Guitarist, singer, and songwriter in the Portland, Oregon area, whose music ranges from edgy hard rock to energetic acoustics with lyrics that tell relatable stories. Don is currently focused on writing and recording new music, and is looking forward to playing live more often in 2023. 

Don began playing acoustic guitar at the age of 12, but it was after his parents bought him an electric guitar “to stay out of trouble” at 15 that he found his passion.  Don was inspired by guitarists like George Lynch, Marty Friedman, Nuno Bettencourt, Vito Bratta, John Sykes, etc...and has been blending all his influences to form his own style for years. In high school, Don formed a band with two friends, Barry McAlpine (vocals, bass) and Tony Colomina (drums). Their sound was hard rock with intense lyrics.  They traveled the Pacific Northwest playing live gigs and recording music for 5 years as Dangerous Ashes and Ash.  In 1994, they renamed their band PLUG and recorded the album, GULP, with the help of their friend and mentor, Deen Castronovo (The Rise Above, Dead Daisies, Revolution Saints, Journey, Ozzy Osbourne).  PLUG was well-known locally, however Don was interested in finishing his degree in electrical engineering.  The band took time off in 1998, Don finished his degree, got married, and never got back together with PLUG.

He continued to play his guitar and write lyrics.  For years, Don led worship at local churches and continued to pursue his musical interests with Deen as they both had time, practicing in an airplane hangar and appearing locally as “special guests” playing Don’s songs from Relentless and songs from Revolution Saints.  Don is always recording rough mixes of songs at his home studio, where you can find him anytime he is not working his day job as a software architect.

In 2019, Don recorded his first solo EP, Relentless.  Guest appearing at shows with Deen (drums, vocals) and Randy LaRont (bass), and Tony Colomina (drums), he had a blast sharing his work at local venues.  In 2020, Don released his second EP, Blue No More, which included two songs from his early days:  Brother, written by Don and I’m Sorry, written by the late Barry McAlpine.  The drums on Blue No More were recorded by Deen, bringing extra life to the EP.  Don, with Deen, Randy and Tony, was even able to play a few shows to highlight the talent and original music before COVID prevented social gatherings. 

Don is currently writing and recording singles (listen to 1,000 TimesSomeday Soon, Demon, and Stuck).

Look to see Don live in 2023.  Sign up for his mailing list to stay up-to-date on new releases and upcoming shows!  Stream music on any music service - Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music