Chris Donohue

Pro Session Bassist

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61 Reviews (59 Verified)
Chris Donohue on SoundBetter

I've recorded and/or performed with Emmylou Harris, Tom Jones, Elvis Costello, Indigo Girls, Robert Plant, Shawn Colvin, Pete Seeger, Iris Dement, Steve Earle, Rita Wilson, Rufus Wainwright, Kristin Chenoweth, and many others. My corporate clients include ABC, USA, SyFy, Amazon Prime, NFL, EPIX, JWT New York, License Lab, and BIgger Story Music.

For electric bass tracks I'll provide both clean (DI) and dirty (amp/effects) tracks which you can blend to your liking. All tracks are recorded using Avalon or Useful Arts DIs, a Great River ME-1NV mic preamp, a dbx160 compressor, and Universal Audio interfaces. For acoustic bass tracks I use a Stager ribbon mic. See "Gear Highlights" for my updated instrument list.

Prior to recording, you will provide either consolidated stereo mixes or a folder with consolidated stem files suitable for use in Pro Tools. During this consultation you can express your creative ideas and preferences which I'll interpret and implement accordingly. You're encouraged to send chord charts and/or bass transcriptions as ideas or requests (extensive chart editing or rewrites may incur an upcharge).

Thanks for seeking me out and for trusting me with your music!

