experimental films. Upon graduation, he was employed by the central government to produce informational film (propaganda). Because of his government work he began using the name Tam so as not to attract the attention of his party bosses. The films he has been making could easily be seen as critical of the government.

Chiêm bao thấy Bậu is Tam’s first full length effort. The synopsis we were given only said that it is the story of two lovers who can only meet in their dreams. The film explores their repeated and occasionally efforts to find each other and ultimately try to establish contact in the waking world. The two struggle with the disorienting and often disturbing nature of their dream lives. Donovan’s Brain has attempted to capture the ephemeral nature of the dream world in eleven songs: six instrumentals and five vocal tracks.

Kris Hughes’ song I Would Not is the opening highlight. Story In A Story shares the same backing track, which features Bobby Sutliff’s guitar. The vocals add a different dimension. Scott Sutherland contributed two songs to the new album. Knives was was written for the album and added to the running order at the very last minute.

The two long instrumentals paint sonic landscapes which capture the chaos and beauty of the dream world. The sounds are reminiscent of Neu! and Cluster. In 1974, Brian Eno gave Ron Sanchez a list of bands he thought would be of interest. These two bands were on the list along with Kraftwerk and Harmonia. The influence of those discoveries can be heard on Brain records right from the start. Chiêm bao thấy Bậu gave the band a chance to explore this direction more deeply.

Donovan’s Brain have now resumed work on the new album which is scheduled for early 2023 release.

Donovan’s Brain are producer Ron Sanchez, Bobby Sutliff (Windbreakers), Ric Parnell (Spinal Tap), Tom Stevens rip (Long Ryders), Scott Sutherland (Model Rockets), Kris Hughes (My Girl The River), Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman), with Matt Piucci (Rain Parade), Jim Dickson (New Christs), Joe Hughes (My Girl the River), Peter Holsapple (dBs) and John Goodsall (Brand X). This diverse group come together with a unified musical vision that is Donovan’s Brain.These two new albums are the results of a most prolific four-year period for Donovan’s Brain.

Sandbox Shadows delivers two hemispheres of Donovan’s Brain. ¬¬ Twenty new songs are cut from the same psychedelic cloth. Sandbox Dispatches and Two Suns Two Shadows are two distinct new albums. Guitar driven with lush arrangements.

Donovan’s Brain albums twelve and thirteen explore the paths laid out on Burnt Trees In The Snow, their 2019 Australian split album release.

Two Suns Two Shadows steps through the looking glass to visit the inhabitants of the land of the Brain. The menacing Eden Pariah sets the mood. The Ministery Of False Alarms brings you to an unsettling conclusion.

Sandbox Dispatches is a tale of broken trust and faith told in ten chapters. River Of Tears is the centerpiece describing a damaged relationship as a natural disaster.

The two albums of Sandbox Shadows are wrapped in a 15”x15” poster sleeve delivered in a custom slipcover.

Sandbox Shadows

Ron Sanchez: voice, guitars, keyboards, bass
Ric Parnell: drums, percussion
*All Songs Except Where Noted

Donovan’s Brain – Two Suns Two Shadows

01. Eden Pariah
*Tom Steven: bass
02. Dolly Jim (Scott Sutherland)
*SS: guitars, vocals RS: organ, bass
3. A Trip With Auntie
*Jim Dickson: bass
04. Telegraph Ave (Music: Sutliff Words: RS
*BS: guitars, organ, bass RS: vocals guitar lick Peter Holsapple: solo guitar
05. Secret Society
*Jim Dickson: bass DT; lead guitar
06. Rice Paper Kite
07. Alternative To Me (Scott Sutherland)
*SS: guitars, vocals Tom Stevens: bass RS: keyboards
08. Broken Staircase/Crumbling Walls
*Joe Hughes: bass
09. Born With Two Shadows
10. Ministry Of False Alarms
*Tom Sevens bass John Goodsall: end solo Tony Miller: bg vocals

Donovan’s Brain – Sandbox Dispatches

01. Failure To Achieve
02. River Of Tears (Music; Sutliff with RS Words RS with Kris Hughes
*BS: main guitar riff, 12 string Tom Sevens: bass Matt Pucci: Gretsch solo RS: flanged solo Kris Hughes: vocals
03. Attic Experience
04. Changing Textures
05. Fired From The Circus (Scott Sutherland)
*Scott: vocals, bass, guitar RS: keys, guitar
06. Lime Twist
07. My Baby
*Scott Sutherland; lead guitar, harmony vocal
08. The Inquisitor
*Joe Hughes: bass
09. Time Flowing Backwards
10. Silent Voices

Burnt Trees In The Snow is an intercontinental Australian and American psych conspiracy featuring Fraudband and Donovan’s Brain on this split album release. This is the first collaboration between Career Records and Kasumen Records.It is something of a David Vs Goliath affair in that Donovan’s Brain employ an eight piece band over five new songs whereas Fraudband duo it up once again, recording live in the studio one afternoon. The results are an appealing contrast.

