Daniel Donato’s WinterWonderGrass Set Proves He’s One Of Country Music’s Must-See Guitarists

Daniel Donato

If you’re not listening to Daniel Donato, you need to change that.

Out of all of the amazing guitarists in country music right now, Donato deserves to be included with the best of them. Many of the genre’s best guitarists seem to straddle the line between traditional country music, often bluegrass, while occupying a more prominent position within the jam band scene due to their headier instrumentation and heavily improvised live play – Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle are a couple of the most prominent artists that come to mind here – and Donato is right there with them.

While not completely a bluegrass artist, Donato’s country influence is obvious in his music, though he straddles the line between country and jam with heavily improvised live sets that feature a healthy mix of both originals and covers. If you walk into one of Donato’s shows, amidst all of his incredible original music, you’re equally as likely to hear him cover John Prine, Waylon Jennings, or Marty Robbins as you are to hear Phish, Grateful Dead, or The Allman Brothers. And it makes for an awesome show.

A true native of Nashville, TN, Donato grew up fully immersed in music, and has long been considered a virtuosic guitar talent. Honing his sound and finding his brand through years of heavy touring, Donato’s unique, self-described style country music has come to be called “cosmic country.” A fitting adjective, ‘cosmic’ can be defined as inconceivably vast, and that’s an accurate adjective for Donato’s music. With so much talent and the ever-evolving improvisation of , the opportunities are endless. This is all on full display in a recent video posted to YouTube from the WinterWonderGrass festival in Steamboat Springs, CO this past March.

As the snow comes down during Donato’s set, he and his band shred on through “Hi-Country” and “Dance In The Desert,” two songs off of his third and most recent record, 2023’s Refelector.

An awesome scene all around, any fan of country music, or jam bands for that matter, needs to check out Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country:

And while we’re at it, check out my personal favorite from his Reflector album, “Gotta Get Southbound.”

Backed by Nathan “Sugar Leg” Aronowitz on keys and guitar, bassist Will McGee, and drummer Will Clark, Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country is a must see live act, and luckily, there will be plenty of opportunities to do so this spring and summer.

Daniel Donato Tour Dates

4/13 – Major Rager at Augusta Common – Augusta, GA

4/14 – Panic en la Playa 2024 – Maya Riviera, Mexico

4/20 – The Caverns – Pelham, TN

4/26 – Republic New Orleans – New Orleans, LA

4/28 – Chelsea’s Live – Baton Rouge, LA

4/29 – Chelsea’s Live – Baton Rouge, LA

5/1 – Daze Between 2024 – New Orleans, LA

5/10 – Friday Cheers at Brown’s Island – Richmond, VA

5/11 – The Windjammer – Isle of Palms, SC

5/12 – The Windjammer – Isle of Palms, SC

5/16 – The Big Top – St. Louis, MO

5/17 – Madrid Theatre – Kansas City, MO

5/18 – Greenbelt Music Festival – Clive, IA

5/19 – Rose Park – Columbia, MO

5/23 – DelFest 2024 – Cumberland, MO

5/24-5/25 – Rooster Walk – Axton, VA

5/26 – Dark Star Jubilee – Thornville, OH

5/30 – The Clyde Theatre – Fort Wayne, IN

5/31 – Hoxeyville Music Festival – Wellston, MI

6/7 – Mountains of Music 2024 – Vail , CO

6/8 – Aggie Theatre – Fort Collins, CO

6/10 – Belly Up Aspen – Aspen, CO

6/11 – Mesa Theatre – Grand Junction, CO

6/13 – Red Butte Garden – Salt Lake City, UT

6/14 – Gerald R Ford Amphitheatre – Vail, CO

6/15 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO

6/16 – Old Town Pub – Steamboat Springs, CO

6/21 – 4 Peaks Music Festival 2024 – Bend, OR

6/22 – The Olympic Venue – Boise, ID

6/27 – Blue Ox Music Festival 2024 – Eau Claire, WI

6/28 – Chop Shop – Chicago, IL

6/29 – Chop Shop – Chicago, IL

7/4 – Stone Pony Summer Stage – Asbury Park, NJ

7/5 – The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts – Westport, CT

7/6 – Jay Peak Resort – Jay, VT

7/7 – Levitate Music Festival – Marshfield, MA

6/10 – Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks – Bethlehem, PA

7/11 – The Rooftop at Pier 17 – New York, NY

7/12 – Wonderland Forest – Lafeyette, NY

7/13 – Wonderland Forest – Lafeyette, NY

7/17 – Outer Harbor Buffalo – Buffalo, NY

7/18 – Cain Park Evans Amphitheater – Cleveland Heights, OH

7/19 – Rose Center at The Heights – Huber Heights, OH

7/20 – Rock the Ruins – Indianapolis, IN

7/21 – Bell’s Brewery – Kalamazoo, MI

7/26 – Flood City Music Festival – Johnstown, PA

8/2 – The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY

8/3 – Rhythms on the Rio 2024 – Del Norte, CO

8/10 – Jam Packed Craft Beer & Music Festival 2024 – Richmond, VA

9/21-9/22 – Annapolis Baygrass Festival 2024 – Annapolis, MD

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock