news about music about contact
D o n o v a n


best of friends

Beat Cafe



buy cdbaby


track listing

1.Love Floats itunesbuy
2. Poorman's Sunshine itunesbuy
3. Beat Cafe itunesbuy
4. Yin My Yang itunesbuy
5. Whirlwind itunesbuy
6. Two Lovers itunesbuy
7. The Question itunesbuy
8. Lord of the Universe itunesbuy
9. Lover O Lover itunesbuy
10. The Cuckoo itunesbuy
11. Do Not Go Gentle itunesbuy
12. Shambhala itunesbuy


On Beat Café, Donovan’s first album for grown-ups since 1996’s Sutras, his intention was to reignite the spirit of the creative underground that he traces back to the Bohemian cafes of Paris of the 1840s and he saw bloom in day-glo colors in the 1960s.

As he explains in his liner notes, “In the 1960s, socially aware lyrics entered pop music for the folk invasion of the charts, bringing with it songs of the civil rights movement, anti-war protest, ecological awareness and the feminist movement. Blues and jazz returned pop music to its roots. Philosophy, Beat poetry and Buddhist meditation opened the inner world of compassion and reflection. The western world adopted the modern art life style . . . All of this came out of the Bohemian café, jazz and R&B clubs, art schools and hip book stores of the so-called underground. This had been happening in previous decades right back to 1846 in Paris. It is this I explore, the view of “modern life” as seen from “Bohemia.” We are enlightened by this view and the new generation must create their own “beat café.” It can be described as a state of mind, an oasis of culture and an actual café. I have created a virtual café on my new disc to encourage the young to continue to explore.”

To capture the heady rock/folk/pop/jazz/blues/world music brew that has become the trademark of Donovan’s adventurous musical spirit and the soundtrack of his virtual café, he enlisted multiple Grammy-winner John Chelew (Blind Boys of Alabama, Richard Thompson, John Hiatt) as producer and keyboardist and the world-class rhythm section of folk/jazz double bassist and longtime Donovan accompanist Danny Thompson (Nick Drake, Richard Thompson, The Pentangle, John Martyn) and drummer/percussionist Jim Keltner (Bob Dylan, Ry Cooder, George Harrison, hundreds more). Applying a “no fixed arrangements” approach to foster the proper mood of spontaneity, Donovan (vocals, guitars) and his cohorts have created a lusciously atmospheric collection of eleven new original Donovan compositions plus a cover of the folk standard “The Cuckoo.”

This “beat café” of the mind is a sensuous, smoky den of fevered seduction (the hypnotic “Love Floats,” “Yin My Yang,” “Two Lovers,” “Whirlwind”), jazzy, finger-snapping hipness (“Poorman’s Sunshine” and the title song), self-mocking blues (“Lord of the Universe”), and gentle spirituality (“Shambhala,” “Do Not Go Gentle,” the latter song an adaptation of Dylan Thomas’s famous poem). The contemporary production values meld mystic chants, teasing wordplay, tender meditations and warm musical telepathy into a reaffirmation of Donovan’s status as a unique musical visionary.

To put it mildly, the music industry, as well as new and old generations of Donovan’s fans, has been more than receptive to Beat Café: “The Sunshine Superman returns . . . in classic form,” trumpeted Rolling Stone, and the All Music Guide summarized the CD beautifully: “If albums are ‘needed’ anymore, the spirit in this one is. Donovan reminds listeners that possibility and hope are not passé, but as full of chance and wild grace as ever. Welcome back, Donovan; you’ve been missed.” 






also appears on:
where have all the flowers gone
The Songs of Pete Seeger Vol 1
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

sowing the seeds

Sowing the Seeds - The 10th Anniversary