Montana’s Donovan’s Brain delivers their Technicolor brand of Paisley Pop jangle finished with Abbey Road textures and West Coast guitar sounds. The band share the writing responsibilities on the new songs. Appearing on this album are Tom Stevens (Long Ryders). Bobby Sutliff (Windbreakers), Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman), Scott Sutherland (Model Rockets), Ric Parnell (Atomic Rooster, Spinal Tap), Kris Hughes (My Girl The River, and Main Brain Ron Sanchez. Original Brain Kels Koch makes a cameo appearance as well.

The plan for this release came together on short notice. A discussion in December resulted in an agreement being reached in January. At this point there were more than twenty songs on the short list for the next two Donovan’s Brain albums. Two songs had been completed and final mixes recorded. Two more were selected and a new one was written for this album.

Gandy Dancer is a rewrite of a failed song. Ric’s drums elevated the track fromm the discard folder. New words were written, one of the two dream inspired songs.It is also one of the two songs about science and technology.

Scott Sutherland’s Kelp Whip was on the short list for Heriloom Varieties, but in the end held back for the next album. This song was nearly complete, only needing keyboard overdubs and a final mix.

Hear Me is a song Kris offered after working on Heirloom. Some test work on it had been carried out at the time. For this release the song was stripped back down to bass and drums. Bobby Sutliff recorded new guitar parts and the solo. He also added the melodic organ line in the verse. A string arrangement was created to replace the orignal guitar idea. Synths and piano were also added before the final mix. A new sound for the Brain.

Two Old Cats dates back to 2017. Tom Dyer asked if the Brain had a song for a Christmas compilation last fall. I figured this one could be reworked to suit that requitement. Kris took it and wrote new words, new melody and rearranged it. The new song was called Gray Whiskers. She also sang the original words too. I mixed both songs at the same time. This is my original idea.

You can hear Gray Whiskes Here.

The newest song for the album was also derived from a dream. In the dream 13th Floor Elevator was singing over the opening credits of a Steve McQueen movies. A track was quickly recorded and lyrics completed. It was decided that original Brain Kels Koch would sing it. Deniz Tek was assigined the lead guitar duties. This may be the fasted a Brain song as gone from concept to release.

Fraudband hails from Melbourne Australia. They bring a guitar and drum instrumental sound to the proceedings. The results landing somewhere around planet Sonic Youth aboard the good ship Link Wray.

The five songs on the Fraudband side of the album were originally released on a Japanese only cd Blinkered Vision And Blurred Horizon. The other five songs on Blinkered Vision had previously been appeared on Fraudband’s split LP with The Bevis Frond a couple of years back.

The album includes a download that adds six bonus tracks, three from each band. The Donovan’s Brain bonus tracks are out takes from the Convolutions Of The Brain triple CD box set. This promo CD includes an alternate version of Tad’s New Cymbal Stand, which features Richard Treece from the UK psych legends Help Yourself.

Donovan’s Brain 1991 – 2017
Three CDs – Four Hours Of Film Music, Live Performances,
Rare And Unreleased Recordings

49 songs, 23 featuring Richard Treece and 9 featuring Deniz Tek on guitars Remixed and Remastered in 2016 -2017

Convolutions Of The Brain gathers together 49 songs, four hours of unreleased studio recordings, rare compilation tracks, film music, live performances, and remixed album tracks recorded between 1991 and 2017.

Donovan’s Brain has never been shy about showing their many facets. They are equally comfortable with multi-colored psych, jangly pop, extended West Coast guitar excursions, straight ahead rock, and synth experiments.

The three disc set comes packaged in a DVD size, 8 panel cover. A full color 20 page book features rare photos, a recording history, full track details, original Richard Treece artwork and an essay by Malcolm Morley.

The centerpiece of the three-disc set is the Seattle Terrastock Festival rehearsal sessions with Richard Treece (1949=2015) guitarist from the 70’s UK cult band Help Yourself. Treece is featured on a further 11 tracks. Ken Whaley and Malcolm Morley founding members of Help Yourself appear on the set as well.

The multi-track recordings of the Terrastock rehearsals are heard here for the first time, freshly mixed for this release. The festival set is heard in its entirety with two additional performances of both Perky Pat and Central Services.

Unreleased highlights include Dave Walker’s Say Farewell performed by an all star band featuring Ken and Malcolm from Help Yourself and Deniz Tek from Radio Birdman. Dave also sings Richard Treece’s Brave New Girl. Deniz Tek takes the lead on a cover of Radio Birdman’s More Fun. Eclipse And Debris is the previously unheard title track to the album of the same name.
An extended cast that includes long time partners Deniz Tek and Bobby Sutliff assists Main Brain Ron Sanchez. Journeyman rockers Dave Walker (Savoy Brown) and Ric Parnell (Spinal Tap) are also present. Every Brain line up is represented including current band members Tom Stevens (Long Ryders) and Scott Sutherland.

