Friday, March 21, 2008

Interview with Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay from Donna Jean and The Tricksters

Interview by Scott Preston
Photos by Susana Millman

donna jean, trickstersDonna Jean Godchaux MacKay was born to sing, and over the course of time she’s done so with people like Elvis Presley, Percy Sledge, Boz Scaggs, and Jerry Garcia. Now she has a new band that she’s quite certain is on a creative par with anything she’s ever done. “This band is a perfect fit for me as a singer/songwriter,” she said recently, “and I hope to be doing this for a long time to come. We’re having so much fun with this music!” The Grateful Dead alumna has joined up with six members of the next musical generation – Mookie Siegel (David Nelson Band; formerly Phil & Friends, RatDog), Wendy Lanter (Hope in Time), and Jeff Mattson, Tom Circosta, Klyph Black and Dave Diamond (Zen Tricksters) to form Donna Jean and the Tricksters. (from

Cincy Groove: Were you a part of Muscle Shoals Sound Studio from the beginning? Who did you get to work with?

Donna Jean: I started going to the studio when I was 12 and began singing on demos when I was 15. By the time I was a singer in high school I was singing on hit records. I also ended up singing with Elvis Presley in Memphis. I sang on 2 of his comeback hits which were Suspicious Minds and In The Ghetto. The first major number one hit I sang on was When a Man Loves A Woman by Percy Sledge. I also sang with Boz Scaggs, was on Cher's first solo album, Ben E. King, Joe Simon. I sang on "Take a Letter Maria" by R.B. Greaves.

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