Once a die-hard rocker, Don Conoscenti is one of the most respected musicians and critically acclaimed songwriters in acoustic music. His live performances are a soulful fusion of styles blended from his experience playing rock, jazz, blues, folk, funk and country. But his primary love is the landscape of story telling and songwriting. His "one man band" sound is driven by an unusual... more
Once a die-hard rocker, Don Conoscenti is one of the most respected musicians and critically acclaimed songwriters in acoustic music. His live performances are a soulful fusion of styles blended from his experience playing rock, jazz, blues, folk, funk and country. But his primary love is the landscape of story telling and songwriting. His "one man band" sound is driven by an unusual rhythmic sense and a finger style approach to guitar arrangement which is set apart by the use of partial and multiple capos. The performances are never canned. There are no set lists. Expect to go on an improvisational musical journey of unexpected segues, humorous reflections, stories and songs. Songs about lovers, outcasts, healing, loss, mystery, spirit, murder and redemption.
In 1999, Conoscenti appeared in Boston as part of the first Inner Forest Concert presentations spearheaded by visual artist LSM Mukha Reyes and jazz drumming legend Rakalam Bob Moses. Conoscenti has met the direct descendents of native tribal leaders Crazy Horse and Geronimo and has been added to the Library of Congress archives as a Folk Revivalist.
At seventeen Conoscenti set out across America, hitchhiking and traveling by truck, motorcycle, bus and the occasional freight train. He trekked to every one of the forty-eight contiguous states plus Hawaii, Jamaica, South America and Japan. While living in Vermont, scooping ice cream at a homemade shop in Burlington run by two guys named Ben and Jerry, he formed the first of dozens of bands comprised of virtuoso players from the rock and jazz worlds. After bouncing from north to south and coast to coast for several years he settled in Atlanta, rising up through the thriving acoustic music scene based out of Eddie's Attic in Decatur...a scene which has produced hit makers like Indigo Girls, Shawn Mullins, SugarLand and John Mayer. It was at Eddie's Attic that he also befriended a young Ellis Paul and they've been close friends, collaborators and partners in crime since.
After leaving Atlanta Conoscenti spent several years each in Texas, Oklahoma and the high desert of southern Colorado in the San Luis Valley. Conoscenti commands an array of instruments: acoustic and electric 6 & 12 string guitar, steel guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, percussion, flute, recorder, mandolin, banjo and didgeridoo. As an expert on the creative process and business essentials for the independent artist, he's been a regular on panels and as a teacher at facilities/events such as The Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Song School (Planet Bluegrass / Lyons, CO), Lamb's Retreat for Songwriters (Harbor Springs, MI), The Americana Song Academy (Sisters, OR).
He's made many friends in the Folk, Rock, Jazz, and Native American musical communities and they have lent their talents to his recordings and performances. The credits for his numerous CDs, released on his own Cogtone Records, read like a Who's Who of contemporary acoustic music. His 1999 release, Mysterious Light, climbed into the top 20 albums played by folk and acoustic DJ's worldwide. NPR, World Caf and Acoustic Caf have all spotlighted his music.
Conoscenti's 2001 release, Paradox of Grace, featured the pivotal song, "The Other Side". Following the attacks of Sept 11, 2001 the song was played regularly on WFUV-FM in New York City and as a result he was invited to perform it on the nationally syndicated television program 'Crossing Over with John Edward'. Because of it's comforting effect the song continues to be used internationally in healing and hospice work and is played or performed at countless memorial services.