Disc 1

1 My Favorite Record 3.21 (Langan)
Ron Sanchez – guitars, keys | Colter Langan – guitar, vocals | Joey Kline – guitar | Ken Whaley – Bass | Jason McKnight – drums
 | Dave Walker – bg vocals, handclaps | Ron Craighead and Jeff Arntsen – bg vocals
From the film Where The DJ’s Roam | Great Leap out take 1999 Remixed 2016

2 Perky Pat 10.30.00 1/2 5:57 (Sanchez)
Ron Sanchez – guitar, strings | Richard Treece – guitar | Colter Langan – guitar | Jeff Arntsen – bass | Ron Craighead – drums
Terrastock Rehearsal recorded 30 October first set Mixed 2016

3 Another Time Another Love 4:43 (Sanchez)
Ron Sanchez – guitars, vocals, mellotron | Deniz Tek – guitar | Jeff Arntsen – bass | Ron Craighead – drums
A Defeat Of Echoes out take 2002

4 Say Farewell (Fast Version) 3:09 (Walker)

Dave Walker – vocals | Ron Sanchez – guitar, first solo | Deniz Tek – guitar, end solo
 | Ken Whaley – bass | Malcolm Morley – organ
 | Ric Parnell – drums
Great Leap out take 1999

5 Gondola Scene 2:20 (Sanchez – Arntsen – Craighead)
Ron Sanchez – keyboards | Jeff Arntsen – lap steel | Ron Craighead – drums
From the film 99 Sense 2000

6 Arnold 4 Souls 3:59 (Sanchez – Walker)

Ron Sanchez – vocals, guitar, keys | Richard Treece – guitar | Dave Walker – Vocals | Kels Koch – bass | Seth Lyon – drums
From the album Tiny Crustacean Light Show – remixed 2016

7 Sincerely 2:46 (Twilley)
Bobby Sutliff – vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, mellotron | Ron Sanchez – backwards guitar, bass, organ | Scott Sutherland – bg vocals | Ric Parnell – drums
From the Dwight Twilley tribute Twilley Won’t Mind

8 Punch Wax Circus 3:15 (Sanchez)
Ron Sanchez – vocals, guitar, keys | Richard Treece – slide guitar | Colter Langan – guitar, bg vocals | Kels Koch – bass | Seth Lyon – drums
Great Leap Forward out take 1998 remixed 2016

9 Oh, Lorelei 4:12 (Sutliff)
Ron Sanchez – guitar, keys | Deniz Tek – guitar solo | Tony Miller – lead vocals | Scott Sutherland – vocals, 12 string guitar | Ric Parnell
 – drums | Tom Stevens – bass
From the Bobby Sutliff tribute Skrang 2012 Remixed 2017

10. Big Skies 0.40 (Sanchez)
RS – everything
From The Film Where The DJ’S Roam

11 Control (Long Mix) 15:25 (Arntsen)
Jeff Arntsen – guitar, vocals | Megan Pickerel – vocals | Ron Sanchez – keys | Colter Langan – bass | Ron Craighead – drums
A Defeat Of Echoes out take. Edited version appeared on the Echoes dvd. Remixed 2016

12 Hurry Curry 1:42 (Sanchez)
RS – everything
From the Bridger Bowl Ski Film Of The Day series 2009-10.

13 The Single #2 3:30 (Jones, Leonard. Whaley, Williams)
Ron Sanchez – guitars, bg vocals | Joey Kline – guitar | Kels Koch – vocals, bass | Seth Lyon – drums | Dave Walker vocals | Karen Sanchez – bg vocals
From The Man tribute Man We’re Glad We Know You. Remixed 2017

14 No Cops Haul Ass 2:55
Ron Sanchez – guitars, bass | Deniz Tek – guitar | Ric Parnell – drums
Recorded between 1991 and 2012 Mixed 2016

15 Tomorrow Never Snows 3:10 (Sanchez)
Ron Sanchez – guitar, keys | Deniz Tek – guitar | Ric Parnell – drums
From the Bridger Bowl Ski Film Of The Day series

16 Central Services 10.30.00 1/2 6:21 (Sanchez)
Ron Sanchez – guitar, strings | Richard Treece – guitar | Colter Langan – guitar | Jeff Arntsen – bass | Ron Craighead – drums
Terrastock Rehearsal recorded 30 October first set Mixed 2016

17 Burning House Of Love 5:37 (Rose)
Ron Sanchez – guitar | Paul Rose – guitar, vocals | Jim Kehoe – bass | Jason McKnight – drums
Recorded live at the Filling Station Summer 1995

18 EKR 2:53 (Sanchez)
Deniz Tek – glissando guitar | Ron Sanchez – everything else
From the film Where The DJ’s Roam 1997

