The Donkeys announce major US headline tour this Fall

By on July 8, 2015
The Donkeys

The Donkeys have been have been churning out some of the most essentially Californian music since they made waves with their eponymous Living On The Other Side (Dead Oceans).  Since then, they’ve released two albums including their latest and most fully formed effort to date- Ride The Black Wave, released on Easy Sound last summer. With a voracious fan base, The Donkeys have toured relentlessly throughout the last year and will now do a final victory lap before heading back into the studio to begin work on their next album.


The Donkeys tour begins at The Chapel in San Francisco, CA on August 29th and will take them on a trek all the way to the East Coast before wrapping up where they began- in Berkeley, CA on October 3rd. Highlights include The Studio at Webster Hall in New York City on September 17th, The Hideout in Chicago on September 23rd and a stop at Midpoint Music Festival in Cincinnati on September 25th. Tickets go on sale today, July 8th. More information can be found at

“Ride The Black Wave stands every chance of becoming a panacea for your daily woes and strife” – Line of Best Fit


Ride the Black Wave is the Donkey’s fourth and best album. Listening to it made it clearer to me that my love for the Donkey’s is largely tied up in a romantic vision of California.  The legacies of  most of the greatest rock & roll bands are tied into their geographic places. The Donkeys put forth California in every song and every note, and the idea is vast and beautiful, like the state itself.” – Craig Finn for The Talkhouse


“The Donkeys have never been so in control of atmosphere; expansive opener “Sunny Daze”, for instance, shifts from carefree rocker to overcast mood piece on the strength of perfectly cascading keys and textured guitar solos. “Scissor Me Cigs” is melted on all sides by distant ringing tones, awash in just enough distortion to make them sound off-kilter.”  – Popmatters



Aug 29 – The Chapel – San Francisco, CA

Sept 03 – The Casbah – San Diego, CA

Sept 04 – Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ

Sept 05 – Bowie Feathers – El Paso, TX

Sept 07 – Holy Mountain – Austin, TX

Sept 07 – Walter’s Downtown – Houston, TX

Sept 08 – Spanish Moon – Baton Rouge, LA

Sept 09 – Thirsty Hippo – Hattiesburg, MS

Sept 10 – The Firehose – Birmingham, AL

Sept 11 – Club Downunder – Tallahassee, FL

Sept 12 – Star Bar – Atlanta, GA

Sept 13 – Second Sundays on Fourth – Winston-Salem, NC

Sept 14 – Cat’s Cradle Back Room – Carrboro, NC

Sept 15 – Ottobar – Baltimore, MD

Sept 16 – Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA

Sept 17 – Studio at Webster Hall – New York, NY

Sept 18 – AS220 – Providence, RI

Sept 19 – Bug Jar – Rochester, NY

Sept 20 – Double Happiness – Columbus, OH

Sept 21 – Louie’s Back Room – Kalamazoo, MI

Sept 22 – The Bishop Bar – Bloomington, IN

Sept 23 – The Hideout – Chicago, IL

Sept 25 – Midpoint Music Festival – Cincinnati, OH

Sept 26 – The Replay – Lawrence, KS

Sept 27 – The Hi Dive – Denver, CO

Sept 28 – Kilby Court – Salt Lake City, UT

Sept 29 – Radio Boise Series at Neurolux – Boise, ID

Oct 01 – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR

Oct 02 – Humbolt State University UC Quad – Arcata, CA

Oct 03 – Starry Plough – Berkeley, CA

California places a distinct sonic stamp upon the music born with in its boundaries. Owens had his Bakersfield, Parsons his Joshua Tree, and Malkmus his Stockton, and in their tunes you can hear dust, desert highways, and skateboards gliding over suburbia. The Donkeys have San Diego, and from that environment have woven a fundamental ease in their music – a rock, a roll, a sway, a slide – you could even call it a breeze. On Ride the Black Wave, The Donkeys continue their easy rolling, classic vibrations, but add a mystery and tension that make this record their most lyrically and instrumentally compelling.


Ride the Black Wave embodies what Jack Kerouac described of California’s coast as having an “end of the land sadness.” The Donkeys stare out at the ocean in a “fantastic drowse” – a kind of pensiveness towards their environs that summons the elements of sound and style that belong only to them. In “Blues In The Afternoon”, a collective mantra, the band runs out of land and asks of the ocean to offer suggestions about their fate. It is songs like these that prove the Donkeys are a band in the true sense of the word, sharing each other’s worry and wonder. With RTBW, The Donkeys have further caged their craft and have accomplished the delicate and artful challenge of taming the captured, while also letting it be wild. Recorded at San Diego’s Singing Serpent and mixed by LA’s Thom Monahan, the Telecasters have a golden shimmer, the drums seem to echo with a regional reverberation. The notes coming off the Rhodes float on like beer-buzzed afternoons, but just when you get lost in the hypnotic swirl of “Sunny Daze” the churning guitars begin to circle like sharks, reminding us of the realities beneath all beautiful surfaces. Ten tracks deep, Adrianne Verhoeven of San Francisco’s Extra Classic appears like the mythic Calafia herself, delivering a vocal that would bring Cortez to his knees.


So, it is with Ride the Black Wave that The Donkeys add their own stratum to California’s ever expanding musical frontier, while maintaining their golden “shine” as well as interjecting a tension with the sun and beauty. The record hypnotizes as much as it awakens; it poetically puts us at ease while we sit in traffic, peck at our keyboards in cubicles, or conversely, it accompanies us as we ride along desert highways, or sway with our lovers. It is about home; it is about waves, and surrendering to their movements, trusting that they will take us to where we truly belong.


Author: DaveHHM

Dave Luttrull: Owner/Editor in Chief of Hellhound Music. Star Wars nerd, Gamer, Destiny homer, blogger, writer and lover of all things music.