"Bend Master of the Telecaster." That's the moniker bestowed upon Jerry Donahue by those fortunate enough to have witnessed first-hand his truly amazing and almost freakish electric guitar technique, both as a soloist and as one third of that hellish troika de-twang, The Hellecasters.
A perennial Guitar Player magazine Reader's Poll winner, Jerry Donahue has performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in popular music. From his early days in such bands as Fotheringay and Fairport Convention; through his recordings with Gerry Rafferty, Joan Armatrading, Chris Rea, The Proclaimers, John Illsley (Dire Straits), Nancy Griffith and The Beach Boys; through notable performances and recordings with Robert Plant, Elton John, Gary Wright, George Harrison, Cliff Richard, Bruce Welch, Hank Marvin, Warren Zevon, Roy Orbison and The Yardbirds, Jerry epitomizes the consummate "guitarist's guitarist."
Jerry has received widespread acclaim for his work as a member of The Hellecasters guitar trio. This band brews up a lethal mix of some of the most astounding instrumental guitar music ever! In 1994, Guitar Shop magazine named the CD, Return Of The Hellecasters, "Guitar Album Of The Year," describing Jerry as a "freak of nature" whose string-bending technique could be accomplished only by a "four-armed pedal steeler!" In Guitar Player magazine, the late, great Danny Gatton referred to him as "the string-bending king of the planet."
His recent Telecasting Recast is actually a re-release of Jerry's 1986 cult favourite solo debut, Telecasting. This is a wonderfully revamped, renewed and upgraded version featuring enhanced percussion, bass and acoustic guitars, live drummers and considerably higher production values.
The son of 1940s and `50s Big Band leader, Sam Donahue, and TV and film actress, Patricia Donahue , Jerry began playing piano at age six, just after the family's move from his New York City birthplace to Hollywood. Shifting his focus to the guitar at 12, Jerry's passion for the instrument became evident as he eagerly absorbed the musical influences of the day, from Duane Eddy to Chuck Berry to The Ventures to Chet Atkins to The Shadows. Moving to England at 14, Jerry merged the Celtic folk music of his adopted home with his American rock, blues and country roots to arrive at his own, unique, inimitable style.
Augmenting his long career as a musician, composer and arranger, Jerry has received increased attention of late for his work as a producer. In addition to the three Hellecasters CDs (co-produced with fellow band mates Will Ray and John Jorgenson), Jerry's producer credits include his two solo CDs, Telecasting Recast and Neck Of the Wood; Sandy Denny's Gold Dust - The Final Concert CD, in which Jerry was also enlisted to replace the lead guitar throughout; "2", the long awaited 2nd album by Fotheringay (originally shelved close to completion in 1971 when Sandy was redirected to a solo career following her Melody Maker 'top UK singer of the year' win); and several current projects, including Instinct, a new CD by the legendary British group, The Animals; Ebbets Field 1974 by Fairport Convention with Sandy Denny; The Bridge Between by The Gathering Britannia; and various selections from the multifaceted Sandy Denny Deluxe Box Set (2010).