Disc 2 

1 Tad’s New Cymbal Stand 6:45 (Langan – Mesko – Sanchez)
2 Tiny Crustacean Lightshow 3:06 (Sanchez – Treece)
3 Holly Green 4:43 (Sanchez – Langan – Kline)
4 Say Farewell 4:17 * (Walker)
5 The Magic’s Gone 4:46 (Langan)
6 My Little Town 2:41*
7 Central Services (Sanchez) >
8 Make A Noise Quietly (Sanchez) >
9 Perky Pat 16:05 (Sanchez)

Ron Sanchez – vocals, 12 string guitar, strings, piano, organ | Richard Treece – guitar | Colter Langan – vocals, guitar | Jeff Arntsen – bass – * bg vocals | Ron Craighead – drums – * bg vocals
Terrastock Rehearsal complete set recorded 24th and 30th October, 2000. Mixed 2016
 (*) contain additional overdubs. These recordings were considered for inclusion on The Great Leap Forward.

10 Bok The Beer Elf 6:52 (Sanchez – Treece)
Richard Treece – guitars | Ron Sanchez – synths, bass, guitar | Seth Lyon – drums
Recorded between 1997 and 1999. Mixed 2016

11 Dim Gem 7:42 (Langan – Donovan’s Brain)
Ron Sanchez – guitar, piano, organ, synth, mellotron | Richard Treece – guitars | Colter Langan – electric and acoustic guitars | Jeff Arntsen – bass, lap steel | Ron Craighead – drums
Released on the Dream Magazine #8 compilation

12 Joey’s In The Pouch (Guitar mix) 4:12 (Rose)
Paul Rose – vocals, acoustic guitar | Ron Sanchez – guitar, synth | Richard Treece – guitar | Ken Whaley – bass | Jason McKnight – drums
2016 remix featuring previously unused Richard Treece guitar tracks
Original version appears of Eclipse And Debris

13 Days Playing Perky Pat 10:32 (Sanchez)
Ron Sanchez – guitar, mellotron, synth, organ | Richard Treece – guitars | Colter Langan – guitar | Jim Kehoe – bass | Tony Sacco – piano | Seth Lyon – drums
basic track recorded at 1997 rehearsal. Richard Treece overdubs 1999
Released on Terrascope POT-XX. Remixed 2016

14 22 Lost Marbles 5:52 (Sanchez)
Ron Sanchez – guitars, keys | Richard Treece – guitars | Kels Koch – bass | Seth Lyon – drums | Colter Langan – vocals | Dave Walker – vocals
Released on Terrascope POT – XX. Remixed 2016

Disc 3
1 Brave New Girl 6:07 (Morley – Treece)
Richard Treece – guitars | Dave Walker – vocals | Ron Sanchez – organ, acoustic guitar | Tom Stevens – bass | Ric Parnell – drums
Recorded between 1999 and 2016 Mixed 2017

2 More Fun 2:10 (Tek)
Deniz Tek – guitar, vocals | Ron Sanchez – guitar, organ | Colter Langan – guitar bg vocals | Jeff Arntsen – bass, bg vocals | Ron Craighead – drums
Zebra Bar Rehearsal Nov 2002 Mixed 2016

3 Joey’s In The Pouch (Slide) 4:12
Paul Rose – vocals, acoustic guitar | Ron Sanchez – guitar, synth | Richard Treece – guitar | Ken Whaley – bass | Jason McKnight – drums
2016 remix featuring previously unused Richard Treece slide guitar track
Original version appears of Eclipse And Debris

4 Eclipse And Debris 6:00 (Sanchez)
Ron Sanchez – vocals, guitars, bass, synths | Jason McKnight – drums | Karen Sanchez bg vocals
Recorded between 1995 and 1997 Mixed 2016

5 Big Days 0:35 (Sanchez)
Ron Sanchez – everything
From the film Where The DJ’s Roam 1997

6 Anna Lee Page 3:23 (Koch)
Kels Koch – vocals, guitar | Ron Sanchez – guitar, bass, keys | Sly Dunn – drums|
Eclipse And Debris out take released on Carelessly Restored Art Remixed 2016

7 Hearts In Her Eyes 3:14 (Birch – Wicks)
Bobby Sutliff – guitar, vocals | Ron Sanchez – guitar, baritone guitar | Tom Stevens – bass | Rick Parnell – drums | Scott Sutherland – vocals | Deniz Tek – guitar solo
From the Records Tribute Recorded 2013 Remixed 2016

8 To One Still Waiting 7:12 (Rose – Donovan’s Brain)
Paul Rose – vocals | Ron Sanchez – guitar, synth | Richard Treece – guitar | Ken Whaley – bass | Jason McKnight – drums
Original version appears on Eclipse And Debris. 2016 remix restores vocals not used on 1997 mix.

