22 Rock City Road
Woodstock, NY, 12498
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
Simon Joyner is a singer/songwriter from Omaha, Nebraska, USA.
He began writing and performing his songs in 1990, releasing a few cassette recordings of his first songs to a growing local audience before his first vinyl-only LP "The Cowardly Traveller Pays His Toll" brought him international attention in 1994.
He has since released several LPs and singles as well as many compilation appearances over the last decade on many labels, U.S. and European.
He is a favorite of John Peel who gave him his first radio play outside the U.S.
Donny was born and raised in a house full of American music in central New Hampshire. He picked up a guitar in fifth grade and never looked back. In high school, he started playing drums in a family band (father on guitar and older brother on bass duties alongside a friend and his father) known as the A&B Wrecking Company, playing ski bars to cookouts to community day street fairs. He occupied his lunch breaks and free periods in school by teaching himself piano and listening in on jazz and marching band rehearsals. By senior year, Donny found himself traveling weekly to the seacoast of New Hampshire playing bars and house parties in Durham New Hampshire in a band with longtime collaborator Michael Hesslein. High school graduation came and went, college seemed stale and full of financial black holes. Naturally he moved to Dover NH, where his bandmates and friends were living. His love for music would soon take the main focus in his life. Songwriting came naturally but not necessarily easily. He quickly made friends that were also exploring their soundscape and songwriting direction. They would often gather at night in a small, second-story shed residence set beside a giant cornfield outside of the university campus. All night, guitars would be passed around to share the latest composition or poem that someone had written. This became essential to Donny’s well being and craft.
In late summer of 2010, New York City become a destination for Donny and his bandmates, which would soon become Mail the Horse. Brendan Smith and Donny took residence to what is known by friends as Gates Motel in Bushwick Brooklyn. Notorious for its rotating cast of tenants (often sharing a bedroom to cut costs) and traveling friends, they wanted to keep the spirit of NH shed nights alive. In the basement of their apartment is where Donny would go on to write and record his first two albums, engineered by himself along with many musical contributions from then and current bandmates, Hess, Smith, Will Lawrence and Chris May.
By the fortune of meeting a few new faces who held residence in the Hudson Valley, Donny began retreating to Dutchess County a few times a month, sleeping on the floor, in a camper or on the grass of his friends farm, K Ranch. Freshly inspired by the country air and escaping the city world, his songwriting craft and love for recording music continued to grow. A few years later in 2014 he decided to drastically alter his surroundings and life by moving to upstate NY where he found himself briefly couchsurfing in Pine Plains at the Triangle House (the recording and disaster-art compound of Burt Murder) before permanently relocating to Stanfordville.
His latest release, RUNNER was engineered and co-produced by Nick Kinsey (Kevin Morby, Elvis Perkins) in their mutual residence of Stanfordville at Kinsey’s home studio, The Chicken Shack. RUNNER explores the world of a stale existence but the longing for something more. A life that only one person can live, choices only one person can make, dreams only one person can dream. Often curious of the stories of everyday people: the old man in line at the hardware store, the single mother of three who brings her children to the bar, the farmer who lives off of pennies from weekly market sales, a person born into a life of unfortunate and uncontrollable circumstances. Everyone has a story but not always someone to tell.
Though often seen performing solo but also occasionally bringing fresh perspective and energy to live performances are longtime friend and musical confidant Keven Lareau along with upstate workhorses, Andrew Weaver and Chris May.
Currently residing in Stanfordville NY, Donny has grown highly passionate in engineering and producing his own music where he currently is working on his next musical endeavor to be released sometime in late 2017.