I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Chris Donohue
  • Stu Garrard
  • Lauren Daigle
  • Indigo Girls
  • Rissi Palmer
  • Doug Seegers
  • Doug Seegers
  • Nashville Cast
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Yancy
  • Nashville Cast
  • Lucy Wainwright Roche
  • Lucy Wainwright Roche
  • Lucy Wainwright Roche
  • One: A Worship Collective
  • Young Hines
  • Don Moen
  • Don Moen
  • Aaron Keyes
  • David M. Edwards
  • Selah
  • Leigh Nash
  • Ernie Haase & Signature Sound
  • John Brannen
  • John Brannen
  • Chris McClarney
  • Kelly Minter
  • Kelly Minter
  • Kelly Minter
  • Kelly Minter
  • Kelly Minter
  • Chris McClarney
  • Miriam Webster
  • Michael Neale
  • Aaron Keyes
  • Aaron Keys
  • Aaron Keyes
  • Aaron Keys
  • Nina Hagen
  • Stuart Townend
  • Yancy
  • Walking Upright
  • Walking Upright
  • Todd MacDonald
  • Sherwood
  • Seeds Family Worship
  • Seeds Family Worship
  • Twila Paris
  • Twila Paris
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Julie Miller
  • Buddy Miller
  • Margaret Becker
  • Margaret Becker
  • Margaret Becker
  • Margaret Becker
  • Bart Millard
  • Bart Millard
  • Bart Millard
  • Bart Millard
  • Allison Moorer
  • Allison Moorer
  • Allison Moorer
  • Joel Auge
  • Joel Auge
  • Joel Auge
  • Joel Auge
  • Joel Auge
  • 33Miles
  • Chris Sligh
  • Jeffrey Halford
  • Tim Hughes
  • Brian Smith
  • Kellie Coffey
  • Kellie Coffey
  • Solomon Burke
  • Cindy Morgan
  • Cindy Morgan
  • Cindy Morgan
  • Cindy Morgan
  • Rob Giles
  • Vicky Beeching
  • Sam Ashworth
  • Sam Ashworth
  • Bart Millard
  • Bart Millard
  • Bart Millard
  • Bart Millard
  • Rita Springer
  • Michelle Tumes
  • Michelle Tumes
  • Joel Engle
  • Joel Engle
  • Joel Engle
  • Sean Smith
  • Sean Smith
  • Jaime Jamgochian
  • Ginny Owens
  • Ginny Owens
  • Laura Powers
  • Margaret Becker
  • Margaret Becker
  • Jamey Clay
  • Jamey Clay
  • Jamey Clay
  • Jamey Clay
  • Jamey Clay
  • SONICFLOOd
  • Promise Keepers
  • Collective Soul
  • Collective Soul
  • Terry Scott Taylor
  • Christine Dente
  • Margaret Becker
  • Margaret Becker
  • Margaret Becker
  • Margaret Becker
  • Margaret Becker
  • Nichole Nordeman
  • Brooks Williams
  • Brooks Williams
  • GlassByrd
  • GlassByrd
  • Dakota Suite
  • Dakota Suite
  • Dakota Suite
  • Laura Powers
  • Alathea
  • Alathea
  • Alathea
  • Jill Phillips
  • Jill Phillips
  • Bill Mallonee
  • Bill Mallonee
  • Bill Mallonee
  • Out of the Grey
  • Hunter Moore
  • Sheila Walsh
  • Gordon Kennedy
  • Lincoln Brewster
  • Lincoln Brewster
  • Acoustic Worship
  • Kenny Meeks
  • Kenny Meeks
  • Kenny Meeks
  • X-Treme
  • X-Treme
  • Cindy Morgan
  • Say-So
  • Sixpence None the Richer
  • Sixpence None the Richer
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Matt North
  • Dakota Suite
  • Twyla Foreman
  • Phil Madeira
  • Phil Madeira
  • Organic Spark
  • Organic Spark
  • Organic Spark
  • Will Kimbrough
  • ESOEBO
  • ESOEBO
  • ESOEBO
  • Organic Spark
  • Three Ingredients or Less
  • Organic Spark
  • Yancy
  • Yancy
  • Alice Peacock
  • Alice Peacock
  • Organic Spark
  • Organic Spark
  • Michael Logen
  • Andy Bromley
  • George Tifft
  • Phil Madeira
  • Yancy
  • Mark Tedder
  • Rebecca Sayre
  • Organic Spark
  • Terry Scott Taylor
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Tiffany
  • Will Kimbrough
  • Will Kimbrough
  • Organic Spark
  • Sam Torode
  • Peter Rogan
  • Peter Rogan
  • JC Coe
  • Changing Horses
  • Changing Horses
  • Changing Horses
