A strong case can be made without any hyperbole that Daniel Donato is the best young guitarist in country music, and maybe one of the best young guitarists, period. With twang taking such a strong position in his repertoire, country music community should be proud and Donato’s chosen to make his home in country’s confines. But there is no confining Daniel Donato.
The Don Kelley Band
Already a much-deserved nominee for the Americana Music Association’s Instrumentalist of the Year in 2018 (the kid can downright blaze Tele licks), and having played some 2,000 shows, don’t let the fresh face fool you. Daniel Donato’s more seasoned than some 40-year-olds.
Robert’s Western World has been home to the Don Kelley Band for a quarter century. Though not as flashy or well-known as some of the other bands that blew up from the Robert’s stage, those who know Robert’s and The Don Kelley band know just how important the band has been to keeping true country alive on Lower Broadway.
BR549, Brazilbilly, Brennen Leigh, Brent Mason, Daniel Donato, David Byrd, Don Kelley, Guthrie Trapp, JD Simo, JesseLee Jones, Johnny Hiland, Joshua Hedley, Paul Cook, Redd Volkaert, Robert's Western World, Sarah Gayle Meech, Sid Hudson, The Don Kelley Band
Alright, so normally I wouldn’t post some silly, viral video such as this. But it’s Robert’s Western World—one of the last bastions of true country music on Lower Broadway in Nashville. And it’s the Don Kelley Band, which is one of Robert’s and Lower Broadway’s most legendary bands.
One of the last remaining bands that still holds onto that spirit that revitalized Lower Broadway and still plays there on a regular basis is Hillbilly Casino. Nearing their 10-year anniversary, the band that can regularly be seen playing Layla’s Bluegrass Inn has released a live album recorded at the Exit Inn called “Live in the USA.” I spoke to the Hillbilly Casino bass player Geoff Firebaugh about the album and Lower Broadway.
BR549, Brent Mason, Dan Huff, Don Kelley, Greg Garing, Harry Fontana, Hillbilly Casino, Jay McDowell, JD Wilkes, Johnny Hiland, Layla's, lower broadway, Nic Roulette, NIck Curran, Paul Birch, Redd Volkaert, Robert's Western World, Sarah Gayle Meech, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Bluegrass Inn, The Don Kelley Band, The Eskimo Brothers, Yelawolf