Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 14: Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Tanya Donelly is 47-years-old today.

Tanya Donelly was born on July 14, 1966, in Newport, Rhode Island. Donelly met Kristin Hersh in school around age eight, quickly becoming close friends – and eventually her step-sister.

Around age 14, Hersh's and Donelly's fathers both gave them their own guitars and soon after began to write original songs of their own. Donelly co-founded Throwing Muses with Hersh at around age 15.

Throughout the 1980s, Donelly worked as lead guitarist and secondary vocalist/songwriter. The group moved from Rhode Island to Boston around 1986, recording albums for the British 4AD label.

Throwing Muses
Although the band's work generally employed complex rhythms and offbeat chord structures Donelly has said she eventually accepted that her compositions were simpler and had "more traditional songwriting sensibilities" than Hersh's did.  Some of her tunes from this period include "Green,” "Reel," "Pools in Eyes,” "The River,” "Giant,” "Dragonhead,” "Honeychain,” "Not Too Soon" and "Angel.”

Hersh's most popular Muse's songs like "Fish,” "Dizzy,” "Counting Backwards" and most of "The Real Ramona" LP almost always featured Donelly's distinct lead guitar playing, heavy background vocals, inner vocal workings with different lyrics and pop vocal harmonies and melodic hooks.

The Breeders
By 1990, Donelly had additionally begun working in a side project called The Breeders with Kim Deal of Pixies, a Boston-based group who had opened shows for Throwing Muses in the 1980s. The first album's vocals and songwriting responsibilities were mostly Deal's. The group released Pod with Donelly in 1990.

In the late 1990s, she settled into a solo recording career, but is best known for her Grammy nominated work in the mid-1990s as lead vocalist and songwriter for Belly. 

Donelly scored a national radio and music television hit with her composition "Feed the Tree.” Belly recorded on Sire/Reprise Records and 4AD Records; Donelly's solo works have been released on Warner Bros. Records and 4AD.

In December 2010, Donelly teamed up once again with singer and songwriter Brian Sullivan's band, Dylan In The Movies, to release the single "Girl With the Black Tights" on American Laundromat Records.

For more about Tanya, visit her Website at –


No comments:

Post a Comment