9 Funding Cut 1:35 (Sanchez)
Ron Sanchez – everything
From the film Where The DJ’s Roam 1997

10 Fever’s Touch 7:16 (Sanchez)
Ron Sanchez – guitar, bass, keyboards | Ron Craighead – drums
From the film 99 Sense 2000 Remixed 2016

11 PHC 4:54 (Sanchez)
Ron Sanchez – everything
From the film Where The DJ’s Roam 1997

12 Squishy 2:50 (Sanchez)
Ron Sanchez– everything

13 Central Services 11:10 (Sanchez)
14 Perky Pat 7:44 (Sanchez)

Ron Sanchez – guitar, strings | Richard Treece – guitar | Colter Langan – guitar | Jeff Arntsen – bass | Ron Craighead – drums
Terrastock Rehearsal recorded 24th October Mixed 2016

15 Cross Creek 6:13 (Rose)
Ron Sanchez – slide guitar | Paul Rose – guitar, vocals | Jim Kehoe – bass |
Jason McKnight – drums
Recorded live at the Filling Station Summer 1995

16 Violin Thing 4:29 (Jones)
Ron Sanchez – guitar, bass, synths, drum loops | Deniz Tek – guitar solo
Recorded for the Micky Jones Tribute Album Remixed 2016

17 CGL2 1.17 (Langan)
Colter Langan – guitar | Joe Skyward – bass
Ron Sanchez – keyboards | Ric Parnell – drums
From the film Where The DJ’s Roam 1997 Remixed 2017

The hot house of creativity known as Donovan’s Brain has delivered fourteen new musical hybrids with their ninth album Heirloom Varieties.The reckless cross-pollination of ideas is hard to avoid in this Paisley Underground recording collective which boasts four songwriters, five vocalists and six guitar players. Bobby Sutliff, fully recovered from his accident, dominated the writing. He’s claimed half the credits and rightfully so. The stellar writing he was known for in the Windbreakers is here in full force. The Brain supplies a loving, sympathetic backing, always complimenting the songs. Solid rock [House Boy] and jangly pop [Great Divide] are the key words. Only the somber Saw It Coming plays out in a darker sphere.

Ron Sanchez, Scott Sutherland and Tom Stevens tilt the balance towards the psychedelic end of the spectrum. The shift is subtle and they disguise the subterfuge with the opening blast Brighten Up Shop a call to get up off the floor of your life. The breezy Up To Me Down To You is surely only the second ever Swingle Singers reference in rock and roll. Singer Kris Wilkinson-Hughes was a valuable last minute addition to the ever-evolving Donovan’s Brain line up. The new sounds added to the sonic pallet are an important part of Heirloom Varieties.

The psychedelic colors of Donovan’s Brain are in full bloom on side two of the album. Ron Sanchez and then Matt Piucci [Rain Parade] add blistering slabs of guitar to Bobby’s pop trip through the looking glass Wedding Bell Ring. Ron and Deniz Tek [Radio Birdman] trade licks on the Yardbirds inspired social commentary Selfish Modern. Sutliff shows his guitar talents on the folk-rock number It Wasn’t My Idea. His 12-string solo is a thing of beauty. The Brain pays tribute to the Peter Green – Danny Kirwin era of Fleetwood Mac on the guitar feature Let It Go. Ron, Bobby and Scott carefully weave together their guitar melodies and harmonies taking the music to a peaceful corner of their world.

At his point the brakes are released and the throttle is pushed to full as the album approaches the finale. Lightning Life balances dangerously on the shoulders of the thundering rhythm section powered by Ric Parnell [Atomic Rooster] on drums, and bassist Tom Stevens. Tom Stevens [Long Ryders] was invited to join The Brain primarily to fill the bass position. Tom has also offered up his guitar skills and voice. Scott Sutherland has proved to be the perfect third songwriter for the band. Light In Your Window is classic Brain matter. That would be Tom performing the mind bending backwards guitar solo on Scott’s composition.

Ron and Tom collaborated on the album closer Sailing To The Edge. 1Tom wrote the lyrics and sings this tale of an epic ocean voyage. Matt Piucci returns with his guitar to throw bolts of lightning across the bow of a ship doomed to sail off the edge of the world.

The eleven track vinyl edition includes a fourteen song download card.

Shambaholic is not the 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.Shambaholic is a break up album. It is a psych rock opera about the collapse of a long-term relationship retold with guitar and mellotron. It’s difficult to determine if this is a true story as much of it takes place in a dream world. Other songs were influenced by sleep deprivation. Shambaholic is the sound of the floor disappearing from under your feet and the free fall down that rabbit hole. As the real world disappears, gravity is no longer a dependable force. Time and space become fuzzy and indistinct.

The album opens with three straight forward rockers. The jangle of Dandelions Are Back barely disguises the seething anger. A beer fueled road trip down I-94 with the Young Fresh Fellows is clearly a full case of denial. Harsh reality sets in by the third song, Hit Me In The Face. Several of the musical influences are displayed in an equal measure of Flamin’ Groovies, Modern Lovers and Johnny Thunders in the first movement.

