FHM Chronology

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

1964 – New Year’s Eve, Forrest marked his debut paid performance at the Harrisville Civic Center, in a pickup band named the Seagram’s 7. The lineup included Forrest McDonald on lead guitar, John Holscher on rhythm guitar, Bob Wiegand on piano, Ed Riccio on drums, and Paul “Tiny” Lister on vocals.

1964 April – The Ox Bow Incidents are a new band, featuring Forrest McDonald on lead guitar, John Holscher on rhythm guitar, Bob Wiegand on piano, Dave Brooks on drums, and Paul “Tiny” Lister as the lead vocalist.

1965 – In August, Chip Tucker steps in to replace Paul “Tiny” Lister on vocals, becoming the band’s first bass player as well.

1966 – Bassist Jim Carr relocates from Kansas City, KS to Barrington, R.I., assuming the role of bass guitarist. Meanwhile, Jack Ryan transitions from the Midnight Hour to become the lead vocalist for the Ox Bow Incidents, following Chip Tucker’s departure.

1968 – Organist Tod Urbonas adds his talents to the Ox Bow Incidents, playing the Hammond B3, while Bruce Gasper steps in on vocals, replacing Jack Ryan.

1969 – The Ox Bow Incidents disband, prompting Forrest to join the Boston Rock Symphony alongside blues harmonica player James Montgomery.

1969 – Time for a change. Forrest Starts a new group called Pale Ryder. With Steve Blodgett on Rhythm Guitar, Dave Hayes on Bass, Charley Flannery on Drums and Linda McCone on vocal.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

1970 – Sweet Mary I’m Coming Home. Forrest joins the Wadsworth Mansion. The band did a 35 state tour opening for Alice Cooper and Edgar Winter on the strength of their top 20 hit record. Steve Jablecki is on piano, guitar and lead vocal. Mike Jablecki on Drums and vocal, and John Poole on Bass and vocal.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

1971 – After experiencing significant setbacks, including the devastation caused by Hurricane Agnes and a problematic Southern tour, Steve disbanded the group. Jablacki pursued his producers, Jimmy Calvert and Norman Marzano, to Hollywood, CA.

1972 – Charlie and John first teamed up with a Singer rhythm guitarist named Little John. He had a very high opinion of himself. We did two 3 night ski resort gigs with him and called it quits. Charlie and I arrived at the outskirts of Boston it was a cold November day. As the sun set on the horizon, “Jesus Is Just Alright” played on the radio, signaling a new beginning for us. With determination and excitement, the three of us—Charlie, myself, and Little John—decided it was time to strike out on our own. And thus, the band Choker was born, marking the start of a thrilling musical journey together.

1973 – Initiating a fresh musical journey by founding Choker with Charley Flannery, John Poole, and Wiley Crawford. They dedicated their efforts to the New England circuit, particularly emphasizing the dynamic Boston scene. After a great start internal strife tore the band apart.

In August Forrest started jamming with Jimmy “The Wheel” Newlan former Daddy Warbucks and a couple of guys from the DC area. After a few jam sessions I could tell I was not going to be  a part of what became AngelAngel is an American rock band from Washington, D.C., formed in the mid-1970s by Punky Meadows, Mickey Jones, and Gregg Giuffria.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

1973 – On Labor Day, I received an unexpected call at my Cape Cod home from Steve Jablecki, who had already established himself in Hollywood, CA. He extended a generous invitation for me to join him and kickstart a fresh musical venture. Steve even went as far as to send me a plane ticket to join them. Accompanied by my guitar buddy Steve Blodgett, who continued on to a dog show in San Francisco before heading back home, I embarked on this exciting journey.

Upon my arrival, I settled into a routine of daily songwriting and practice sessions with Steve Jablecki. Our sessions began promptly at 11:00 every morning. After months of scouring the Musicians Contact Service, we finally assembled our inaugural lineup. We christened our new band Slingshot, with Steve Jablecki taking on piano, guitar, and vocals, Bobby Zamora on drums, Skip Perkins on bass, and myself on guitar and vocals.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

Jimmy and Norman taped our rehearsals and felt that while Bobby Zamora excelled with Latin feels, his rock drumming wasn’t up to par. Consequently, we brought in Dave Atwood, who had previously drummed for the pop band America. However, during our recording sessions, Dave didn’t quite capture the right vibe for the song Dreams Reality. Forrest then crossed paths with Ron Bushy from Iron Butterfly, who graciously agreed to step in and finish the session.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

Afterward, we returned to the musicians’ contact service on Sunset Boulevard and found our permanent drummer, Rob Robertie, who had recently moved to LA from Long Island. Rob’s credentials included backing up Chuck Berry, Gary US Bonds, Little Richard and even sharing a Doobie with John Lennon at Madison Square Garden. At the time, Rob was playing with Chuck Berry.

By November we had a record showcase that the world famous Whiskey A Go Go. We were seen by Michael Thevis of GRC records and he offered us a deal. We sat around the pool the next day thinking of how we were going to spend the money. As the world turns. Michael George Thevis,  was also the  “Scarface of Porn,” who had once made $100 million a year and owned nearly half of the hardcore porn industry.  The IRS got on to him impounded all of his property including our recorded masters. Poof the deal went up in smoke. The band played on pondering our next move.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

When Steve needed an operation for his vocal polyps and would be out of commission for three months, we faced a dilemma with booked gigs and financial strain. Rob suggested bringing in a replacement, Raymond Victor, who had excellent piano skills and a strong blues voice.

Raymond stepped in for Steve in Slingshot, but this decision sparked a significant fallout between Forrest, Steve, and members of the management company. Steve eventually returned to his home state Rhode Island after the producers failed to deliver what they had initially promised.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

Rob and Ray found themselves as members of a band called the Bookends, where they formed the rhythm section alongside bassist Steve Fishman. The camaraderie among the members was strong, and they all got along exceptionally well. The band featured a frontman vocalist who also played saxophone, accompanied by two sisters providing additional vocals. The frontman was a jerk.

