Gavin Doniger has been on the east coast music scene since picking up a guitar and hitting the road back in 1998. Since then he has toured continuously throughout Australia, and the world, collecting more foreign stamps in his passport than many bona fide diplomats.
It is Doniger’s love for the open road that inspires his music, and this is especially true for his main project, Mescalito Blues, which consists of Doniger and any number of talented musicians that Doniger discovers in his travels.
Fast building a reputation for blazing live shows that resonate with audiences from all walks of life, Gavin Doniger and his Mescalito Blues are as comfortable playing intimate shows to blues aficionados as they are a room full of rambunctious backpackers–and it is with this uncanny ability to engage and seduce audiences that Doniger and his companions are famous at home, and abroad.
In 2005 Mescalito Blues released its debut album “Dos Cerveza” and backed it up with extensive tours. Doniger also recorded a number of solo tracks during these sessions, but before completing the album injured his hand and decided to release those tracks which had already been recorded onto a now rare EP, “The Beautiful Lady”.
While most musicians take a break after injuring themselves, Doniger chose to draw a line under his current work and got creative–releasing “The Wounded Hand Recordings” in 2006; an extremely raw, swamp-stompin’-blues creation which has become a favourite amongst fans.
Doniger chose to take a sabbatical in early 2007 to play solo through the U.S., where he bounced around famous locales such as Hollywood and Seattle before soaking up the sights and sounds of Nashville for a further three months. The experience left him invigorated and chomping-at-the-bit to unleash some fresh blues back home in Australia. It is with this renewed vigour that Doniger released both a Mescalito (“Album #2″) and solo release (“Waves of Grain”) later that year, and backed this feat up with extensive touring throughout Australia and Europe in 2008/09. These albums and subsequent tours marked a definite change in Doniger’s musical vocabulary: the swamp stompin’ blues was still there–but now it was beautiful.
Finally, in late 2009, Mescalito Blues recorded some of the tracks they had been playing live now for nearly two years. The 6-track LP “Let the Sunshine Grow” subsequently received wide acclaim and encouraging radio play for its title track, and for the track “Love Love”. In mid-2010 Doniger took his Mescalito Blues across the UK, playing at Saltash Summer Music Festival performing with good friend and known luthier Tom Anfield. Other Doniger tour spots included Barbican Plymouth, Half-Moon London and solo shows at The Union in Saltash. More touring followed in New York City, playing at Arelene’s Grocery, followed by a small West Coast tour through Hollywood, San Francisco.
In March 2011 two of Doniger’s tracks, “Talkin’ About” and “Point Taken” were included in the soundtrack for Dean Dingo Morrison’s DVD “A Dingo’s Tale”. Around this time Doniger begun recording new tracks in his Gold Coast studio for both solo and Mescalito releases.
2012 through 2014 saw Gavin doing annual Summer Tour’s through Europe and Scandonavia, performing in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Spain and France. With album release of Tomorrow/Today in 2013.
2015 saw him hit the road in May this time back in the USA with shows in Hollywood, San Francisco and Las Vegas – playing support shows with the LA based band Kansis City Bankroll. He also appeared at the Airlies Beach festival of Music November 2015.
2016 is shaping up to be a big year for Gavin Doniger Duo, and his Mescalito Blues band. Shows and tours up and down the East Coast of Australia. Festivals including Bluesed and Rooted Festival, Billinudgel Hotel, Little Big festival, Wallaby Hotel, and Blues on Broadbeach Fetival as well as recording in L.A. with Jason Achillis Mezilis, Noah Engh (Kid fantastic), Tom French and Josh Ziegler.
With the travelling bug firmly planted in his DNA, Gavin Doniger and his Mescalito Blues are permanently on the lookout for potential tours further afield, and are lining up shows in distant lands as we speak. Check them out when they’re in your town!
2016/17/18 Gavin Doniger with his Mescalito Blues performed at Blues on Braodbeach.
Gavin released a full length album in May 2018. 10 tracks of Original Blues. Available on Vinyl and Cd from all good Record Stores.
2019 is shaping up to be a busy year for Gavin Doniger and his Mescalito Blues.