Words & Music
Donnie Blanz began his musical career in Houston, in the basement studios of H & H Music Company. The many hours of drum and guitar lessons that followed eventually paid off when he joined a nightclub act in Jacksonville, FL at the age of 17. The Holidays also performed for corporate and private functions which provided the group with the opportunity to perform at many of Florida's finest resorts and concert venues. Those, "band gigs," lasted for 10 years and took Donnie from Florida to Tennessee and back again, playing in nightclub acts ranging from Top 40, to Disco and Funk, to Vegas style show bands, to Country and Rock. In 1986, Donnie was offered a staff writing slot with Ed Bruce's publishing companies on music row in Nashville. Over the next 15 years, Donnie was schooled in the craft of songwriting by hit songwriters Ed Bruce, Ron Peterson, Glen Ray and others. The Donnie Blanz/Ed Bruce song, "You Just Can't See Him From The Road," was recorded by Chris LeDoux and was included on Chris's platinum selling album, "Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy." A live version of the song was included on, "Chris LeDoux - Live." Since 1997, Donnie has been involved with the Western Music Association and the Academy of Western Music, which awarded him the Will Rogers Award for Song of the Year in 2004. The honored song was, "Paint Her Real," co-written with Melinda Richarz Bailey. Donnie is a featured performer at Western Music festivals, corporate and association events, house concerts and other concert venues all over the country. However, his repertoire is not limited strictly to Western Americana originals or even his extensive list of, "Donnie-Song," originals. He is also one of the most dedicated preservationists of the, "Old School Singer/Songwriters," performing classic 60's, 70's and 80's Pop, Rock and Country songs. "A good song I'll listen to a few times. A great song, I'll learn and play over and over again." As a keynote speaker/team-building coach, Donnie offers two programs which are designed not only to entertain, but to help corporations and other groups improve their communication skills. Team-Building in 4/4 Time is a fun, creative program designed to help your group explore and expand communication skills. Co-writing a song is all about teamwork, organization and the determination to reach a common goal. Donnie will temporarily turn your group into songwriters with the goal of creating a song about your organization. Though you may not write the next million selling hit, you will come away from this program with a song in your heart, renewed company spirit and some improved communication skills. Cowboy Cattle Drive is a program that offers your group the hands-on opportunity to actually experience (well, almost!) what it was like for the first cowboys who drove the longhorns from Texas to Kansas in the late 1800's. You'll learn some western history as Donnie helps you discover your Cowboy Spirit through humor, music and 'The Low-Tech, Redneck, Cattle Drive Simulator' (Patent Pending!). This learning experience pays tribute to the attitude and the legacy of the world's hero, the American cowboy. Donnie Blanz is also an actor with six independent and student films to his credit, along with many TV commercials, and an HBO pilot, directed by Richard Linklater. Coming in April of 2008, Donnie plays the evil gunslinger called, Sloan (leader of the Gray Riders gang) in the HD feature film release, "Shroud," for which he wrote the sound track song, "When The Hammer Falls." He was also featured in the Brad Paisley, CMA and ACM Award nominated music video, "He Didn't Have To Be," and his voice can be heard on dozens of audio books, the Nintendo video game 'Turoc - The Evolution' and the Japanese animated film series, Eden's Bowy.