The rush to the collapse begins when the antagonist of the story is revealed in Pollyanna Disillusioned. Make A Noise Quietly opens the doors to the dreamtime world, which is the setting for the rest of the album. Scared to sleep and afraid to wake leaves very few options.

Holly Green is the perfect dream date, but proves to be less desirable in the cold light of day. It is easy to find her by the trail of broken men left in her wake. The erotic encounter at Kew Gardens seems to go much better until Alice falls off her bicycle. A prog rock epic is distilled down to a two minute thirty second miniature.

Sleep Deep has its verses restored to their original length. The Light Proof Visions EP version was edited due to the time restrictions of the format. Everything I Know Is Wrong continues the observations about the politics of the late 80s and early 90s. The first glimmers of hope can be found here, but ultimately the damage has been done. The previously unreleased title track finds the narrator back at square one, doomed to relive this life over and over.

The four bonus tracks first appeared on the cassette releases Punch In Punch Up Punch Out and Butterfly Wheel.

Shambaholic and the bonus tracks have been freshened up and remixed for this release. This limited edition archive release will only be available from the Career Records shop.

Ron Sanchez, Bobby Sutliff (Windbreakers), Ric Parnell (Spinal Tap), Scott Sutherland (Model Rockets), Tom Stevens (Long Ryders) and Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman) are recording a new Donovan’s Brain album which should appear in October 2015.

In the month of November you can hear the whole album streaming at the
Green Monkey Records site.

The Nomads and Donovan’s Brain Split EPThe Nomads cover Donovan’s Brain. High desert hotrod mayhem on this flat out guitar fueled instro. Nix and the Nomads are joined by Ron Sanchez and Richard Treece from Donovan’s Brain on guitar. From the soundtrack of the ski film 99 Sense. Recorded June 1999. The same session produced the B-side version of Top Alcohol and the title track to the Donovan’s Brain album Tiny Crustacean Light Show.
The Donovan’s Brain side of the EP continues the pedal to the metal assault. Bread Man Burning is a Grim Fairytale about a baker who gets too close to the fire and becomes toast. Deniz Tek supplies the scorching lead guitar. Snow In Miami is a 100 second out of control ride down the hill, with guitars. Recorded in 1998 and 1999 during the sessions for Tiny Crustacean LIght Show and Great Leap Forward. It was completely reworked for the Bridger Bowl Ski Film Of The Day. The track was remixed again in 2014 for this release.

Ron Sanchez, Bobby Sutliff (Windbreakers), Ric Parnell (Spinal Tap), Scott Sutherland (Model Rockets), Tom Stevens (Long Ryders) and Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman) are recording a new Donovan’s Brain album which should appear in October 2015.

The dust hadn’t even settled when Donovan’s Brain returned to the studio after the 2009 release of Fires Which Burnt Brightly. Ron Sanchez and Bobby Sutliff were anxious to maintain the creative energy which had served them well.Turned Up Later is a psychedelic storybook taking you on a journey to a landscape where birds dream and men fly. Melody and guitars, as always, are the common thread that binds the diverse intentions of Donovan’s Brain. Along the way, encounters with Matt Piucci, from the newly reformed Rain Parade and Clare Moore, from Dave Graney and the mistLY, add new textures to the mixture.

Step off the edge with the fuzz guitar driven opener, Take Me With You When You Go. If you are lucky, you will land on your feet when In Search Of Connie Companion fades away. The 12 song album is an unrelenting fast paced trip full of unexpected changes in direction. The claustrophobic It’s Alright With Me gives way to the wide screen expanse of My Own Skin. Restless Nights, Many Dreams was penned for an unrealized Windbreakers reunion. The dual guitar attack of Bobby Sutliff and Deniz Tek will remind you that this is Donovan’s Brain.

Ric Parnell is given free rein. He turns in a poly rhythmic tour de force on Small Circles, a swirling tale of despair and dislocation. Cardboard Army might be an anti-war anthem, but you may not know it from the crafty assault on the drums. Add Matt Piucci’s phosphorus guitar playing and it becomes a West Coast fueled odyssey.

Over the course of 7 albums, Donovan’s Brain has specialized in creating ancient-to-future psychedelic rock with an evolving cast of willing participants. Turned Up Later is the first in a series anticipated releases from the revitalized band.

Aiding and abetting on Turned Up Later are regulars Ron Sanchez, Bobby Sutliff, Deniz Tek, Tony Miller and Bob Brown. New faces Ric Parnell (Spinal Tap, Atomic Rooster) and Scott Sutherland (Model Rockets) add power and depth to already complex sound

The 13 song, three sided vinyl edition offers longer and in some cases radically different version of the contents.

Two songs recorded during the Turned Up Later sessions have been released on the Skrang, Sounds Like Bobby Sutliff and Starry Eyed Records Tribute compilations.

