The Pat O'Donnell Group has performed with some of the biggest names in Contemporary Jazz Including:
Tower of Power
Pat O'Donnell has also been active on the NY Broadway theatre scene as a percussionist and has performed in over 20 musicals including Dreamgirls, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Cats.
Mr. O'Donnell has produced music for film and television including music for animated features as well as Music for the NY Yankees.
B.A. Education-New Jersey City University
M.A. Performance-Manhattan School of Music
Mr. O'Donnell has studied drums and percussion with the following notable percussionists:
Nick Cerrato, Justin DiCioccio, Freddy Waits, Jim Preiss, Chet Doboe and Russ Moy
Mr. O'Donnell is an active artist/clinician on drums and percussion for Yamaha Musical Instrument Corporation of America.
O'Donnell and his 28-year-old son, Tim, operate Resurrection Custom Guitar Company out of a Jensen Beach shop front. Here they construct no more than 40 instruments per year, each conceived as an individual and put together, by hand, according to the specifications of the customer.
Pat O'Donnell says that having his son as a business partner is a pleasure. "For a long time, I used to tutor him in guitar repair, since he was a little kid 6, 7 years old," he says.
Tim O'Donnell plays guitar and bass in two local bands. He is also an accomplished drummer.
Married for 30 years, Pat O'Donnell and his wife Carla recognized their son's gifts early on. "It was evident that he had extraordinary musical talent," Pat O'Donnell says. "Not like me - I'm a guy who plays guitar, he's a guitar player. I never really had the creative talent or the desire."
Resurrection only builds electric guitars - acoustic instruments take a lot of extra finessing, Tim O'Donnell explains, and the construction process is decidedly more complicated. Besides, father and son are the sole employees, and they've got their hands full filling orders for electric instruments.
There are numerous factors in deciding how to begin construction. "Now they have luthiery schools, and you can learn in a year what it took me 10 years to learn on my own, as far as basics," Pat O'Donnell says. "You develop after a while knowledge of which woods to use to get certain tones, scale lengths and different things that affect the overall sound and playability of a guitar.
Father and son will ask the customer to describe, as best he can, the sort of tone he wants from his instrument. This helps them to decide which wood to use for the guitar. "You look at a piece of wood and say `This is suitable for the body but I'm not going to use this for the neck, I'm going to use this...' " Pat O'Donnell explains. "Even though it's the same species, the same age, out of the same lot, you'll turn the wood the other way. Expose the grain a different way."
Tim O'Donnell agrees: "It's really hard to have one guitar that does everything well," he says. "And you let everybody know that. But the place that a custom builder really shines is when somebody wants something in particular. And for us, it actually makes the job a lot easier."
Renowned blues musician Keb' Mo' commissioned an O'Donnell guitar a couple years ago. "I wanted a big neck on the guitar," he says. "And that's what they made. Probably nobody else likes a guitar that's got a big ol' baseball bat neck." Mo' - real name Kevin Moore - chose a dense Florida-grown hardwood called Madiera. "I've used the guitar on some recordings, and on the road as a main electric guitar," he says. "I don't have to do a lot of switching around, because it's warm enough to be bluesy, it's funky enough to be funky, and it has tone that's really friendly to a lot of different kinds of music. That's what I like about it."
Resurrection uses a lot of recycled wood - the shop favorite, old-growth cypress, comes from vintage furniture and turn-of-the-century homes. "Cypress," says Pat O'Donnell "is just incredible stuff for an electric guitar." They also buy logs from exotic wood dealers. The mass-market guitar business, he adds, just isn't what it used to be - musicians looking for the perfect tone or feel are buying old instruments, those made before electric guitars were a cookie-cutter industry. They used better wood then, and the more it ages, the better the guitar plays. "There are a lot of really good old guitars out there, no doubt about that," Tim O'Donnell says. "But you're gonna have to pay a good amount of money for them."
There's a human factor to building a guitar. When we're building a guitar, we can see something that's going to be a problem, and we can take care of it. Somebody that's on a quota - how many units they put out per day - they don't really care about that. They're just going to blow this stuff out. So the product becomes very inconsistent."
Keb' Mo' has no problem spreading the good word about Resurrection Custom Guitar Company- rather, he lets the guitar do the talking. "With anything, I think the product's got to speak for itself," he explains. "And the product they put out definitely speaks. People see it and they go, `Give me that guy's number. I want him to make me a guitar.' "