With roots sunk deep in the same storytelling tradition of Texas singer/songwriters like Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt, Donal Hinely speaks in a voice that is both intimate and authentic. Spinning tales of hard luck, love, missed opportunity and die-hard hope, Hinely writes songs that skirt the outer fringes of country, folk, and straight ahead rock. Dave Higgs, host of NPR's syndicated Bluegrass Breakdown, put it simply: "this is really good stuff--sharp, insightful writing married to memorable tunes."
His breakthrough CD, We Built a Fire (2003, Scuffletown Records) establishes Hinely as one of the premier Americana artists today. Co-produced by David Henry (Cowboy Junkies, Josh Rouse), We Built a Fire features appearances by Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Kim Richey, guitarist Will Kimbrough (Todd Snider, Rodney Crowell), and members of Wilco, the Edwin McCain Band, and Hayseed Dixie.
Some recent praise for We Built A Fire:
"sharply written Americana rooted in the tradition of brilliant blue collar observers like Springsteen and Earle."
"one of the best singer/songwriter albums of the year...5 stars"
"just brilliant...has the rare ability to completely engross the listener and transport him or her to another place and time"
-Dave Higgs, Nashville Public Radio
"this record should bring many new fans into the fold"
"a considerable new talent"
-Twang Tone Magazine
"quality songwriting...simply great"
-Pop Matters Magazine
"a genuine master...it's time for Donal Hinely to break out of the pack"
"a cocktail of humor and heartbreak"
"what really impresses is Hinely's songwriting"
-Country Music People (UK)
"a fine eye for the truths of the ordinary and the shadowy sides of life"
"much better than anything to come from mainstream Nashville since the Garth Brooks,anti-Hank crowd took over."
"a breath of fresh air for folks looking for the art form to expand...literate countrified poetics along the lines of Robert Earl Keen, Jr."
-Joe Sixpack's Country Music Guide