Singer/songwriter/pro surfer Donavon Frankenreiter is set to release his fourth album, Glow, October 5th on his own label, Liquid Tambourine Records (through Warner Music Group’s Independent Label Group). Frankenreiter has been a busy man this summer; he just wrapped up a Verizon & Samsung sponsored two month tour of the East Coast, where he hit up nearly every surf town between Florida and Maine. Frankenreiter also played Mile High Festival in Denver, He also played the ORC Summer Market Convention in Salt Lake City in August, after the Unified Bouldering Championships. He even had some time to stop by Zappos headquarters to answer some customer service calls and play a couple songs to to entertain the Zappos staff and support his sponsor, Sanuk sandals. Frankenreiter is currently climbing and performing on Mt. Fuji in Japan as part of the Love Hope Strength Foundation’s Mt Fuji Rocks.
Frankenreiter documented the entire tour in a video blog segment he called the Mustache Manifesto, which all live on his website HERE. In addition to daily manifestos, Frankenreiter held a surf camp in Asbury Park, NJ for members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County that was filmed by the Asbury Park Press. He also met up with the Immaculate Infatuation crew in Montauk and spent a day surfing and learning how to make fish tacos with Top Chef alum and Surf Lodge executive chef Sam Talbot.
“Glow,” the title track and first single off the new album, is off to a fast start at radio. It’s getting a great reaction and a plethora of Triple A stations have been spinning the record early, including KTVZ/Minneapolis, WCOO/Charleston, WXPK/White Plains, KRPI/San Diego, KBCO/Denver and WXPN/Philadelphia among others. “Glow” is positive and uplifting. Riding a sweet, syncopated acoustic strum, the song swells into a beautiful chorus as Frankenreiter sings, “I want to see you glow/I want to see your daylight shining all around your heart.”
When Donavon Frankenreiter was 10 years old, he got his first surfboard. Six years later, he picked up his first guitar. It was the beginning of a wildly creative journey: His improvisational twin obsessions have carried him around the globe and into his fans’ hearts. As Frankenreiter prepares to release his fourth album, Glow, this fall, the 37-year-old singer/songwriter/pro surfer admits he still thrives on simply taking the plunge. “We don’t have a set show, if we did, I would go crazy,” he says. “You never know what’s going to happen. I love that element of surprise with music and surfing — you never catch the same wave twice.”
When good pal Jack Johnson was starting up Brushfire Records, he offered Frankenreiter a shot, producing his first album of folk songs — including the hit “Free” — along with famed Beastie Boys collaborator Mario Caldato, Jr. Frankenreiter followed his 2004 self-titled debut with a full-band record, 2006’s Move by Yourself (Lost Highway), where he plugged in and chronicled his life on the road. Joe Chiccarelli (The White Stripes, My Morning Jacket) produced 2008 disc Pass It Around, which featured guests Ben Harper and G. Love, and marked a major musical turning point for Frankenreiter: “The first time I started working with other writers.” He kept up the spirit of collaboration on 2010’s Revisited, a track-by-track reinterpretation of his debut disc through a Hawaiian lens. After relocating to Kauai fulltime with his wife and sons Ozzy and Hendrix three years ago, Frankenreiter became enamored with the sounds of the islands. “It started off with ukulele and my voice and [guitarist] Kirk Smart added slack key guitar, lap steel, and everything else, and it just kind of grew from there,” he says. “It’s really neat to hear an alternative version of what happened seven years ago.”
Revisited proved a fascinating challenge, but Frankenreiter hasn’t spent the last year focused on the past. And as soon as he got into a room with producer Mark Weinberg, he knew he’d found the perfect partner for Glow. “I wrote ‘Keeping Me Away From You’ with Mark the first time I ever met him in 30 minutes,” Frankenreiter says of the warm, wistful mid-tempo track. “He looked at me and went, ‘Wow, that was quick.’ I asked, ‘Does that normally happen?’ ” They recorded the entire album over three days at California’s Pulse Studios, utilizing a band of crack players to amp up the original acoustic arrangements into gorgeously polished chill-out rock with U2-esque guitar flourishes (“Shadows”), lush strings (“Keeping Me Away From You”), and bluesy organ wails (“Hold On”).
In true Donavon Frankenreiter fashion, there’s little room for stress on Glow. The album’s 10 tracks are the perfect antidote to trying times: warm, organic, and overwhelmingly hopeful. And Frankenreiter is ready to bring the new tracks to his international fanbase as he continues to crisscross the globe on more surfing and musical adventures. “If there’s anything I learned, it’s that you really gotta be yourself,” he says, reflecting on his career. “You can’t fool people in music if you want to stick around for a long time.”