Review: Donavon Frankenreiter Live at The Bowery Ballroom Aug 4th 2016

Singer/songwriter and surfer Donavon Frankenreiter offered a welcomingly colorful and typically enthusiastic performance in support of his new album The Heart on August 4th at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC. The energy feeding the receptive crowd came directly from Frankenreiter’s bared soul and infectious stage personna. “All these songs are as close to me singing from the heart as I can,” says Frankenreiter. “It’s a complete record; the songs are intertwined. I had to call it ‘The Heart,’ that was the theme of the record.” While the songs performed are intimate and sentimental he deftly avoids self indulgence or “cheekiness.” It was that precisely crafted balance that brought the crowd in, just close enough to experience a deep sense of communion. He also welcomed to the stage his son Hendrix and friend Kawai Beeby to perform together which further enhanced the underlying unified spirit of the performance.

The Heart is the result of a collaboration with prolific songwriter Grant Lee Phillips with whom Frankenreiter had worked in the past on his album Pass It Around. “I went into this album saying I wanted to make songs I love,” Frankenreiter said. “Whatever feels right, go ahead and record it, and worry about what happens after, afterwards. I’m proud of it. I go back to the title of the album, and in the song ‘You and Me,’ that chorus: ‘It’s gotta be from the heart/for it to start’… There’s so many things going on out there, everybody’s moving to the beat of a different drum, but I feel like all good things start from the heart.” For those wishing to experience the “good things” inspired during a Frankenreiter show, he will be continuing his tour through the north and southeast over the next few months. Information on dates and venues can be found on his website.