  • Changing Horses
  • Changing Horses
  • Melissa Brett
  • Beken
  • Beken
  • Beken
  • Beken
  • Beken
  • Beken
  • Beken
  • Beken
  • Beken
Discogs verified credits for Chris Donohue
  • Al Perkins' Big Dog 3
  • Lazar Lazar
  • Tiffany
  • Danni Nicholls
  • Vigilantes Of Love
  • Lazar Lazar
  • Various
  • Vigilantes Of Love
  • Vigilantes Of Love
  • Mo Leverett
  • Say-So (2)
  • Sixpence None The Richer
  • Various
  • Phil Madeira
  • Eric Hauck
  • Michelle Tumes, Margaret Becker, Nichole Nordeman, Rebecca St. James, Jennifer Knapp
  • Christine Glass
  • Various
  • Various
  • David Davidson
  • Various
  • Terry Scott Taylor*
  • Scarecrow & Tinmen
  • Lincoln Brewster
  • Various
  • Phil Keaggy
  • The Choir (2)
  • Tom Howard, Gary Sadler
  • Various
  • Robin Mark, Stuart Townend, Gary Sadler, John Hartley
  • Sheila Walsh
  • Hunter Moore
  • Paul Baloche
  • Out Of The Grey
  • Twila Paris
  • Various
  • Ginny Owens
  • Stuart Townend
  • Various
  • Various
  • Cooler Kids
  • Jars Of Clay
  • Cooler Kids
  • Various
  • Various
  • Dakota Suite
  • Margaret Becker
  • Andrew Peterson
  • Jonathan Noël
  • Faith Yesner
  • Laura Powers
  • Jill Phillips
  • Nichole Nordeman
  • Various
  • Leslie Mills
  • Geraldine Latty
  • Margaret Becker, Kristyn Getty, Joanne Hogg , Created By Keith Getty
  • Margaret Becker, David M. Edwards
  • James Clay (4)
  • Maranatha! Promise Band
  • Laura Powers
  • Michelle Tumes, Susan Ashton, Christine Dente*
  • Ginny Owens
  • Collective Soul
  • Various
  • Various
  • Sam Ashworth
  • Jason Harrod
  • Lost Dogs
  • The Katinas
  • Rachael Lampa
  • Bart Millard
  • Sonicflood
  • Vicky Beeching
  • Jadon Lavik
  • Andi Starr
  • Mark Tedder
  • Jason Morant
  • Jay McNeill & Helena McNeill
  • Phil Wickham
  • Cindy Morgan
  • Solomon Burke
  • Brigitte DeMeyer
  • Joel Engle
  • Kelly Minter
  • Robin Mark
  • Dakota Suite
  • Solveig Leithaug
  • Cindy Morgan
  • Godfrey Birtill
  • Bart Millard
  • Joel Augé*
  • Allison Moorer
  • Paul Baloche
  • 33Miles
  • David Moore (9)
  • Al Perkins' Big Dog 3
  • Buddy & Julie Miller
  • Buddy & Julie Miller
  • Kari Jobe
  • Chris McClarney
  • Chris Tomlin
  • Carola Becker
  • Stuart Townend With Guests Kelly Minter & Aaron Keyes
  • Derek Hoke
  • Dennis & Nan Allen
  • Lazar Lazar
  • Nina Hagen
  • Joe Nolan (3)
  • Miriam Webster
  • Tiffany
  • Tiffany
  • Cory Chisel
  • Tara O'Grady
  • Aaron Keyes
  • Clouds Echo In Blue
  • Leigh Nash
  • Don Moen
  • Cindy Morgan
  • Various
  • Changing Horses
  • Derek Hoke
  • Caitlin Rose
  • Terry Scott Taylor*
  • Dakota Suite
  • Various
  • Amanda Noël
  • Susan Ashton
  • Nashville Cast
  • Lucy Wainwright Roche
  • Doug Seegers
  • Various
  • Phil Madeira
  • Nashville Cast
  • Pete Kronowitt
  • Phil Madeira
  • Coco O'Connor
  • Michael Logen
  • Ian McFeron
  • Kerosene Halo (2)
  • Argyle Park
  • Doug Seegers
  • JJ Heller
  • Various
  • Stu Garrard*
  • Brigitte DeMeyer & Will Kimbrough
  • Jonathan* & Amanda Noël
  • Phil Madeira
  • Dakota Suite, Dag Rosenqvist, Emanuele Errante
  • The Choir (2)
  • Lovers & Lions
  • Phil Madeira
  • Will Kimbrough
  • Iris DeMent
  • Phil Madeira
  • Phil Madeira
  • Red Dirt Boys
  • Red Dirt Boys
  • Angela Autumn
  • Pat Byrne (4)
  • Various
  • David Olney & Anana Kaye
  • The Choir (2)
  • Phil Madeira
  • The Imaginaries
  • Lumenette
  • Terry Scott Taylor*
  • Iris DeMent
  • Phil Madeira & Friends
  • Various
  • Rita Springer
  • By The Tree
  • Nina Hagen

