Thom Donovan performing with Lapush at the Duck Room in St. Louis, MO 2008.
|Birth name||Thomas Joseph Donovan|
|Born||July 24, 1974|
|Origin||St. Louis, Missouri, United States|
|Occupations||Musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, actor|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, classical guitar, bass, piano, keyboards|
|Associated acts||Lapush, Rossi|
Thom Donovan (born Thomas Joseph Donovan, July 24, 1974, in St. Louis, Missouri) is an American musician, songwriter and producer. He sings and plays guitar, bass and keyboards. He has released two solo albums and is best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist of the band Lapush. Donovan is also a member of Nashville duo Rossi. His international performance career has included concerts across the United States as well as cities around the world including; London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Belfast, Brussels, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Ennepetal, etc. Donovan's music has appeared in various television shows on: CBS, ABC, MTV, VH-1 and the Oprah Winfrey Network. He currently has a small role in the ABC musical drama series, Nashville, as the keyboardist in Avery Barkley's band.
Childhood and early life
Of Irish/Italian descent, Donovan, the middle child of three children, was born in St. Louis, MO. His father's record collection (filled with Motown, Elvis and The Beatles) had a huge influence on Donovan as a child. Thom Donovan began playing guitar at the age of four. He grew up in a lower-middle-class neighborhood in a suburb 25 miles west of St. Louis, MO. Donovan attended Catholic school. Although raised Catholic, he describes himself as an atheist and is outspoken in his support of teaching Evolution to children in school. As a child, Donovan was a fan of classical music and studied classical guitar under John McClellan (Luciano Pavarotti). Thom Donovan was educated at Lindenwood University where he studied liberal arts and graduated with a B.A. in Music. At Lindenwood, Donovan performed in a master class with Scott Tennant of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.
Early work (1995–1997)
While in college, Thom Donovan formed a duo with his brother, Stephen Donovan, called Elevator To A Penthouse. The duo's primary influences were Velvet Underground and the sounds of Motown; which the brothers had discovered in their father's record collection. An album, bigelectricheart, was recorded on 8-track, half-inch tape.
Session work/England (1998–2001)
In 1998, shortly after graduating college, Donovan was hired as a touring guitarist for British rock band, Fono, to support their debut album on Rykodisc. The band toured worldwide with Robert Plant and the Goo Goo Dolls. Donovan spent most of this period in England. Donovan also worked with Stir (Capitol Records) in 2001. He co-wrote 3 songs and recorded guitar parts for the band's final album on Capitol Records at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. The album was mixed by Jack Joseph Puig at Ocean Way Studios in Hollywood. The album was never officially released.
In 2002, Donovan formed Lapush with his brother, Stephen. Singing and playing guitar and working as the band's primary songwriter and producer, Lapush marked the first time Donovan would front a band on his own. In 2004, Lapush signed to 456 Entertainment (Fontana/Universal) and released their debut album, Someplace Closer to Here, in June 2005. Later that same year the band would make their television debut performing on Last Call with Carson Daly on NBC. The album featured the singles, "Aurora", "Quit You Now" and "Say Something". Songs from the album were featured frequently in film and television, including Moonlight on CBS as well as Laguna Beach and The Hills on MTV.
The band's second album, Modern Blues was released in 2007 and featured the singles, "Closer", "Run" and "Leave The Light On". Modern Blues was dedicated to the memory of Donovan's father who died in 2006 from pancreatic cancer. Donovan penned the song "Closer" for his father. Songs from this record were also featured on several television shows. Lapush also performed with Nikka Costa, Matt Nathanson, The Sounds and Hot Hot Heat. Donovan produced and mixed both Lapush albums in his home studio, The Control Tower.
Solo career/Nashville (2008–present)
"I Love How You Love Me" was the first single released by Donovan in 2008. This is a cover of the 1961 hit originally recorded by The Paris Sisters and produced by Phil Spector. Donovan's first solo performance was opening for OneRepublic in St. Louis, MO on July 26, 2008.Cast A Light, Donovan's debut full length solo album was released on March 30, 2010 through his own imprint, Lapush Recordings. "September Glows", the final track from Cast A Light has been featured on KROQ-FM  in Los Angeles and has also been featured on MTV. Songs from Cast A Light have appeared in television shows on MTV, VH-1, and Lifetime Network. Donovan celebrated the release of his first solo album with two performances at SXSW in Austin, TX on March 17, 2010.
Donovan composed music for Nettwerk/Revelry Music Group from 2010-2012. He currently writes for JMHB Music and resides in Nashville, TN. He released his second solo album, Mercury Maybe, on March 27, 2012. The first single, "Drive", was re-recorded and taken from the original Elevator To A Penthouse sessions. The song features Roberta Carter-Harrison from Wild Strawberries (band) on background vocals.
Thom Donovan announced, via Twitter, that his third solo album, titled Canon, is due for release Summer 2013. Donovan collaborated with Wyclef Jean and Ruby Amanfu on the album's first single, "Shipwreck".
In January 2012 Thom Donovan formed Rossi with Kendall Morgan. Prior to launching Rossi, the two co-wrote a song called “Overload,” which Morgan released as solo material and was featured on CBS’s The Good Wife. The group's first two singles, "Ossetia" and "War Within", were featured on My Old Kentucky Blog's radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio. Rossi's debut show was March 2, 2012 at The Basement in Nashville opening for Mona. "War Within" has been featured on Simon Raymonde's radio show on Amazing Radio in the UK.