The Bookends seized an opportunity to audition alongside 11 other bands for a Department of Defense representative from Washington, who was in search of bands for USO tours. After successfully securing a spot on the tour, the rhythm section hatched a plan to include Forrest in the lineup. They invited him to sit in during a New Year’s Eve performance, and his performance was so electrifying that he secured a spot on the tour, ultimately tearing down the house with his talent and energy.

1975 – The USO Tour of Asia. Forrest, Rob, and Ray join the Bookends with Steve Fishman on Bass and tour Asia playing 42 shows in 38 days in spanning 7 countries. Later that year Forrest, Rob, and Ray join the Kathy McDonald band with Mark Levine on bass. and the begin touring California extensively.  Forrest starts rehearsing with Steve Perry and they decide to record some three of Forrest’s songs.

1975 – Forrest collaborates with blues artist Jimmy Read Jr. and vocalist Marie Franklin to record a series of soulful singles. These recordings showcase Forrest’s versatility and passion for the blues genre, as he combines his guitar prowess with the soulful vocals of Marie Franklin and the authentic blues style of Jimmy Read Jr. Together, they create memorable tracks that resonate with listeners and further solidify Forrest’s reputation as a respected musician in the blues community.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

1976 – Also, Forrest took steps to expand his musical horizons, initiating collaborations with various bands and vocalists. Notably, he curated an all-star studio ensemble for a session with Steve Perry, resulting in the recording of “It’s Over” and “Hold on to Your Dreams.” While “Anyway You Want It” was initially scheduled for recording, Steve said he did not wish to record it a week before the session.

1976 – Additionally, Forrest provided backing support for Marie Franklin, Doris Troy, and Bonnie Bramlett both on stage and in the studio, further diversifying his musical portfolio.

In the Spring of 1976 – One evening, outside the Starwood nightclub in West Hollywood, former Billy Preston keyboardist Hubie Heard crossed paths with Forrest, introduced by Forrest’s date. Following an impromptu jam session, Hubie extended an invitation for Forrest to join a new band he was forming called Silver, Platinum, and Gold. The lineup boasted Hubie’s wife, Rene King, along with former Ike and Tina singers Flow King and Edna Ricardson. On drums was Soko Richardson, renowned for his work with Ike Turner, and on bass, the exceptionally talented Ronnie Greene.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

1976 – August, Forrest made a memorable visit to Muscle Shoals Sound, where he contributed the guitar solo to “Old Time Rock & Roll,” one of Bob Seger’s most iconic hits. The album featuring this track, “Stranger in Town,” achieved remarkable success, earning RIAA certifications of Diamond for its sales. Furthermore, Bob Seger’s “Greatest Hits” compilation attained multi-Platinum status, while “Bob Seger Ultimate Hits” received a Gold certification from the RIAA, solidifying his enduring impact on music.

1976 – Meanwhile, Silver, Platinum, and Gold’s single “I Got a Thing” reached number 27 on the R&B charts, marking a significant milestone for the band. They commenced rehearsals for their second album, poised to continue their musical journey with renewed energy and ambition.

1976 – While working at his sound studio Full Moon Productions, Forrest encountered the Standells, a renowned pop group from the 1960s famous for their hit “Dirty Water.” They booked a two-hour rehearsal session, which led to Forrest striking up a musical friendship with guitarist Bob Zinner. Sharing a common love for the guitar solos of Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, Forrest and Bob seamlessly blended these influences into their own styles, creating a perfect musical synergy.

1976 – Following their collaboration in a band named Weapon, which resulted in recording four tracks at Epic Records without securing a contract, Forrest and bassist Ariel Daily formed a strong bond. Meanwhile, Forrest was introduced to drummer Ty Grimes through Kathi McDonald. Recognizing an opportunity to create a guitar-oriented rock band, Forrest and Bobby set out to assemble a lineup. With Ty joining on drums, the quartet was complete. They played together about three days a month, whenever the timing and atmosphere felt right. Inspired by their shared passion and talent, Forrest decided to form a band called The Force. The lineup featured Bob Zinner and himself on dueling lead guitars, Ty Grimes on drums, and Ariel Daily handling bass duties along with lead vocals.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

They embarked on recording an LP at Dennis Dragon’s studio in Malibu. Dennis was the brother of Daryl Dragon from the duo Captain & Tennille. During their recording sessions, they poured their hearts into the music, playing so passionately on the first song that they used the entire hour of tape. The engineer advised them that if they wanted to record more than one song, they might need to re-cut that first one and shorten it a bit. Following this advice, they made adjustments, and the result was a hot recording that still stands strong to this day. Additionally, they enlisted James Wolf from the Standells to contribute vocals to the recording on a song titled “Take it to the Top.”

1977 – As Soko Richardson was concurrently working with the legendary blues musician Albert Collins and required some time away from Silver, Platinum, and Gold, Forrest organized an audition for a replacement drummer. Rob Robertie impressed the band during the audition and was subsequently chosen to take over drumming duties from Soko in Silver, Platinum, and Gold.

1978 – Despite their efforts to refine their sound and impress Wooden Nickel Records during a second audition, incorporating harmony leads and more structured guitar hooks, The Force was once again met with disappointment as the label passed on offering them a deal. Their explanation was that they didn’t hear the potential singles in their music, leaving the band feeling disheartened by the outcome.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

Following The Force’s emotional farewell concert at the Hollywood Palladium, unforeseen circumstances brought about significant changes. Bobby Zinner’s near-fatal accident, which nearly resulted in the loss of his right arm, meant years of recovery ahead. Additionally, keyboardist Tony Carey’s decision to move to Germany for a permanent rock star lifestyle added to the band’s evolving dynamics. In response to these events, Forrest opted to move to Muscle Shoals, where he transitioned into the role of a session musician. During his three-month stint there, he contributed his guitar talents to Bobby Womack’s album “The Roads of Life,” enriching his already diverse musical journey.

