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Donna Lynn Caskey

Donna Lynn Caskey Photography by Jay Heninger Donna Lynn Caskey

Donna Lynn Caskey takes a pure, timeless sound to heartfelt, comforting and sometimes edgy new places. Her original songs honor the venerated five-string banjo while stretching its boundaries.

Stretching boundaries comes naturally to Donna Lynn, who received a scholarship for an intensive “Clawhammer Banjo by Ear” class at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC shortly before leaving her hometown on the coast of Virginia for California in 2001. She began writing songs three months later.

With a degree in Visual Art, her songs are correspondingly quite painterly. “Slot Machine” (previously recorded by Julie Christensen) elicits a vivid picture of the gamble of love. A sassy “Flower Print Dress” (featured in the 2014 Banjo Babes Calendar & Album) symbolizes ill-advised romance amid a lush, southern June. “The Good News” pans for gold in the mud of life and, like many of Caskey's songs, inspires listeners to sing along.

Music is, as she sings, “good for what ails,” and her sincere, engaging performances are sought after at art galleries, poetry gatherings, churches, spiritual centers, as well as standard singer-songwriter venues. She has even been commissioned for performance art pieces! Donna Lynn's classic banjo sound takes new ground.