61 Reviews - 21 Repeat Clients

Endorse Chris Donohue
  1. Review by Gary M.
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    An absolute pleasure to work with. Chris gave me multiple choices, and all good, and all in good time. He is totally worth the investment, and really should be considered as a "go to" guy for bass.

  2. Review by kellyn marie goler
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    Chris is awesome! His bass really pulled my whole track together, and he's just a pleasure to work with. Recommend for all your bass needs!

  3. Review by jackee
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    by jackee
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    Chris is a consummate professional! He was extra patient with me and worked overtime to help me find exactly what I wanted. In addition to his top notch level and style of playing, his attitude was everything!

  4. Review by Mark H.
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    Chris is a consummate professional. Attentive to detail, quick to respond, easygoing, and willing to accommodate changes. Highly recommend this pro!

  5. Review by Ashley A.
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    Very talented bassist!! Highly recommend!

  6. Review by Carl K.
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    Chris is an absolutely fantastic and highly professional bass player. I hired Chris for a pop-rock project where no bass line was yet available and he did an outstanding job in crafting bass tracks with a creative twist, and to my perfect liking. Highly recommended!

  7. Review by Ashley A.
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    Super talented player who has solid melodies. Would highly recommend without a doubt. Looking forward to the next one.

  8. Review by Kellyn G.
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    Highly recommend working with Chris! In addition to his great talent and musical sensibilities, he's just a pleasure to work with. Excited to work with Chris again in the future!

  9. Review by Roman Zajats
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    Chris is the man ! Great skills and good communication ! Heavy bass lines !

  10. Review by L J.
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    by L J.
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    When I get my bass tracks back from Chris I immediately just want to go into mixing mode. His fantastic playing and interpretation adds so much to the song and creates a lot of energy to see the project through. A solid professional and excellent communicator!

  11. Review by Steven E.
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    Chris is truly awesome. Great sounding bass, both upright and electric and the recording quality is top notch. Even better, incredibly easy to work with.

  12. Review by Matthew D.
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    Chris was great to work with! Talented, came up with great parts, flexible and friendly. Would work with him again!

  13. Review by Michael E.
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    How many ways can you say artist, perfection and wildly talented?
    He is just wonderful to work with.

  14. Review by Guilherme C.
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    Great guy! terrific musician! It's always a pleasure working with Chris! He always add that extra color to my tunes!

  15. Review by Listentomichele@gmail.com
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    Chris was great to work with! So quick and understood exactly what I needed. Looking forward to working with him again in the future!

  16. Review by Kawin K.
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    Chris is professional, reliable, and punctual. All the things we need in a bassist in a musical project. He's also delivers all of these with creative output, efforts, and great communication. An "all around" person indeed.

    It's been a great working experience. I highly recommend Chris to anyone who need to work in a project that requires professionalism.

  17. Review by Romy
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    by Romy
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    The GREATEST bass player of Soundbetter! Chris is a GENIOUS!!!! He immediately understood my needs and came with a pure groovy bass line which completely transformed my project!
    Chris is nice, talented, experienced and very gentle! He is THE ONE you need for your projects! Stop searching around, the best bass player is him! No doubt about it!

  18. Review by Grant
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    by Grant
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    Chris is very professional, and very quick.
    Thanks for the great double bass track!

  19. Review by Dylan E.
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    Simply excellent! Detail oriented, and as communicative as you can ever want in executing ideas for your projects! :)

  20. Review by floyd
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    by floyd
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    Phenomenal! Chris did as tasteful and just plain skillful a job on this project as I can imagine anyone anywhere doing. I'd call him again in a heartbeat. Great communication and very quick turnaround to boot!

Interview with Chris Donohue

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: In 2013 I produced a record for the Haitian folk singer Beken, which required several trips to Port Au Prince to record lead vocals, primary acoustic guitar, and accordion, before finishing the tracks at my Nashville studio. It required enormous amounts of diplomacy and persistence to bring to fruition, but was well worth it in the end. I remain grateful to Thirty Tigers Music for making it possible and also for the filmmaker Jonathan Demme, who is himself heavily invested in Haitian artistic culture and reached out to me to offer ongoing support throughout the making of the album.

  3. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  4. A: Analog into digital! Plugin technology is better than ever and amazingly efficient, but there is no substitute for real tubes in the signal chain.

  5. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  6. A: 1) I will draw upon all my years of experience and musical sensibilities to honor your songs. 2) I will communicate clearly and honestly. 3) I will draw you into the process.

