Broken Poets
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Broken Poets

Band Alternative Rock


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Broken Poets @ The Monte Vista

Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

Broken Poets @ Spirit Room

Jerome, Arizona, USA

Jerome, Arizona, USA

Broken Poets @ On The Rox / Located above The Roxy Theatre

Hollywood, California, USA

Hollywood, California, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



“Broken Poets, Optimism in E minor, is one of the best records I’ve heard this year.” - Ron Raymond, Music Director

"Soulful poetry turned into song, rock & roll and introspection all in one." - Jessie Nelson

"Tim McDonald of Broken Poets sounds like Michael Stipe meets, Bob Dylan." - Evan James

"McDonald's songs connect on several levels - he's got a delivery that makes him sound like every man, and a prose style that makes him sound like every man finally speaking up about his lot in life." - Serene Dominic

“When I started this disc spinning, I couldn't help but stop and stare at the CD player. Tim McDonald, vocalist for Broken Poets, was demanding and receiving my undivided attention. McDonald, who also handles the guitar work, has a voice that is light-years ahead of the pack, is a superlative songwriter and has a thoroughly professional band. It's almost a disservice to compare them to anyone (R.E.M. with balls?) and they are not "one -hit wonders;" Optimism, holds up from start to Finish. You know how critics like to say, "Expect big things to come for these guys?" Well, you've already got it." - Kevin Wierzbicki


2000 -- Looking for Aldous Huxley -- Self-released debut. The song "Welcome to My Life" was selected for a Clear Channel compilation CD that also featured Everclear, Third Eye Blind, and Our Lady Peace.

2002 -- Acoustic Electric -- Self-released EP. Featuring studio heavyweight Jonathan Mover (drums). Songs were selected for Neumann Microphone promotional demo and ASCAP's NYC Songwriter Showcase.

2004 -- Reincarnation -- Released by Haden's Ferry Records and distributed nationally via City Hall distribution. Album garnered solid airplay and strong critical acclaim.

2006 -- Optimism in E Minor -- Self-released on the Wordvendor record label. Completed an eight-week national college radio campaign through The Planetary Group. Album chart peaked at #13 Most Stations Added (174 adds), as well as charted in seven markets, with medium to heavy rotation at (140) stations.



"Spinning in my head, my thoughts like planets, some alive and some are dead, and some the light ain't reached me yet - and digging in my heart my bloods like dirt, some is Red, some is hard, and some has turned to mud for you."

Broken Poets songwriter, singer and guitarist Tim McDonald has always had an innate sensibility for creating strong melodies and verses. But it's his gift for poetically expressing an almost transcendent philosophical insight that sets his songwriting apart from others. As one reviewer put it, his music is "Soulful poetry turned into song, rock & roll, and introspection all in one." McDonald is not just writing from the heart, but is consistently tapping into some mysterious source of inspiration.

"For me, songwriting is as much about location as it is about my personal experience," McDonald says. "I'm always looking for some interesting new place to write and rehearse my songs. I've ended up under freeway overpasses, in parking garages, and remote areas of the desert -- anywhere I might find some good acoustics or a unique atmosphere to tap into." McDonald even tells the story of how he once channeled the song "Human Wheel" while walking past a local cemetery.

In 2000 McDonald was touring solo and needed someone to accompany him for a performance at The Gaslight (Bob Dylan's old haunt in NYC). A referral from a friend led him to classically trained Russian pianist and vocalist Svetlana Antropova. This meeting inspired the creation of Broken Poets. Off the success of their duo performance, McDonald sought out studio bassist Michael James and session drummer Russ Phaneuf to complete the band's lineup. Together they have created an alternative rock band sound that is modern and relevant, yet still acknowledges the importance of the standards set by great songwriting bands of that past. It's an approach that requires every song on the record to be good, and that every record should actually mean something. McDonald adds, "I grew up with my older brother and sister force feeding me all the great singer-songwriters from the 60s & 70s. I think the standards for lyric writing were much higher in those days, and even though I didn't really "get it" back then, I guess it set the bar high for the songwriter and storyteller I would become."

That high standard shines through on the band's third full-length album -- Optimism in E Minor -- and is showcased in the band's live performances at venues across the country. Listeners agree that whether the band is performing live or in the studio, Broken Poets offers an exceptional treat for alternative rock fans blending songwriting sophistication and engaging storytelling with poetic expression, musicianship and musical meaning.