11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: Mike Donehey

Mike Donehey

Moving on from his role as lead vocalist and guitarist for the recently disbanded Dove Award-winning group Tenth Avenue North, Mike Donehey has just released an EP called “A Father & Two Sons.” Inspired by the familiar Biblical story of the Prodigal Son, Mike has crafted three songs, each told from the different perspective of the three characters in the parable.

Musically, these songs with a message rock to a radio-friendly Indie/Americana sound. Check out the opening track, “Pushing Me Away” which is written from the vantage point of the father in Jesus’ teaching.

But don’t stop there. You can listen to the full EP at Spotify. Mike calls it a “retelling of the story in three musical acts: three songs, three humans, all of our stories in one…EP.” Listen and share this story that speaks to every one of us.

Call him prolific if you’d like, this release follows Mike’s release of the “Work of Art” EP just a week earlier. He is also a successful author having penned the best-selling “Finding God’s Life for My Will” and hosts an inspirational podcast, “Chasing the Beauty,” at accessmore.com.

Thanks, Mike, for visiting 11 Questions and inspiring us with your music.  


Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

I’m from Fredericksburg, VA. I moved to West Palm Beach for college, then moved to Nashville because my band was going to sign a record deal, and we were going to tour. South Florida is not a great place to be a home base when you’re touring.

What are the first and last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?

I can’t remember the last digital record I bought, but I think it was a Young Oceans record. My wife and I have this habit of when we go on an overnight trip, we’ll buy a CD and just listen to it; put it in the car and just have it play the whole time. For one trip, we did Fun. On another trip, we did Gotye. We were in the temperate rain forest in Oregon, and Gotye was the perfect soundtrack for that. The last vinyl I bought was by The Lone Bellow.

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen.

I went to a lot of concerts at my church, but the first concert where I went to at a venue was Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland for the Counting Crows. The Wallflowers opened for them. It was the first concert I drove with my friends to. Insane.

Whose star should be added to the Music City Hall of Fame?

Dan Haseltine and Jars of Clay.

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

I don’t ever go for coffee and pizza together at the same time, but I go to coffee at Dose because it’s right around the corner from my house, and they do a featured espresso, which is nice. For pizza, Five Points Pizza is the best pizza. There’s no question about that.

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?

Probably any Dolly Parton record, but especially “Coat of Many Colors.” I was looking up records that came out of Nashville, and you know what shocked me was that R.E.M.’s Document LP was recorded in Nashville. As a child or a teenager in the nineties, I was a big R.E.M. fan, so maybe that one.

What’s the best place to eat late night after a show?

Dino’s. There’s no question. East side, come on, baby.

The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.

My sister Kanene (member of The Lone Bellow), my neighbor Marc Scibilia and Ian Fitchuck if he would do it. He’s friends with my sister. He wrote a bunch of songs on the Kacey Musgraves record. He is awesome.

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

I’ve played the Exit/In many times and have loved it. And obviously the Ryman. I’ve always wanted to play War Memorial, actually. I always thought that’d be cool or Fontanel.

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.

Maybe Jon Foreman (of Switchfoot). Honestly though, I’d rather move to San Diego than have him move here.

Finally, what’s in your musical future?

The sky is the limit, people. I’m going to put out a full-length record in the fall, so that’s in the immediate future and then hopefully collabs with the Blind Boys of Alabama.

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