Rock, Blues and a whole lotta Sou1. Kim Donnette Band ain’t your run-of-the-mill live band. With influences including Koko Taylor, Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, and Beth Hart, combined with a collective imagination that transcends their individual musical prowess, the Kim Donnette Band dishes up tunes you can listen to for five minutes or five hours and still want more.
KdB plays regionally throughout Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas and is a regularly featured performer in many venues in the area. One venue owner has state “she plays the music my patrons want to hear” others have stated “this is the best live band I have ever heard”.
Kim’s voice ranges from buttery smooth on songs such their original “Choices” and the Beth Hart tune “I’ll Take Care of You” to the driving power on such songs as the KdB original “Shot Glass Love Affair” or the classic Blues tune “Mother Nature”. And while Kim’s vocal talents take center stage, she is surrounded by immensely talented and dedicated musicians. Keith Haley provides imaginative and electric licks on lead guitar, Ron Havelaar brings the groove on bass and Shannon Bankston keeps it all on time with the beat on drums. Whether brassy and sassy or sultry and smooth, these cats deliver with a vengeance.
With hundreds of recordings, shows and tours individually and as a group under their belt, this is a band that knows what they are doing on stage and how to put on a show.
Each show performed is designed to take the listener on a voyage with different beats, styles, moods, and emotions. Kim connects with the audience with an ease and genuineness that comes from her heart. Each listener feels as if she is singing just for them.
Meet Kim Donnette Band
Kim Donnette is the founder, front woman and lead vocalist for the dynamic Blues/Rock group Kim Donnette Band. In addition to being the founding member of Kim Donnette Band and leading it through its successful beginnings, Kim is also the principal songwriter. She creates personal and intimate views of herself in every song she writes. Additionally, her keen imagination allows her to identify classic blues and jazz songs that are suitable for rearrangement and re-imagination to become uniquely hers.
Kim is the daughter of Teresa Jackson. In 1968, Teresa auditioned to open for Willie Nelson and Ray Price, she sang “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” so well that she won the opportunity to perform at their Dallas Concert. She was also offered the opportunity to join the tour as a member, however she had a young Kim at home and could not bring herself to be separated from her. Kim never had the opportunity to perform with her mother, but has many memories of singing Motown classics in the car together. This experience influences her sound today.
Kim has been a backup and featured vocalist for the Darby Warren Project and TJ Hammersly.
In 2019, Kim decided it was time to start her own band and begin to perform the songs she loved, create new songs and develop her own unique style and sound. The Kim Donnette Band is the culmination of a lifetime of musical exploration and deep love for music.
Keith Haley brings it all together with his magical guitar riffs on lead. To Keith music “picks you up when you’re down”. His willingness to experiment with sounds, rhythms and riffs transform familiar songs into new and exciting experiences. Keith has a unique play style as he plays without a pick, this is due to neck surgery he had in 2018, that left him unable to hold a pick.
Playing the guitar for more than 40 years, Keith is a meticulous professional in his craft. “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. The challenge of getting it right is a major thing for me, and I love the thrill when the sound comes together.”
Keith played in many bands throughout the East Texas region in the 1980’s but retired from professional music after that to focus on the family business. Since then he has playing with friends occasionally. We are extremely fortunate to have been able to coax him out of his “retirement” to bring his talents to the Kim Donnette Band
Calling Ron Havelaar a bass player is akin to calling Botticelli a house painter. “Music comes from somewhere deep inside,” Ron said, “Making music with other musicians is communicating on a level that transcends all the superficial things that tend to separate us in Life. It is communication at a very intimate and personal level. I get hooked on those moments when the band is truly “cookin”. Its all about the groove.”
Ron began playing guitar while still in high school in 1964. by 1966 Ron was delighting audiences while playing lead guitar with his first band in Shreveport, Louisiana. He continued refining his craft with various bands and various types of music in South Dakota, Wyoming, Illinois, Mississippi and Texas. During this period he also played guitar for an early punk band called “The Brainsuckers”. “I would wear a beekeeper’s veil while performing our signature song “Creepy Crawly Up the Wally”. I’m thankful that was a long time ago and no photos or recordings have survived. But it was fun!” By the mid 1980’s Ron made the switch from guitar to the bass. He has extensive live performance experience sharing the stage opening for the likes of Koko Taylor, The Muddy Waters Band, Pure Prairie League, Rare Earth, Joan Jett, and Andrew Junior Boy Jones. He is also a sought after session bassist and has played bass and guitar on over a hundred recording sessions for bands and artists at various studios in Texas and Illinois.
His talents, insight and “feel for the groove” are vital for the sound of the Kim Donnette Band. With his deft and exquisite touch, his playing provides groove and deep rhythm that courses through the performance like the final brush strokes on a renaissance masterpiece.
Some people seem to be born for what they do. This is the case for one of the newest members of the KdB family, Shannon Bankston. This dude has a feel and passion for drums that is so critical to the creation of a great sound. His personal influences include John Bonham (Led Zepplin), Mitch Mitchell (Hendrix), Kenny Jones and several of the British Blues/Rock invasion bands of the 60’s and 70’s.
Shannon started playing at the age of 12 and has been playing with bands since he was 13. He has toured professionally and was with several bands that opened for national recording acts. Even though most of his professional career has been in country and rock bands, he has always loved the Blues and he always brought some of the blues to every song he has played. He joined KdB to be a part of a dynamic band that plays the blues with the grit and soul it deserves.
Shannon is also an avid drum collector, he loves restoring vintage and classic drum kits when he’s not on stage playing one of his beautifully restored kits with KdB.