Growing up in Belfast, Donnelly played in a number of local bands, finding success in Ireland with Watercress, a four piece acoustic folk-rock band for whom he played guitar, mandolin, percussion and "plumbing" (a home-made didgeridoo). They released six EPs between 1995 and 1998, when they released their one album, Bummer, all on their own local label, Creeping Herb. The Donnelly penned Candlemaker reached the No.1 position on the Irish Indie Chart.
After Watercress split up, Donnelly moved to New York to pursue a solo career. Using the pseudonym Sonovagun, he has so far released two studio albums, Bootleg (2005), and Yearning a Living (2007), which has received extensive airtime on BBC Radio, as well as one live album Live in NYC (2008). Donnelly has also played as a session musician for several artists including Joy Zipper
He has toured extensively, performing solo shows and supporting artists such as The Levellers, Oysterband and Seth Lakeman, as well as performing as part of the live bands of The Levellers, Oysterband and Joy Zipper. His own live band has included Ali McMordie of Stiff Little Fingers on bass guitar and Roy Harter on keyboards and theremin.
Donnelly has become a regular act on the UK festval scene, and has played at Glastonbury Festival's Leftfield stage for four consecutive festivals, Beautiful Days festival three times, including the main stage in 2006, The Big Session in 2008, and various folk festivals.
The current line-up of Sonovagun is:
Irish duo John Whelan and Dan Donnelly are the firm favourites to head the line up of the European Reversible Ploughing contest this week.
Sep 21, 2010; Irish pair firm favourites for European ploughing title but face tough competition Caitriona Murphy Irish duo John Whelan and Dan...