1979 – After his time in Muscle Shoals, Forrest returned to Rhode Island and embarked on a new musical endeavor by founding The Spies. Joining him were Dave Brooks, the former drummer of the Old Ox Bow Incident, on drums, Jocko Safford on bass, Jack Armitage on rhythm guitar, and Jim Mitchell on vocals. Additionally, Forrest enlisted the help of his friend Al Bradley, who took on roles as both graphic artist and road manager for the band.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

1980 – When Forrest received a call from Ray in California expressing his interest in joining the band, Forrest warmly welcomed him aboard, especially since their current keyboard player was departing to pursue further education. With Raymond Victor’s arrival, the Spies gained not only a skilled keyboardist but also a talented lead vocalist. Ray’s presence injected new energy into the band and proved to be a valuable addition with his professional expertise and solid musicianship. He was also as funny as it gets. Shortly after Rays arrival drummer Dave Brooks made plans to return to school and pursue another career path, a vacancy emerged in the drum department of the Spies. Without hesitation, Forrest reached out to his old friend Rob Robertie in California and extended an invitation for him to join the band. Impressed by Rob’s remarkable talent and skill on the drums, the band eagerly welcomed him aboard. Rob’s arrival brought a newfound energy and prowess to the Spies, solidifying their lineup with his powerful playing and impressive chops. After a few months with the Spies, Rob began to feel the pull of the West Coast and decided to return to Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Ray continued to bring his talent and energy to the band until an unexpected visitor prompted his decision to return home as well. With key members departing, the Spies ultimately met their demise.

1980 – In the wake of this dissolution, Forrest found a new opportunity and joined Sundance, the top money-making band in New England.

Sundance’s performances were as versatile as the changing seasons, entertaining crowds at top ski resorts in winter and luxurious beach resorts in summer. Forrest and David Smith, the band’s other lead guitarist, forged a powerful musical connection, shaping Sundance’s fantastic, tight rock and roll sound.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

1981 – However, despite their success, Sundance disbanded abruptly in the midst of summer after delightening audiences all over New England. Following this unexpected turn of events, Forrest decided to return to Muscle Shoals just after Christmas.

1982 – Life in Muscle Shoals was challenging this time around. With the Muscle Shoals music scene experiencing a downturn, much of the action shifted to Nashville, Forrest found himself facing a scarcity of opportunities. Aside from a session playing on a demo for Dobie Gray, known for his hit “I’m in with the In Crowd,” work was scarce. Consequently, Forrest made the decision to relocate to Memphis, renowned as the home of the blues, in search of greater prospects.

1983 – Memphis Tennessee. During his time in Memphis, Forrest took on the role of producer for the Al Bradley project at Ardent Studios, immersing himself in the vibrant musical culture of the city. Teaming up with vocalist Joey Hadley, a former Golden Gloves Boxing Champion turned oldies singer, Forrest embarked on a new musical venture by forming the Fabulous Mustangs. The band entertained audiences three nights a week at Memphis Memories, showcasing their unique blend of oldies music.

While living in Memphis, Forrest had the opportunity to witness the performances of blues man Papa Don McMinn on Beale Street multiple times. Papa Don was instrumental in the 1980s revival of Beale Street, contributing to its resurgence as a vibrant hub of blues and music culture.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

1984 – Following a promising opportunity in Richmond, VA, where Forrest’s sister Marcy resided, Forrest decided to make the move to the area. There, he joined the band “Your Mamma,” alongside Cheryl Tiller on vocals, Mark Caplan on bass and vocals, and Scott Murphy on drums and vocals. Together, they brought their musical talents to audiences in Richmond, creating memorable performances and entertaining crowds with their eclectic sound.

1984 – 1990 Forrest embarked on a new musical journey by founding Valhalla with Mark Caplan and Scott Murphy, a collaboration that endured until 1990. Their music was characterized by a unique blend of rock, drawing inspiration from historical events. Many of their songs were crafted with lyrics that told compelling stories from the past, adding a distinctive element to their music. The trio played with intensity, pushing the boundaries of rock and metal, and their performances resonated with audiences who appreciated their hard-hitting sound and narrative-driven approach to songwriting.

1985 -While satisfying his creative urges with Valhalla, Forrest also sought additional income. Consequently, he joined The First Class Band, a powerhouse ensemble featuring Mike Andrews, Dawn Phillips, and Tracy Batton on vocals, Gary Hartle on saxophone and vocals, Walter Sheeley on keyboards, Bad Bradd on bass, Jim Brooks on drums, and Forrest McDonald on guitar.

Renowned as the top money-making band booked by East Coast Entertainment, The First Class Band offered Forrest a platform to showcase his musical talents while securing financial stability through their successful performances.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

1986 -1989 As Valhalla continues to write new songs and push the boundaries of their music, exploring new creative horizons, the First Class Band maintains its busy schedule, performing at proms, weddings, and corporate parties. Each band follows its own unique path, with Valhalla’s artistic journey driven by innovation and experimentation, while the First Class Band delights audiences with their lively performances at various events and celebrations

1990 -After seven fruitful years of dedication to writing, practicing, recording, and performing with Valhalla, Forrest takes a moment to let the experience marinate, allowing himself time to reflect and process the journey they’ve undertaken. This period of introspection is essential for understanding the growth and evolution they’ve experienced as a band, as well as the impact they’ve had on the music scene. Forrest likely finds solace and inspiration in the memories of their achievements, memorable performances, and meaningful collaborations, knowing that they’ve laid a solid foundation for continued success in the years to come.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

1991 -Following a near-miss with a major label deal, Valhalla decided it was time for a hiatus. Hearing promising reports about the music scene in Atlanta, Georgia, Forrest felt drawn to his blues roots and made the decision to relocate. Upon arriving in Atlanta, he immersed himself in the local music scene and became actively involved with the Atlanta Blues Society, connecting with fellow musicians and enthusiasts who shared his passion for the blues.

