Donavon Frankenreiter · Bringing the Aloha vibe to Tahoe

Singer-songwriter and professional surfer Donovan Frankenreiter performs at the Crystal Bay Casino on June 19 playing from his catalog of songs and latest album, “The Heart.” Frankenreiter recorded the album in Texas, drawing from his life experiences and, as the title of the album denotes, his heart.


“All these songs are as close to me singing from the heart as I can,” says Frankenreiter. “I had to call it ‘The Heart,’ that was the theme of the record.”

According to Frankenreiter, the songs are sentimental. Part of that inspiration came from his co-writer, Grant-Lee Phillips, with whom Frankenreiter had collaborated on a previous album, “Pass It Around.”


“All these songs are as close to me singing from the heart as I can.”



“Grant told me, you should make the most intimate and honest record you’ve ever made. These songs are simple, intimate and honest. Every one of these songs means a lot to me. They’re from the heart,” he says. “I had an amazing time recording the album and it was incredible working with Grant-Lee Phillips on some of the songs.”

The album reflects life with his family and his deep grief from losing his father to cancer while working on the album. While recording “Woman,” a Tibetan singing bowl was in the studio. It was in the same key as the heart chakra, one of the centers of spiritual energy in the body. Someone played it, and the sound made the final cut on the album. “Big Wave,” a melodic love song, equates the love he has for his wife to the big surf he is passionate about, as only a surfer can. Frankenreiter’s life on Hawaii is evident in his music.

“I am influenced by everyone and everyday life as it happens,” he says.

When asked about what he has learned about himself touring and being on the road, he admits, “I don’t like airports and I love upgrades.”

Some of the big lessons he’s learned along the way: “Just take everything as it comes and enjoy every moment: my wife and my kids, just living life. All the traveling and things you see when you travel, it all mashes together when I am writing.”

According to Frankenreiter, when he is not touring, being home and close to his family is the best feeling in the world, “Being a husband and a father and working in our new retail space in Hanalei, Kauai, called, TheBarn808.” The shop, a dream of his and Petra’s, his wife, is a freestanding space on their property that was conceived to meet the persistent requests from friends and family to share their eclectic collection of found treasures and design sensibilities.

Frankenreiter will be leaving his lovely island home to play Tahoe. Check him out at the Crystal Bay Casino with Tom Curren.

June 19 | 9 p.m.
$17 advance | $20 at the door
Crystal Bay Casino | Crystal Bay, Nev.


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