Lifestyle Envy: Donavon Frankenreiter Lives Large and Not-So-in-Charge in Hawaii
Looking like a young Jim Croce with a dash of Owen Wilson if he were a Williamsburg hipster, Donavon Frankenreiter's brand of positive mellow-pop clearly evinces his roots. Which, of course, are West Coast. Way West, as in Hawaii, six hours and a lifetime away from the high-rise, high-noise delirium of New York City.
That said, definitively urban gigs don't generally affect the singer-songwriter's mellow mindset, though he says, "I've had some great sessions surfing around New York before shows, and that always helps out for an amazing day and a way to ease into any show."
Donavon Frankenreiter plays the Brooklyn Bowl Wed., August 14.
The Cali-born Frankenreiter is currently on tour behind his fifth full-length album, Start Livin', which comprises nine songs as poignantly simple and sunny as the title suggests, though not without pathos. Thank dog. With a beautiful wife, two adorable kids named Ozzy and Hendrix and a life of professional surfing and music-making (the latter kick-started with help from his fellow surfer-musician pal and Hawaii neighbor Jack Johnson), well, it might be easy to be envious of Frankenreiter. As he says of his latest aural output, "Start Livin' is basically a love album. Most of the songs are about my wife and our two boys, and the life that we've built together in Hawaii."
While he adores his sons, the musicians they're named after aren't in evidence as an influence, not even on Frankenreiter's 2007 covers EP, Recycled Recipes (a second volume followed in 2011), which features tunes originally done by Bob Dylan, Dr. John and Creedence Clearwater Revival. However, Frankenreiter, who remembers his first-ever concert as either Oingo Boingo--or was it INXS?--(he turned 40 last year) says of icons Osbourne and Jimi, "I love both of their stuff so much," and in seeking to name his progeny, he wanted "pretty tough and different."