Donovan’s Brain has always considered their Montana base an advantage. With few distractions, the Brain has maintained an uninterrupted recording schedule for the past 20 years. The results have not gone unnoticed. Jack Rabid editor of The Big Takeover recently noted:

Ronald Sanchez has valiantly led this neo-psych Bozeman, MT (a beautifully isolated mountain west outpost) collective named after a 1942 Curt Siodmak sci-fi novel (and 1953 film with future Nancy Reagan) for 23 years with Colter Langan and legendary Radio Birdman guitarist/aviator/doctor Deniz Tek. All three write, as does Windbreakers veteran Bobby Sutliff, while another proto-punk, original Flaming Groovies leader Roy Loney, cameos. With such superlative talent, and a combined record collection to start their own Amoeba, it’s directed into a magnificently moody, mid-tempo psych stew with folk-rock underpinnings, like my favorite Bevis Frond, Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, Seeds, and some Birdman songs. (Tek and Chris Mazuak’s “Vanished” was even originally composed for Birdman’s Zeno Beach.) Like the best psych meditations, this is a far-out catchy trip without a narcotics flashback, and the concluding seven-track song-cycle is ambitiously stupendous.

Fires Which Burnt Brightly finds the reconfigured Donovan’s Brain emerging after a 4-year gap, with Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman) and Bobby Sutliff (The Windbreakers) now seated at the songwriting round table. Founding members, Ron Sanchez and Colter Langan have gently steered the band back to their psych-pop roots. Despite, or maybe because of their efforts, Fires Which Burnt Brightly is a kaleidoscope sounds and textures which are a reminder of a time when there were no rules or formulas for music.

Donovan’s Brain’s sixth album opens with Bobby’s trademark 12-string propelling the cautionary tale, The Same Mistakes. It’s up to the listener to decide which of the songs are true stories and which are dreamscapes. You Gotta Go Now finds Bobby center stage with a classic bit of jangle that carries the mark of Messrs. Tek and Sanchez. Colter’s Green 17 is a mysterious, swirling number, interrupted by the incendiary Deniz Tek guitar solo. The psychedelic travelogue, Last Acid Rider takes side one out in classic Donovan’s Brain style. The twin guitar solos display the depth of musical invention stockpiled in the band.

The song cycle on side two gives the album its title. The seven songs carry the theme of loss of important people and institutions in our lifetime. Few will mourn the end of colonialism, but the demise of the neighborhood record shop can only be considered a cultural tragedy. Ron wrote Wooden Horse, a tribute to his father’s passion for the preservation and restoration of carousels and the artists who created them. Vanished was intended for Radio Birdman’s reunion album. The Donovan’s Brain arrangement turns the intensity up and takes a tip from Jefferson Airplane at the same time. The final track, Thinking About Neutrons is built around a poem Deniz wrote while staring at a Rick Griffin poster hung on the studio wall. He asked Ron to write appropriate music. The results can only be considered a major departure and and resolves the album on the sub-atomic level.

Roy Loney, Jason Lytle, and Mike Musburger continue the Donovan’s Brain tradition of selected special guests.

Since the release of A Defeat Of Echoes in 2005 the members of Donovan’s Brain have been involved in several projects. Deniz and Ron produced the Roy Loney album Shake It Or Leave it for Career. Bobby Sutliff also contributed. Deniz spent 2005 – 2007 doing two world tours and recording a new album with Radio Birdman. He also did a reunion tour with the Visitors and appeared with the Last Of The Band Men and Penny Ikinger. Bobby Sutliff released a solo album, On A Ladder before joining Donovan’s Brain as a fully accredited member.

In 2006 and 2007 Ron and Colter recorded the soundtrack for the independent film, Where The DJs Roam. Deniz and Joe Skyward also contributed to that effort. Several songs written for the new Brain album were used for the score. Colter returned with Green 17 and Come For The Sun to fill his quota.

Donovan’s Brain already had I Saw Your Light and Carefully Considered Answers; both of which date back to the Great Leap Forward sessions. They were on the demo reel which included Following Orders and Your Number. I Saw Your Light was recorded for Great Leap, but didn’t make the final running order. It has been dusted off and given a complete make over for inclusion on Fires Which Burnt Brightly. The final touch was a major set of overdubs contributed by Jason Lytle just before he began his tour in support of Yours Truly The Commuter.

Bob Brown was brought to the band by Deniz Tek. Bob had toured with the Deniz Tek Group on the 1992 Vertical tour, and worked regularly with Deniz in Billings. After recruiting Bob and his studio to record the basics for Vanished and 4 Trials, is was decided to have Bob fill in for Jeff Arntsen who had moved back to Seattle after the release of Defeat Of Echoes.

Another last minute participant was Tony Miller from the Kentucky band Ideal Free Distribution. Tony and Ron struck up a friendship which resulted in Tony offering to add some background vocals on Come For The Sun and Broken Glass Corner. Future collaborations have been discussed. Lila Cebulla also added background vocals on several songs. This is Lila’s first appearance with Donovan’s Brain, but we expect to see more of her in the future.

