Just under the wire for 2011, Michael Donner introduces himself on his first solo album.No Better Time. What an introduction! Donner is certainly going to take listeners by surprise when they discover this collection of well crafted songs. This is not only one of the best under the radar releases of the year, it is one of the best releases period.
Donner is from Dallas, but he recorded the album in Alabama. More specifically it was created at the fabled Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. Having a Southern Renaissance in Muscle Shoals is a perfect place considering the plethora of Southern Rock, Country and Soul classics that have been recorded there. Although Donner's music is more of a virtuosity of styles and influences than a renaissance, it is a well crafted work of art by any definition. The album is a mix of Rock, Jam Band, Country and alt-country. However, no song is represented by a single style. Each song is a blend of influences. Whether up-tempo or more subdued, there is no doubt that a talented and emerging songwriter carefully arranged each song.
No Better Time is an exceptional debut release. Michael Donner has set the bar high for himself, but there is no doubt that he is a truly gifted artist with more to offer in the future.