Pat Donohue

Years at Winfield: 

Pat Donohue is a natural entertainer who possesses bundles of charm and wit. Concerts by this St. Paul, MN resident are a model for combining playfulness with pure craftsmanship. He unveiled his winning sense of humor at a concert once by opening with the song, "This is the Beginning." After doing so, he looked into the audience and declared, "I can see you're all nervous and wondering how I'm going to like you." His preference for spur-of-the-moment departures surfaced again in this same concert again when he launched into a long medley of Beatles' songs.

But don't let his propensity for fun fool you. A masterful guitarist and talented singer-songwriter of blues, folk, and jazz, Donohue inhabits his songs, performing them with equal parts of skilled technique and raw emotion. His excellent guitar chops offer a balance of gentle, sensuous strumming and a deeper, bluesier touch.

From the stage of "A Prairie Home Companion" to concert halls across the country, Donohue is setting new standards for fingerstyle guitar. A former National Fingerpicking Guitar Champion (1983), Donohue's style blends blues and folk in a dazzling display of guitar artistry. Equally compelling are his original songs, which have been recorded by such well-known artists as Chet Atkins, Suzy Bogguss, Loose Ties and other national performers. Donohue's talents have been displayed in his appearances on public radio's "A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor, where his guitar playing, writing, and singing are featured regularly.

Versatile is another word for the style and artistry of Pat Donohue. At the same concert mentioned earlier, Pat ended on another unexpected note ... playing a slow, sweet instrumental version of "The Star Spangled Banner." A hushed crowd listened attentively as Donohue sent his final notes soaring dutifully into the night.

One writer said of Donohue that, "He thinks harmonically, improvises beautifully and writes. Disgusting isn't it!" 

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