Roberta Donnay

Greetings Music Lovers! I once heard that there are two categories of musicians in the world; street musicians who play for dollars and dimes in their guitar cases, and touring musicians. And I was told that there was nothing in between. As an artist and musician, I’ve toured most of my career. And I performed on the street. And then there is sort of this in-between thing playing local clubs and venues and yes, Virginia, there is an in between.


Anyway, I’m here for the first time, to write to you about life on the road, about all the complexities of the music industry (from an artist perspective) and to hopefully shed some light on alternative roots music we may not be aware of, which is a thriving element of our culture.

I was born in Washington D.C., singing pretty much out of the box, started writing poetry shortly after I learned the alphabet,. learned guitar, became a professional musician, began writing songs, and left home at 16.  My first (unplanned) tour was at 17, hitchhiking across Europe with some friends. This was a great wake-up call for me, that outside the U.S., people valued the arts and their artists.  We were treated with immense respect, which was shocking.  I decided then that I wanted to become a serious world-class artist.  So this became my goal.  I concentrated on becoming a professional songwriter over the next 2 decades.

The arts have influenced our culture since the beginning of time.  I believe this is a time of renaissance for the arts and for people’s lives.  Because of the many serious challenges we face, we must all reach deeper within ourselves to find the answers.  This has been my quest from the beginning.

I’m currently out on the road with Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, as one of the Lickettes. Since Dan just turned 70, there’s a huge birthday bash in San Francisco with some great guest artists including Rickie Lee Jones, John Hammond, Jim Kweskin, Tuck & Patti, Maria Muldaur, Ray Benson, David Grisman, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Bruce Forman, Roy Rogers, Harry Shearer, and Van Dyke Parks.  Plus the original Hot Licks!  I will write a full report on this next time.


If you have questions or are an artist who wants feedback, you can reach me directly at  or just go to my site and check out more.
Thanks again.  I’m really happy to be here.


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