1994 – Inspired by his desire to have greater control over his recording destiny, Forrest took a bold step and founded World Talent Records, Atlanta’s independent record label. With this venture, Forrest aimed to create a platform where artists could have creative freedom and control over their music, while also providing a supportive environment for talent to thrive. World Talent Records became a beacon for independent artists in Atlanta, offering opportunities for musicians to share their artistry with the world on their own terms.

1995 –  A culmination of unreleased demos forms the core of Forrest’s debut CD, titled “I Need You,” which he releases under World Talent Records. This moment marks a significant milestone in Forrest’s musical journey, as he shares his heartfelt compositions and performances with the world. Through this release, Forrest introduces listeners to his unique sound and artistic vision, offering a glimpse into his creative evolution and passion for music. As the album hits the shelves, Forrest embarks on a new chapter, ready to connect with audiences on a deeper level and make his mark in the music industry

1997 -Building on the momentum of his debut album “I Need You,” Forrest joins forces with his old pal Raymond Victor for a new collaborative project. Together, they release “Forrest on Fire,” igniting a blaze of musical creativity and passion. This album represents a continuation of Forrest’s artistic journey, showcasing his evolving style and musical prowess. With Raymond Victor’s talents adding depth and dimension to the music, “Forrest on Fire” promises to captivate listeners and further establish Forrest as a dynamic force in the music industry.

1998 – Forrest reunites with Valhalla Band mates bassist Marc Caplan and Drummer Scott Murphy. Bringing in Raymond Victor the record Under the Gun at Dogwood studios in Conyers, GA. The CD received a nice mention in Radio and Records and got air play on some major stations. Forrest incurred significant promotional  expenses that did get him on major stations. He decided this was too rich for his budget and he needed to scale back expectations.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

Forrest was ready to move into a blues recording phase and wanted to get this great rock album to market before changing genres.

1999 – “Forrest McDonald with Raymond Victor and the 3D Blues Band” achieves a significant milestone with the release of “Spirit of the Blues” on World Talent Records. The album earns the esteemed title of Blues CD of the Year by the Just Plain Folks music organization, solidifying its acclaim in the blues community. The lineup on the recording features Forrest McDonald on guitar and vocals, Raymond Victor on piano and organ, Diane Dutra on bass guitar, Dave Parnell on tenor sax, and Chuck “CAP” DeVille on drums. Recorded at Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati, CA, with Ralph Pattlan engineering, the album showcases a synergy of talent and passion. The Band made one tour of Atlanta before being asked to perform at the Second Annual Atlanta Blues Festival in April.

After performing at the Atlanta Blues Festival the band departed for Prarie Sun Studios to record their second CD What’s it Gonna Take.?

Capitalizing on this success, Forrest, alongside Raymond Victor and the 3D Blues Band, embarks on a journey to perform at major festivals. The road lineup mirrors the personnel featured on the acclaimed CD, ensuring audiences experience the same electrifying energy and musical prowess that earned “Spirit of the Blues” its well-deserved recognition.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

2000 – What’s It Gonna Take? Released on  World Talent Records Whats it gonna take was  recorded at Prarie Sound Studios in Cotati, CA is released. Prarie Sound Studios is a Grammy Award-winning recording studio.

2001 – “Finger Licking Blues” is unleashed, featuring Forrest’s masterful guitar work, setting the blues genre ablaze with scorching hot licks. The album earns widespread acclaim from critics, who laud Forrest’s exceptional skill and the band’s dynamic performances. This surge of critical praise propels the band to new heights, earning them coveted bookings at prestigious festivals and solidifying their status as a must-see act in the blues circuit.

With their electrifying live shows and undeniable talent, Forrest and his band captivate audiences, leaving an indelible impression wherever they go. Their music resonates with fans, drawing them in with its raw energy and soulful expression. As they continue to tour and share their passion for the blues, Forrest and his band forge a legacy as one of the foremost acts in the genre, leaving a lasting impact on the music world.

Finger Lickin’ Blues Review – World Talent Records

Following hot on the heels of What’s It Gonna Take?, 2000’s critically acclaimed release, Finger Lickin’ Blues released in July 2001 has increased the band’s appeal to an even wider range of blues fans. Finger Licking Blues features a great remake of the Classic “Ode To Billy Joe” with a great slide solo by Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin. As one reviewer stated Forrest’s version give me goose bumps on my goose bumps.

Forrest McDonald’s CD’s are required listening for any blues & rock aficionados, and will appeal to a wide range of tastes. This amazing artist has been performing Rock, Blues, and R&B for over 40 years to audiences world wide. His versatility and ability to please any audience is without question.

John McKnight joins the band on drums and vocals. Jon Schwenke joins the band on Bass playing all shows east of the Mississippi.

The journey to headline the Vidalia Onion Festival takes a tragic turn as saxophonist Dave Parnell suffers a heart attack while flying over Denver, CO. The pilot swiftly makes an emergency landing, and Dave is rushed to the hospital for treatment. After his release, Dave returns to his former home in Vallejo, but sadly, six weeks later, he passes away.

In the wake of Dave’s untimely passing, the band faces a difficult transition. Andrew Black steps in to fill the void, bringing his talent as a guitarist and lead vocalist to the group. While mourning the loss of their dear friend and band mate, the band finds solace in Andrew’s presence, as they continue to honor Dave’s memory through their music.

2001 – Andrew Black joins the band on guitar and lead vocals after the passing of tenor saxophonist Dave Parnell.

