Ricko Donovan has evolved into the consummate songwriter who plays a variety of stringed instruments. From humble beginnings in punk-oriented bands New Jersey, he drifted down to Baltimore and during the early 90s participated in a most memorable and exciting era for the music scene. Playing drums for alternative rock band The Last Few Days, he and his bandmates carved a niche for themselves and released records, most notable a vinyl 12? single Reality Jungle Dance. Ricko's backbeat provided the thunder for virtuoso British songwriter Richard Bannister's distinctive and thoughtful compositions. When the Baltimore scene's heyday began to dry up and The Last Few Days disbanded, Donovan headed further south for Nashville TN, retiring his drum kit for guitar, songwriting, and a new instrument- the hammered dulcimer. He released an EP entitled Allure that pioneered hammered dulcimer into the rock format. Nashville provided wonderful transformative years for Donovan, and he played across Lower Broad and uptown alongside such talent as Hayseed and Greg Garing. The hammered dulcimer lent a new element to other artists, and became a distinctive context for his own work. In 1994, he teamed up with former MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, who produced a full-length CD Bondage, a dark contrast to the lighter touch of Allure. The Nashville Scene praised the record as one of the more innovative releases that year, where Ricko "can make the personal political and the political personal and make it really work." Regularly playing venues in Music City, in 1998 Devil At My Door won Best Song in the Alt Country category in Nashville's Spree Songwriting Competition. National radio distribution followed. In 1998 Donovan made the big step and moved to Europe. Based in Madrid Spain, he regularly spent summers in County Clare, Ireland- a hotbed for traditional Irish music. There he honed his skills on the hammered dulcimer, playing alongside such legendary Irish musicians as Christy Barry and Charlie Piggot of De Danaan and building a repertoire that landed him a three-year residency at the presigious Gregan's Castle Hotel in Ballyvaughn. Radio personality Cormac MacConnell touted Donovan "a skillfull master of a unique and beautiful instrument." A series of gigs over the country seasoned his voice as well and The Clare Champion noted "he renders ballads with the greatest sensitivity and the rest with the reckless abandon of a steamrolling train with no brakes." Donovan returned stateside sporadically during these years, most notably in 2001 to front the full house band at Seanachie Irish Pub on Lower Broad in Nashville. Returning to Ireland, he released The Hidden Well, a full-length CD that featured hammered dulcimer. That record and it's follow-up The Laughing Silver String featured inspired dulcimer playing alongside other traditional folk instruments that would become part of the playlist for Clare FM, as did a new record set firmly in the adventurous folk category, The Kilmoon Road. A more personal and acoustic-based record, Irish Music Magazine touted The Kilmoon Road, a rollercoaster ride...haunting and visceral", and Donovan, "a powerful new voice in Irish folk." In 2005, Donovan returned Stateside to continue promoting the record, touring regularly in Florida and the Southwest out of his old home Nashville, TN. At last in 2009, he compiled enough material for a powerhouse follow-up to The Kilmoon Road called Lucky Sevens. Broadening the spectrum of acoustic instruments to include Donovan's finesse on mandolina and mandocello, the record stylistically bridges Irish and Americana, a fusion that evolved over years and has culminated in Ricko Donovan's own genre- Americeltic. It is a sound like no other, an explosion of folk energy from the man of many strings. It is a performance like no other and it continues to evolve with the use of a looping technique to leave audiences spellbound in the Donovan magic. "A rollercoaster ride...haunting and visceral, a powerful new voice in Irish folk." -Irish Music Magazine "A skillfull master of a unique and beautiful instrument."-Cormac MacConnell, Clare FM Radio Ireland "He renders Irish ballads with the greatest sensitivity and the rest with the reckless abandon of a steamrolling train with no brakes..." - The Clare Champion.