  7. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  8. A: It's "just bass." (-;

  9. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  10. A: How were the existing tracks recorded? Are there any parts in the song you would like for me to highlight or accentuate? What singers/bands do you like? How will this recording eventually be used?

  11. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  12. A: 1) Consolidate your tracks to :00 and know your exact grid tempo (if a click track was used). 2) Make sure the vocal in the stereo mix isn't too loud - otherwise it can obscure the chord changes and groove elements I will need to hear. 3) Wav files are preferred over mp3s.

  13. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  14. A: My 1975 Fender Jazz bass, a headphone amp, an iPhone, a solar charger, and a pocketknife.

  15. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  16. A: I've been a full-time session and performing musician for over 25 years. After moving from New York to Nashville in 1994, I toured with various artists throughout the nineties including GA-based Vigilantes Of Love and Nashville-based, Grammy Award-winning Sixpence. I built my session career as my creative community in Nashville expanded and I continue to work with many of the same producers and musicians to this day. I've been a member of Emmylou Harris' live band since 2006.

  17. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  18. A: I work hard to make sure my bass parts not only feel good groove-wise but are also tasteful and stylistically appropriate for the song. Though I'm alone when recording remotely, I work hard to create parts that sound as if they were recorded simultaneously with the other instruments in the track.

  19. Q: What's your typical work process?

  20. A: I usually record one take that is very basic and incorporates any particular requests from the client, and another take where I play more intuitively and spontaneously. In this way the client can select which approach they like best or combine elements of the two into a single "comp" take.

  21. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  22. A: My work suite is housed within a full production studio in East Nashville. I record using Pro Tools and my signal chain includes preamps by Great River, Useful Arts, and Avalon, a Dbx 160A compressor, and various pedals by Aguilar, Lehle, Darkglass, and many more. My 19th-century Tyrolean double bass is recorded with a Stager ribbon mic.

  23. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  24. A: There are too many to list, but Buddy Miller and Emmylou Harris certainly deserve particular mention as they are not only masters of their craft, but they've also connected me with musicians such as Robert Plant, Indigo Girls, Shawn Colvin, Dave Matthews, Iris Dement, Elvis Costello, and so many others.

  25. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  26. A: I've just finished a collection of bass-forward cues for a media library and am preparing for upcoming shows with Emmylou Harris and Iris Dement.

  27. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  28. A: Dennis Holt and Larry Aberman (drums) and Phil Madeira (keys)!

  29. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  30. A: Getting into my flow state, listening deeply, and losing track of time.

  31. Q: How would you describe your style?

  32. A: Tasteful, confident, and - when called for - assertive.

  33. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  34. A: Springsteen. No explanation required.

  35. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  36. A: Remain constantly aware of what the listener is meant to be paying attention to at any given moment.

  37. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  38. A: Recording bass tracks, composing music for media, and live performance.

  39. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  40. A: In any given season I work on a broad range of projects from the Rock, Pop, Country, Jazz, and Musical Theater genres, but Americana has been the main focus of my career.

  41. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  42. A: Deep focus.

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Texas Was Clean by Indigo Girls

I was the bassist in this production


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    Texas Was Clean by Indigo Girls
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    Hyperloop by Chris Donohue
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    Bed-Stuy Beatdown by Chris Donohue
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    "Gasoline And Matches" by Buddy & Julie Miller
Terms Of Service

Client provides stem mixes as requested. I provide two takes and up to two partial revisions. Additional takes/revisions may incur an upcharge. Timeline is schedule-based.

GenresSounds Like
  • Emmylou Harris
  • Paul Simon
  • Allen Toussaint
Gear Highlights
  • Electric basses by Fender
  • Music Man
  • Gibson
  • Lakland
  • Offbeat
  • and Epiphone / Acoustic basses by Kala and Boulder Creek / 19th Century Tyrolean contrabass / Preamps by Great River
  • Avalon
  • and Useful Arts / Tyler Flip Top Bass 1x15 tube amplifier
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SoundBetter Deal

I'll do my best to accommodate any budget!