2002 – “Forrest McDonald Live” is unleashed to the world, capturing the electrifying energy of the Melbourne Art Festival. Released on World Talent Records, this album offers listeners a front-row seat to the dynamic performance, as it is recorded live from the soundboard. Despite the challenges of capturing a live event, the recording quality is exceptional, providing a clear and immersive experience for the audience.

With a crowd of 85,000 fans in attendance, the atmosphere is palpable, and Forrest McDonald and his band deliver an unforgettable performance that showcases their raw talent and passion for music. From soulful blues to fiery rock riffs, the album captures the diverse range of sounds and emotions that define Forrest’s musical style. As fans listen to “Forrest McDonald Live,” they are transported to the heart of the Melbourne Art Festival, experiencing the magic of live music in its purest form. After the tour the band went directly into  Dogwood studio with Andrew Black guitar and vocals, Raymond Victor keyboard and vocals, John McKnight on Drums, Jon Schwenke on bass, Forrest on Guitar and Ron Benner engineering. Have you read the review for Forrest’s 7th CD release titled LIVE in Real Blues magazine?

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

2003 – Forrest makes a guest appearance on Fiona Boys Live in Atlanta CD. Forrest McDonald, Fiona Boyes, Bob Margolin, Kaz Kazanoff, Gina Leigh, John Schwenke and John McKnight gave an outstanding performance July 28, 2003 on Fiona’s live CD recording at the Blue Note West in Douglasville, GA. Check out this great CD review by Hal Horowitz, in the Dec/Jan issue of Blues Revue Magazine.

Atlanta, GA  After igniting the crowd with a smoking set of blues at the 2002 King Biscuit Blues Festival World Talent Records recording artists Forrest McDonald, Raymond Victor, and Andrew Black were flying high.

Producer and singer-songwriter Tony Carey extends a special invitation to Forrest, inviting him to Germany to contribute guitar solos for the Colorblind album. Eager to collaborate and lend his expertise, Forrest embarks on the journey, bringing along some early tracks for his upcoming CD.

In Frankfurt, Germany, Forrest enters Tony Carey’s studio to lay down guitar overdubs, adding his signature touch to the tracks. The collaboration between Forrest and Tony Carey promises to result in a fusion of musical talents, enriching both projects with their combined creativity and expertise. As Forrest adds his guitar solos to the Colorblind album, further expanding his musical horizons and forging international connections in the music industry.

2004 – Early in the year, Forrest leads the band into Dogwood Studios to record the final basic tracks for the Colorblind Album, solidifying the foundation of their sound. With the groundwork laid, Forrest embarks on a journey to Mallorca in March, where he joins Tony at his villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. There, amidst the stunning backdrop, Forrest adds the finishing touches with his guitar solos, infusing the album with his signature style and flair.

As spring unfolds, the Colorblind Album is released to the world, greeted with widespread acclaim and glowing reviews. The culmination of Forrest’s dedication and artistic vision, the album captivates listeners with its soulful melodies, heartfelt lyrics, and masterful instrumentation. With its release, Forrest and the band soar to new heights, leaving an indelible mark on the music landscape.

Forrest’s song “Riding on The Blues Train” finds a special place as the opening track for Blackjack Ketchum’s blues radio show on WRFG 89.3 in Atlanta. For seven years, listeners are welcomed aboard the Blues Train with Forrest’s soulful tune setting the stage for a journey through the rich tapestry of blues music. Forrest’s music resonates with audiences, serving as the perfect introduction to an immersive blues experience curated by Blackjack Ketchum. Through the airwaves, “Riding on The Blues Train” becomes a cherished part of Atlanta’s blues scene, leaving a lasting impact on listeners and enthusiasts alike.


After Colorblind was released Tony set up the Chicago Blues Revue with Chicago Blues Man Melvin Taylor and other blues luminaries for a European tour in support for the “Colorblind” CD. Advance ticket sales were not enough and the tour was canceled.

Forrest returned to the States and did a few show with the Ken Rhyne Band, Crystal and the Cruizers and the Forrest McDonald Band with Andrew Black.

2005 – February brings tragedy as Forrest’s home is consumed by a devastating house fire, resulting in the loss of all his possessions, including his entire CD inventory. This heartbreaking event abruptly halts his tour and leaves Forrest facing immense challenges.

Despite the adversity, May brings a ray of hope as Forrest marries vocalist Kaylon Ward in Las Vegas, marking a joyous moment amidst the hardship. In an outpouring of support, the Atlanta Blues Society organizes a benefit at Jakes Toad House, rallying nine incredible bands including Bob Margolin, EG Kight, Mike Martin, Barry Richman, and others, who generously donate their time and talent. The event proves to be a tremendous success, with the community coming together to provide much-needed assistance. The seed money raised helps Forrest begin the journey of rebuilding his life after losing all his equipment and thousands of CDs in the fire.

Through the solidarity and generosity of friends, fellow musicians, and the Atlanta Blues Society, Forrest finds solace and strength in the face of adversity, reminding him of the resilience of the human spirit and the power of community in times of need.

2006 – In April, Forrest, Kaylon, and their family make the move to Virginia, embarking on a journey to support Forrest’s first son in getting his life organized. Amidst this transition, Forrest seizes the opportunity to pursue his passion for music further. He opens Birdsong Studios, a creative space where he can bring his musical visions to life.

With the studio up and running, Forrest wastes no time and begins work on their debut CD, which they plan to title “Nothing Wrong with Dreaming.” This project serves as a testament to Forrest’s unwavering determination and resilience in the face of challenges. Through his music, Forrest continues to inspire hope and optimism, reminding himself and others that dreams are worth pursuing, no matter the obstacles encountered along the way.

2007 – “Nothing Wrong With Dreaming.” This eagerly awaited release showcases their contemporary style, featuring standout tracks like “Gas Pump Blues” and “The World Is Waiting,” which quickly garner airplay coast to coast.

