Saturday, Aug. 12, 3:30 p.m.—KILLINGTON—Cooler in the Mountains free summer concert series at Killington Resort continues Saturday, Aug. 12 with the return of Killington favorite, Donavon Frankenreiter. A singer-songwriter with a passion for music, he will surely excite and move the crowd. Frankenreiter will perform off his new record, “The Heart,” just released Aug. 4. The day begins at 3:30 p.m. Bring a chair or blanket to the Snowshed Adventure Zone area and take in the treat of this free concert, with the acoustics of the mountains.
About “The Heart”
“The Heart” officially marks the start of the singer-songwriter’s second decade as a solo recording artist. It’s been over 10 years since the release of his self-titled debut, and in that time he has grown, not only as a musician, but also as a man. He’s raising a family and nurturing two creative careers — one onstage, one in the waves — but on top of all that, he’s still learning what makes him tick. And so, naturally, he named his album after his ticker.
“All these songs are as close to me singing from the heart as I can,” said Frankenreiter. “It’s a complete record; the songs are intertwined. I had to call it ‘The Heart,’ that was the theme of the record.”
The songs here are seriously sentimental, without question the heaviest material he has released to date. Part of that inspiration came from his co-writer, the prolific songwriter Grant-Lee Phillips, with whom Frankenreiter had collaborated in the past on his album “Pass It Around.” He recognized the ease with which the two worked together and sent Phillips a handful of new tunes and ideas. He was astonished at the brilliance of the songs that came back, and so quickly, but also by one of Phillips’ suggestions in particular.
“Grant told me, ‘You should make the most intimate and honest record you’ve ever made,’” said Frankenreiter. “So these songs are simple and intimate and honest, they aren’t cheeky. There’s some ups and downs — I love writing positive songs and happy tunes, but there are some downers here. I feel like it’s where I’m at, 42 years old. Every one of these songs means a lot to me. They’re from the heart.”
Compassion is part of the feelings pouring out in “The Heart.” Perhaps most heavy on the album is its final song, “California Lights,” a tune written about Frankenreiter’s father’s battle with leukemia. “It was written about my dad, who was dying during the making of this record. He died about two weeks after we finished it. It was pretty intense, a heavy song to record. I did that song in its completion three times, that’s all I could only make it through. The live take of me playing the guitar and singing was the only way I could do it. I was seeing the heart everywhere.”
In those moments of emotional heaviness, Frankenreiter reaches for his guitar to guide him, for an escape. “I felt like I was completely in a bubble the whole time I recorded, I was so inside the music. I cried when I left the studio, and the guys in the band did, too; it was radical. It was like going back to reality. That’s what music does, you can definitely escape.”
A decade into his career, Frankenreiter has learned to listen to his ticker above all else. Doing so has allowed the light to come in from all the corners of his world, even those where there is darkness. Sharing the load with those he trusts, and especially with those he loves, he has seized the opportunity to take control of his craft, on his own terms, and to follow his own beat.
“I went into this album saying I wanted to make songs I love,” he said. “Whatever feels right, go ahead and record it, and worry about what happens after, afterwards. I’m proud of it. I go back to the title of the album, and in the song ‘You and Me,’ that chorus: ‘It’s gotta be from the heart/for it to start’ … There’s so many things going on out there, everybody’s moving to the beat of a different drum, but I feel like all good things start from the heart.”
Courtesy of donavonf.com