"She's world class...she's exactly what we're about".
Greg Johnson - Blue Door,
"A Diamond Among Coal"
No Depression Magazine USA
Donna Dean has had some remarkable industry 'wins', including winning three New Zealand Tui awards for songwriting and recording. However, the motivation to continue writing, recording and performing after more than three decades is not tied to trophies or accolades but to loyal supporters who show up at gigs and to the seeds of creativity that still wake her in the early hours.
Recording credits include Gurf Morlix, Albert Lee, Russell Smith, Amos Garrett, Redd Volkaert. Donna recorded an award winning album with American Country Rock band The Amazing Rhythm Aces. She has toured with Jimmy Webb, Don McLean and songwriting legends of Soul, Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham.
Donna's song Destination Life is the title track of American 'Queen of Bluegrass' Rhonda Vincent's 2009 Grammy nominated album. Many songwriting legends have inspired Donna's writing, among them, Iris Dement, Russell Smith, Guy Clark, Gillian Welch and John Prine. She credits her mother as the biggest influence on her childhood wish to play and sing. No surprise then that her mother's love of The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers at times filters through her performance.
Film footage of a tour she did across the American Southwest in 2013 became an award winning feature length documentary which premiered at the New Zealand Docedge Film Festival 2016. The film opened the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival, Canada 2017 and featured at the South Texas International Film Festival 2018. Down In Eden Magazine called the film "a compelling and important social documentary". Read the full article here.