For Kaylon, this marks a particularly special moment as it represents her first foray into CD recording. Her talent shines through on each track, adding depth and emotion to the duo’s captivating sound. With their heartfelt lyrics, soulful melodies, and impeccable musicianship, Forrest and Kaylon captivate listeners and leave a lasting impression on audiences everywhere.

“Nothing Wrong With Dreaming” is more than just an album—it’s a testament to Forrest and Kaylon’s shared dreams, aspirations, and dedication to their craft. With its release, they embark on an exciting journey, sharing their music with the world and inspiring others to pursue their own dreams, no matter the obstacles they may face.

2008 – “A Decade of Blues” marks a significant milestone in Forrest’s musical journey as it is released to worldwide acclaim. This compilation album features 18 standout tracks from Forrest’s previous blues releases, showcasing the depth and breadth of his blues repertoire.

Critics and fans alike praise the album for its exceptional quality and timeless appeal. With each track carefully curated to represent a decade of Forrest’s blues music, listeners are treated to a captivating journey through his evolving style and artistry. From soulful ballads to fiery guitar solos, “A Decade of Blues” highlights Forrest’s mastery of the genre and his ability to connect with audiences on a profound level.

The album’s success underscores Forrest’s enduring impact on the blues scene and solidifies his reputation as a premier blues artist. As fans around the world immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of sound presented in “A Decade of Blues,” they are reminded of Forrest’s remarkable talent and his enduring contribution to the blues genre.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

2009 – In March, Raymond Victor celebrates his 60th birthday, and Forrest decides to mark the occasion with a memorable birthday bash at the Capital Ale House in Downtown Richmond, where Forrest is set to make his performance debut in the city. The anticipation is palpable as news of the event spreads, with the Richmond Times running a full-page story covering the festivities. On the night of the performance, the venue is abuzz with excitement, with people lining up around the block to join in the celebration. The show is a resounding success, with every seat filled and an electrifying atmosphere in the air. Raymond Victor takes center stage, showcasing his vocal and keyboard talents, while Forrest McDonald adds his own magic with his guitar and vocals. They are joined by a talented lineup that includes Lee Gammon on bass and Rob Robertie on drums, as well as Kaylon McDonald on guitar. Together, they deliver an unforgettable performance that leaves the audience in awe and ensures that Raymond’s milestone birthday is celebrated in style. It’s a night to remember, filled with music, laughter, and camaraderie, as friends and fans come together to honor Raymond and enjoy an evening of stellar performances.

2010 – “Certified Blue,” released on April 1, 2010, propels Forrest and his band into the upper echelons of the blues world, earning a coveted spot in the Top 5 of the Blues Power Rankings. This achievement is a testament to the album’s quality and the band’s growing prominence in the blues scene.Buoyed by the success of “Certified Blue,” Forrest and his band hit the road, embarking on a tour of New England that sees them winning over legions of new fans with their electrifying performances. One of the tour highlights is a pair of sold-out shows at Chan’s Jazz and Eggroll, a beloved Rhode Island hotspot with a 40-year history of hosting top-tier musical acts. The Providence Journal takes notice, offering a glowing write-up in the Sunday entertainment section, further solidifying the band’s reputation as a force to be reckoned with in the blues world.

As they crisscross New England, Forrest and his band continue to deliver soul-stirring performances, captivating audiences with their infectious energy and undeniable talent. With “Certified Blue” as their calling card, they leave an indelible mark on the region’s music scene, earning accolades and adoration wherever they go.

2011 to 2013 – Over the next three years, the Forrest McDonald Band remains steadfastly focused on touring, bringing their electrifying performances to audiences far and wide. With a packed schedule and boundless energy, Forrest and his band crisscross the country, delivering soulful blues and captivating rock to fans everywhere they go.

From intimate clubs to sprawling festivals, the Forrest McDonald Band leaves no stage unturned, winning over audiences with their infectious groove and masterful musicianship. Each show is a testament to their dedication and passion for their craft, as they pour their hearts and souls into every note, leaving audiences clamoring for more.

As they traverse the highways and byways of the music world, the Forrest McDonald Band continues to grow in stature, earning a reputation as one of the most dynamic and exciting live acts on the scene. With each performance, they cement their status as torchbearers of the blues, carrying on a tradition that spans generations and transcends boundaries.

2014 – “Turnaround Blues,” released worldwide on June 6, receives widespread acclaim, with glowing reviews from critics and fans alike. The album’s raw energy and soulful performances resonate with listeners, earning it a place of honor in the blues community.

Notably, three songs from “Turnaround Blues” simultaneously land in the Top 50 of the Blues Power Chart, a testament to the album’s chart-topping potential and widespread appeal. Forrest and his band’s dedication to their craft shines through in every track, captivating audiences with their virtuoso musicianship and heartfelt lyrics.

The album also boasts a special collaboration with rock legend Tony Carey, who flies in from Germany to record with the band. His distinctive style adds a new dimension to the album, further enhancing its sonic richness and diversity.

Additionally, Becky Wright, a talented local vocalist, is introduced to the band. Her powerful voice adds depth and intensity to the title track, elevating the song to new heights. With her contributions, “Turnaround Blues” becomes not just an album, but a testament to the enduring power of collaboration and creativity in music.

2015 –

The Forrest McDonald Band achieves a significant milestone by winning the River City International Blues Challenge in June. Their victory propels them to the finals, set to take place in Memphis, TN, in January of 2016.

This accomplishment is a testament to the band’s talent, dedication, and passion for the blues genre. As they prepare for the finals, they are filled with excitement and anticipation, eager to showcase their music on a larger stage and compete against some of the best blues acts from around the world.

With their sights set on Memphis, the Forrest McDonald Band continues to hone their craft and deliver electrifying performances that captivate audiences and judges alike. As they embark on this next chapter of their musical journey, they carry with them the hopes and dreams of their fans and supporters, ready to leave their mark on the blues scene and make their hometown proud.

