Singer and guitarist Aaron McDonnell was born and raised in Oregon’s rural Willamette Valley to a mill-working father and a God-fearing mother. He bought his first guitar, a knock-off Telecaster, when he was 15 years old and proceeded to learn everything from Garth Brooks to Nirvana, however it was the sound of the older generation that captured his imagination; George Jones, Johnny Cash, and Conway Twitty songs drifting from the radios and turntables of his grandmothers’ kitchens and living rooms. This heritage is alive and well in McDonnell’s earnest and straightforward songs and strong, clear baritone.
Aaron formed the Pop Country band Gin Betty! shortly after moving to Seattle in 2004 recording two albums and quickly found himself with a following playing several top local venues including The Showbox, and The Triple Door. Gin Betty! was featured on a national college radio campaign and received good responses particularly in Texas and other areas in the Southeastern United States. Personal turmoil within the band lead to its unraveling and the formation of The Grandtours in 2009 (named after the classic George Jones tune "The Grand Tour"). This band explored darker territories lyrically and more complex sonic arrangements all the while staying rooted in a Classic Country Music format and flavor. Again, a local following was formed and two records were recorded, unfortunately they dissolved due to conflicts within the band in 2011. After taking some time off from playing music publicly, Aaron moved towards a solo project named Aaron McDonnell & The Gospel Plow which released an EP in January of 2013. The project was met with positive feedback from local club owners and members of the Seattle Country music scene receiving praise from veterans in the industry.
With the release of his new EP "Follow", Aaron’s emergence as a full solo artist in 2014 will be the culmination of a tough yet inspiring road which has spanned nearly a decade, including the formation and dissolution of three bands, recording of five records, and work with several top engineers/producers including; Tom Pfaffle (Nirvana, Black Crowes, Heart), Steve Aguilar (Dave Matthews Band, The Head & The Heart), and Phillip Peterson (The Posies, Portugal. The Man). With true purpose, his songs explore age-old themes of love, heartache, failure, and faith. They are classic in their influence and unpretentious in their delivery. At once familiar and fresh, Aaron McDonnell is both an authentic homage to the sounds of the past, and an exciting example of what is to come.