Nashville (Television Series)
Thom Donovan currently has a small role in the ABC musical drama series, Nashville, as the keyboardist in Avery Barkley's band. The show was written by Academy Award winner Callie Khouri. The series was picked up by ABC on May 11, 2012.
Musical equipment and sound
Donovan has been credited with a unique sound and approach to the guitar. Rick Anderson, Allmusic comments: "Tout Le Monde" features what is probably the best six-note guitar solo ever recorded." Donovan cites a combination of traditional blues, classical and electronic music as sources for inspiration on the guitar. In an interview with Amplifier Magazine Donovan states: "The idea is to blend two things together that have no business associating with each other. I enjoy composing on the computer as much as composing with an acoustic instrument. I want to take sounds from the past and help push them into the future."
Donovan's songwriting owes much to the sound of Motown. Songs such as "Closer" contain the classic Motown beat. Donovan wrote "Closer" in memory of his father. His father was a huge fan of Diana Ross and The Supremes. Donovan found inspiration in the drum pattern from "Stop! In The Name Of Love" as he wrote "Closer".
Donovan uses numerous effects to create his guitar sound, most notably a Digitech Whammy pedal used to create the rapid pitch modulations in his solos. The guitars he uses live are a Gibson SG and Fender Telecaster outfitted with a Bigsby. Donovan's main amplifier is a Vox AC30 used in combination with vintage Fender amplifiers. He has been seen on stage with a 1966 Fender Deluxe Reverb as well as a 70's Fender Twin Reverb. His vocal mic is a Shure Beta 57.
Film and television
Donovan's music has appeared in various films and television shows including: The Good Wife on CBS, indie film, "Outpatient", Moonlight on CBS, The Hills on MTV, The City (MTV series), Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County on MTV, Drake & Josh on Nickelodeon and music for the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Discography (Solo career)
- Canon (Due 2013)
- Mercury Maybe (2012)
- Cast A Light (2010)
- Your God (2013)
- War Within (2012)
- Ossetia (2012)
Albums & EPs
- Modern Blues (2007)
- Someplace Closer To Here (2005)
- an EP by Lapush (2003)
Discography (Elevator To A Penthouse)
- bigelectricheart - 8 track demos (1995-1997)
Discography (Collaborations/Session work)
- Through Frozen Forests EP (2012) by Aaron Espe. (Credits: co-writer on "Turn") *Peak Chart Position: #5 iTunes UK Singer/songwriter 
- Tennessee Sky (2012) by Aaron Espe. (Credits: co-writer on "Turn")
- Three (2012) by Aaron Espe. (Credits: mastering)
- Overload - single (2011) by Kendall Morgan. (Credits: co-writer, producer)
- Again - single (2011) by Carter's Chord. (Credits: producer (alternate version)
- First Day Of Summer - single (2011) by Carter's Chord. (Credits: producer (alternate version)
- Save Me - single (2009) by Meghan Kabir. (Credits: co-writer, producer)
- Troubadour Dali (2009) by Troubadour Dali. (Credits: engineer on "Follow My Love")
- The Family Force 5 Christmas Pageant (2009) by Family Force 5. (Credits: guitar on "It's Christmas Day") * Peak Chart Position: #11 Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums
- Dance or Die (2008) by Family Force 5. (Credits: guitar on "Dance or Die") * Peak Chart Position: #30 Billboard 200
- Gutter Kitten (2005) by Tobi Kai and the Strays. (Credits: co-writer, guitar)
- It's The Way That You Use It (2004) by Fono. (Credits: guitar on "Radio")
- Untitled, Unmastered, and Unemployed (2003) by Stir. (Credits: co-writer, guitar, backing vocals)
- nevertheless EP (2001) by Flynova. (Credits: guitar, writer on "You're Still Pretending")
- Protesting HB 368 anti-evolution bill in TN 29 March 2012. Twitter.com.
- Capitol recording artist Stir Capitolrecords.com.
- Moonlight on CBS CBS.com.
- MTV artists Lapush MTV.com.
- Official Lapush website Lapush.net.
- Thom Donovan to appear at Live On The Levee with OneRepublic 26 July 2008. Songkick.com.
- Thom Donovan on Jonesy's Jukebox on KROQ 30 January 2011. kroq.radio.com.
- MTV artists Thom Donovan MTV.com.
- Writers Ink With New Nettwerk One/Revelry Joint Venture 7 March 2011. Musicrow.com.
- Tumblr Mercury Maybe — New release Thom Donovan 27 March 2012. Tumblr.com.
- Twitter Canon — New album Thom Donovan Twitter.com.
- I Think I Love It Blog 20 March 2012. ithinkiloveit.com.
- Today’s MOKB on SIRIUS XMU Blog Radio Playlist 17 April 2012. myoldkentuckyblog.com.
- Nellie Andreeva (May 11, 2012). "ABC Picks Up To Series ‘666′, ‘Last Resort’, ‘How To Live’, ‘Nashville’, ‘Penoza’, ‘Neighbors’, ‘Zero Hour’, ‘Red Van’". Deadline. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
- Amplifier Magazine Someplace Closer To Here by Lapush (Review) 19 August 2005. amplifiermagazine.com.
- Lapush Homespun: Review of Modern Blues by Annie Zaleski 4 July 2007. Riverfronttimes.com.
- Oprah Winfrey Network Oprah.com.
- iTunes UK Singer/songwriter Chart Music-Chart.info.