2016 – They made it to the semi-finals in the international blues challenge in Memphis held in January 2016. His father passed away two weeks before the competition  at the age of 89.

Forrest plays in Europe with his old Friend Tony Carey and , drummer Martin Hämmerle.  After returning to the US he performed with the Forrest McDonald Band.

The Forrest McDonald Band won the River City International Blues Challenge for a second time and was eliminated by the finalist “Southern Avenue. In February 2017”

Forrest takes his band into Dogwood Studios in Oxford, GA to record his first album with Becky Wright as lead vocalist.

2017 – The Forrest McDonald Band embarks on their third and final journey to the International Blues Challenge, showcasing their talent on a global stage. Winning the Charlottesville Blues Society’s challenge and would compete in Memphis in January 2018.

Following the completion of their studio recording, which later became the album “Stand My Ground,” the Forrest McDonald Band embarks on a journey to Florence, Alabama, to headline a night at the prestigious W.C. Handy Blues Festival at the Shoals Theater. Amidst the excitement of the festival, Forrest is pleasantly surprised by a visit from his old friend and Muscle Shoals Swamper, Jimmy Johnson. They reminisce about the old recording days, sharing stories and laughter.

After their performance, guitarist Will McFarland comes to meet Forrest and listen to him play. As fate would have it, they finish their last note just as Will walks in. He shares how Jimmy had regaled him with stories for years about Forrest’s legendary entrance into the music scene, walking in and asking to play on a session—a session that led to Bob Seger’s biggest hit recording, “Old Time Rock and Roll.”

Forrest is delighted to meet Will and is hopeful that they can collaborate in the future, furthering their shared passion for music and continuing the legacy of the Muscle Shoals sound.


2017 – Just Plain Folks Music Awards Nominations.
After 18 months of screening the 17,400 Albums and 240K songs our judges have chosen nominees for both Albums and Songs in over 70 genres of music. Turnaround Blues has been nominated for best blues CD and River of Tears is up for best blues song.

2018 – In January Forrest and his band take to the stage to perform at the International Blues Challenge.  However, amidst the excitement of the competition, tragedy strikes as Forrest receives the devastating news of his brother Steve’s passing. In the midst of grief, Forrest channels his emotions into his music, finding solace and healing in the creative process. He pens a heartfelt song titled “Blue Morning Sun” as a tribute to his brother’s memory, capturing the essence of loss and longing through poignant lyrics and soulful melodies. They carry with them not only their love for the blues but also the bittersweet memories of Steve. Through their music, they honor his legacy and find strength in the power of expression, proving that even in the darkest of times, the blues has the ability to uplift and inspire.

After returning home Forrest begins writing songs for a new CD. Becky Wright takes a break on Vocals and Kaylon McDonald took on the task. As the band played on Forrest hired Mark Pucci Media to promote his next release.

2019 – After a year of meticulous preparation, The Forrest McDonald Band’s “Blues in a Bucket” album is unleashed to the world, hitting the shelves in February under the banner of World Talent Records. The release is met with widespread acclaim, earning rave reviews from critics and fans alike.

The album quickly gains traction on the blues charts, making its mark with an impressive six-month run. Its success is a testament to the band’s talent, dedication, and the timeless appeal of their blues-infused sound.

With “Blues in a Bucket,” The Forrest McDonald Band further solidifies their place in the blues pantheon, delivering soul-stirring performances and memorable tracks that resonate with audiences around the globe. As they continue to ride the wave of success, they are poised to reach even greater heights in the world of blues music.

Later that year, World Talent Records unveils “Forrest McDonald, Steve Jablecki – The Early Years,” a captivating compilation that offers a glimpse into the musical journey of Forrest McDonald and Steve Jablecki during their formative years in Hollywood.

The album features a treasure trove of unreleased Slingshot songs and demos, showcasing the raw talent and creative energy of these two remarkable musicians. With each track, listeners are transported back in time to the vibrant music scene of Hollywood, where Forrest and Steve honed their craft and forged their own unique sound.

“Forrest McDonald, Steve Jablecki – The Early Years” is a testament to the enduring legacy of these two musicians, capturing the spirit of their early collaborations and offering fans a rare glimpse into the genesis of their musical partnership. As listeners delve into the album, they are treated to a rich tapestry of sounds and stories that highlight the passion and creativity of Forrest and Steve during their Hollywood years.


Forrest H McDonald Chronology

2020 – The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared an end to the “Pandemic” on May 5, 2023. This declaration marked the conclusion of a challenging period during which all tours and many other activities were halted due to the global health crisis. The pandemic, which began in January 2020, had a profound impact on communities worldwide, disrupting daily life and causing widespread uncertainty. However, with the WHO’s declaration signaling the end of the pandemic, there was hope for a return to normalcy and the resumption of activities that had been put on hold for over three years.

2021 – Even during the challenging times of the pandemic, Forrest McDonald remained creatively active and engaged with his audience. He launched several YouTube video channels, including “The Adventures of the Old Time Rock and Roller,” “Music Moments,” and live performance streams. These channels provided a platform for Forrest to share his music, stories, and performances with his fans, offering a source of entertainment and connection during a period of social distancing and isolation. Through these digital platforms, Forrest continued to showcase his talent, passion for music, and commitment to engaging with his audience, ensuring that his music reached listeners even in the midst of unprecedented circumstances. You can find him on YouTube @ForrestMcD.

2022 – Despite the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic, Forrest and his band persevered, performing regionally whenever possible. With safety measures in place, they found opportunities to share their music with local audiences, bringing joy and entertainment to their communities during uncertain times. Additionally, Forrest remained active in creating videos, continuing to connect with his fans through digital platforms. By adapting to the circumstances and finding innovative ways to share their music, Forrest and his band demonstrated resilience and dedication to their craft, maintaining their passion for performing and reaching audiences even amidst adversity.

