Donna Ulisse has released her fourth project, An Easy Climb, and what a project! The bluegrass/country artist and her producer/guitarist Keith Sewell have put together an amazing collection of great songs. Ulisse supplied the original material for the album by writing and singing about the many relationships that she and her family has been through.
One of my favorites on An Easy Climb is "Hand Me Down Home" that is about the 50 acres on a mountain side and how hard it has been through the generations but then how beautiful it is with the 100 yr old dahlias blooming, crawfish holes beside the creek, a little cabin, Daddy's pride and joy, "it't heaven but it's awful close, this old hand me down home". Another beautiful but sad song is "Where The Cold Wind Blows". According to Donna, it was written after learning her niece's young husband was being deployed to Afghanistan and thinking about all the soldiers who go and never return.
Ulisse,s words are so touching and tell great stories. She speaks of love, family, tradition, good times and bad times, faith and tradition all in 13 beautiful songs. Her rich voice put to simple instrumentation is a fabulous mix and this album is one of the best to be released in the 2011 year.
For more information, visit www.donnaulisse.com
"We have been listening to Donna Ulisse's "An Easy Climb" and wonder how many others have realized, as we have recently, that what we are witnessing here is the emergence of one of the most significant Bluegrass Artists of the decade. Take a look, have a listen, you will be floored. This is down-home majesty in the making."
Hampton native Donna Ulisse plans to tour Russia in July, where her band was the only American bluegrass act at the second annual Russian Bluegrass Festival at the Kremlin.
It is further proof that music is a universal language, and the music on her newest CD, "An Easy Climb" is something bluegrass enthusiasts around the world can thoroughly enjoy. It runs the grass gamut from wild 'n' crazy to mellow and meaningful, a showcase for Ulisse and the Poor Mountain Boys.
Her first claim to fame was local as, for several years, she made the rounds of Hampton Roads venues, playing straight-ahead country. Next stop - Nashville, where she records.
As usual, Ulisse wrote or co-wrote all of the songs, aided and abetted by her husband, Rick Stanley, cousin of one of the most famous names in bluegrass, Ralph Stanley. Almost all the songs have to do with family - husband, brother, nephew, grandparents and assorted other loving relatives.
You really get to know and love the lady, whose background is Italian, and "foreground" the Virginia mountains.
Tracks to download "Let It Rain," "Black Snake," "Where the Cold Wind Blows"