Mike Musburger is an old friend of Donovan’s Brain, dating back to his time in the Posies and Fastbacks. When it was discovered he would be in Montana, it was assumed he would come round GLEA and lend a hand, which he did on half the album.

Career Records is very pleased to announce the release of the fourth and most demanding album from the startling musical collective Donovan’s Brain. Appropriately titled “The Great Leap Forward”, the gravity of the new songs was strong enough to affect the album that proceeded it and the one that will follow.One of the first songs recorded for the album, “Nuro Psych Trail Head” is an invitation to the listener and the members of the band to prepare for the journey that lies ahead. The album quickly takes a darker tone on “Crystal Palace” a song appropriated from bassist Jeff Arntsen’s band Racket Ship. Megan Pickerel (ex-Swoon 23) duets with Jeff and adds the e-bow textures. Colter Langan’s compositions on this record are his strongest to date. “All Fall Down” and “Cloud Maker” were recorded in one session while Donovan’s Brain were rehearsing for the Seattle Terrastock. Richard Treece pulls off a career best solo on the latter.

Deniz Tek has been keeping close tabs on the Brain’s activities for a several years. During the two year recording process he offered several crucial suggestions, and let it be known he would be interested in lending a hand. In the end he gladly accepted the offer to play and sing on several songs. His guitar lines on “All Fall Down” carry a hint of the Flamin’ Groovies, a band that toured with Radio Birdman and have been a major influence on Colter and Ron. ‘The Ballad Of Where’s Jim” was recorded for “Tiny Crustacean Light Show” but was never finished. Determined to resurrect the track for “Leap”, new lyrics were written to tell the story of the departure of two members of Donovan’s Brain. Deniz took up the challenge and sang the song in one take.

When Donovan’s Brain regrouped in January 2000, Colter and Ron were sure that the new line up offered the band many new musical possibilities. Drummer Ron Craighead and multi instrumentalist Jeff Arntsen are both seasoned players, and fantastic singers. “Loving Indifference” is the result of the first attempt at a group composition. It’s quickly become a regular in the set list.

“All Over The World” and “My Little Town” are two more from the “Tiny Crustacean Light Show” sessions. Deemed too psychedelic for the straight ahead concept, they were reworked with the new members for inclusion on ‘The Great Leap Forward”. Dave Walker’s vocals on both of these give the songs an authentic taste of 1968. Work on “Human Is” began in 1992, and continued right up to mixing session. This bit of stream of conscious music and lyric features a guitar duel between Ron and Ricky Treece.

“Following Orders” was written by Colter while he was temporarily relocated in Boise. The idea was that he would record his tracks and send them back to the band in Bozeman to complete. “The Known Sea” and “The Ocean Of Storms” were the first two songs recorded for the album and set the tone for all that was to come afterwards. “The Known Sea” features the most complex piece of music on the album. Malcolm Morley (ex-Man, Help Yourself) contributes the zither-like sounds to the quartet interlude. Deniz adds the very atypical guitar solo and Megan Pickerel returns for the ethereal vocal ending.

“The Ocean Of Storms” expands on this end theme to become Dave Walkers showpiece. This song about death and redemption is quite possibly the high point of his forty year career and an emotional finale to album.

“The Great Leap Forward” finds Donovan’s Brain capturing the essence of their previous albums, but at the same time putting a new, unique and unified stamp on that sound.

A Defeat Of Echoes is the fifth musical offering from Donovan’s Brain, and their second for Career Records.Once again Donovan’s Brain has defied attempts to fit them into any of the neat modern categories. The sounds range from precise guitar rockers, Elizabethan folk-rock, deep social commentary, politics of the heart, and West Coast guitar architecture. The four multi-instrumentalists who created A Defeat Of Echoes do not recognize any boundaries.

Upon the completion of their Career Records debut, The Great Leap Forward, the members of Donovan’s Brain, Jeff Arntsen, Ron Craighead, Colter Langan, and Ronald Sanchez were sure they had created something special. Even before it’s release, Donovan’s Brain and friends had returned to the studio to begin work on A Defeat Of Echoes.

Donovan’s Brain were again assisted in the studio by Career Records label head, Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman) on guitar, Richard Treece (Help Yourself) on guitar, Megan Pickerel (Swoon 23) adding her distinctive voice, and power-pop legend Bobby Sutliff (The Windbreakers) on guitar and vocals.

In the spring of 2004, Donovan’s Brain joined label mates Roy Loney And The Longshots (Drunkard In The Think Tank) and Australian Penny Ikinger (Electra) for the Career Mini-Van Of Stars Tour in the tradition of the Motown and Stax-Volt Package Tours.


“…they are determined to show there are plenty of ways to create psychedelia that take their cues from all the right places but still remain modern.” – Broken Face (Sweden)

“…tightly constructed harmonious pop tunes, with well absorbed influences that include pre-Tommy Who, Abbey Road Beatles, The Misunderstood, early Pink Floyd, Flamin’ Groovies, Byrds, Kinks…” – Dream Magazine (USA)