2023 – With the pandemic officially declared over in May, Forrest eagerly agrees to return to performing live once again. Becky Wright rejoins the band, alongside Kaylon and Forrest, with each taking turns on vocals, creating a dynamic and engaging stage presence. While Forrest had initially planned to dedicate the year to writing new songs, his return to the stage delays these plans as he prioritizes reconnecting with audiences through live performances. Despite the delay, Forrest remains committed to his craft, eager to share his music with audiences old and new as live music venues reopen and the world gradually returns to a sense of normalcy.

2024 – After wrapping up his last show in March, Forrest shifts his focus towards developing a solo acoustic act and channeling his creativity into writing songs for a new CD. Originally intending to dedicate the entirety of 2023 to these endeavors, Forrest found himself delayed by a wave of bookings that demand his attention and energy. Despite this delay, Forrest remains determined to pursue his musical ambitions, determined to carve out time amidst his busy schedule to nurture his solo act and craft new material for his upcoming album. With persistence and dedication, Forrest is poised to realize his musical vision and share it with the world in due time.

General Information:

Forrest has appeared or headlined many popular outdoor festivals such as The Atlanta Blues Festival, The Gasparilla Festival, Spring Fest, The River Place Arts Festival, Bay Fest, The Vallejo Jazz & Blues Fest, Sun Fest, The Carolina Blues & Seafood Festival, Bluesapalooza, The Montreaux Atlanta Festival, The Jacksonville Beach Annual Festival, The Melbourne Art Festival, The Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheater, the King Biscuit Blues Festival. and many others.

Forrest releases received airplay reaching a total of 15,824,400 listeners.

Forrest’s fan base is worldwide his CD’s are also played in Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guam, Greece, Italy, Latvia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, and Spain.

Forrest McDonald and the 3D Blues Band were voted the “Best Southern Blues Band” by Real Blues Magazine for 1999, 2000, and 2001.

Finger Lickin’ Blues was awarded the best Southern blues release for 2001 by Real Blues Magazine.

Forrest McDonald was voted Best Southern Blues Guitarist (Modern) by Real Blues Magazine July 2002.

Forrest also received the Just Plain Folks Music Award for Best Blues Album of 1999 for the Spirit of the Blues CD. The song “Work, Work,” appearing on What’s It Gonna Take? was voted Best Blues Song for 2000 by Just Plain Folks. Two of Forrest’s good friends Roy Gaines and James Montgomery appear on What’s It Gonna Take.

Forrest’s music videos have been seen on the Internet and cable shows nationwide.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology

Forrest is often in Memphis for the Blues Awards be sure to say hi when you see him. Check out the Gallery for some Post W.C. Handy Jam Pictures of Forrest playing with Ronnie Baker Brooks and Tab Benoit.

Forrest is a member of the Blues Foundation and the River City Blues Society.

Additional information on Forrest McDonald and his band can be found on

Thanks for visiting come back soon for updates!

Keep love in your heart <3<3<3<3 Keep the blues alive and Let the good times roll!

Forrest has had the honor of working with The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section,  backing such artists as Bob Seger,  and Bobby Womack . His guitar work can be heard on the enduring multi-platinum hit, “Old Time Rock and Roll” which was named Song of The Decade by CNN.

Some of the artist’s Forrest has performed with include, Roy Gaines,   James Montgomery,   Steady Rollin’ Bob MargolinBonnie Bramlett,   Johnny Barnes,  Kathi McDonald,  Eddie Van Halen,  Tony Carey,  (Rainbow, Planet P),  Steve Perry ,  (Journey),  Marie Franklin,  (Ray Charles),  Jimmy Reed Jr. (Ike and Tina) ,  Silver Platinum and Gold,  (Billy Preston & Ike and Tina),  Chick Willis,  E.G. Kight, and The Wadsworth Mansion, reformed as Slingshot in LA,  CA 1972 .

Forrest and Steve Perry’s collaboration It’s Over, can be heard on Forrest’s debut CD I Need You It is also on iTunes as Before the Journey.

Forrest and Steve Perry’s collaboration It’s Over, can be heard on Forrest’s debut CD “I Need You” is available here.

World Talent Records & Publishing

Forrest McDonald (804) 477-4488

Regrettably Tenor Saxophonist and dear friend Dave Parnell has passed away. Born in New Orleans, LA 10/27/41 Died Vallejo, CA 11/15/01. Dave will be missed by all of us. He is gone but not forgotten.

Dave Parnell can be heard on Forrest McDonald CD’s Finger Lickin Blues, What’s It Gonna Take?, and Spirit Of The Blues.

Forrest McDonald has been a musical force on guitar for the past sixty years, and remains a commanding force at the forefront of today’ blues scene. Forrest McDonald showcases his mastery of the blues, accompanied by one of the hottest bands ever assembled. They are just as comfortable playing a shuffle, or a raw Chicago-style blues, as they are playing a slow heart wrenching Texas blues or a hard driven, fun rockin’ down home boogie. Whatever the blues, Forrest McDonald, Raymond Victor, Andrew Black and the 3D Blues Band consistently “rock the house” as they reach for that ultimate performance – and achieve it time and time again!

Sometimes you can see Forrest performing with two of his longtime friends Raymond Victor and Andrew Black. When this tour of force is assembled Forrest calls it the MVB Band for McDonald, Victor and Black.

The MVB Band played the blues like it’s never been heard before opening for Leon Russell at the Masquerade in Atlanta on May 31. It inspired Leon to put on a great show and the crowd was very happy after this fine evening of fantastic music.

Review of the Roxy Show with Bo Diddley,
click here.  Forrest and Andrew Rocked the Roxy in Atlanta, GA Saturday night with an explosive set of the finest blues we have heard in some time. They roused the packed house of 1,200 fans to a fever pitch before Bo Diddley took the stage and played a fine set.

Forrest H McDonald Chronology