Born into a musical family, Doonan’s grandfather, John Doonan, was a world-renowned piccoloist and her father, Mick Doonan, was a founding member of Hedgehog Pie and eventually The Mighty Doonans, a family folk band which counted both Doonan and her younger sister Frances Doonan as members.
Doonan readily admits to gaining inspiration from influences as disparate as the Beta Band to Laura Veirs to Free “I grew up listening to The Stones, Joni Mitchell and Free,” she explains. “But my roots are in the folk scene, so that’s in there too. But I’d like to think I’ve added something extra. It’s a very personal record, and I mean every word of it.”
Growing up in Wakefield, Doonan found herself “surrounded by music”. Living in a house overflowing with hung over musicians - her dad played uilean pipes in folk luminaries Hedgehog Pie, an ‘uncle’ was in Lindisfarne - she was a free festival veteran by fourteen. “I guess you could say it wasn’t your average childhood. We would go to every festival going. All the kids would hang around together and then we’d go and see our parents play in bands. It gave me a good grounding in what being a musician is all about.” Whilst the cider flowed, Rosie wrote. Having made her stage debut playing sax in her dads band The Solicitors (don’t ask), Doonan was soon recognised as a natural singer, duly joining local acapella, group The Sweet Nothings, whose vocal pre-eminence saw them play at the Albert Hall.
On her album Moving On can be heard desolate astral-folk (“Hold On”), pithy social commentary (“Little Boat”), and tales of love-gone-bad. The album received a Radio 2 Folk Award Nomination.
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