Donna Ulisse (pronounced “you-liss-ee”) was born in Hampton Virginia and surrounded by a musical family, Donna made her first appearance singing at the tender age of three when she wandered onto the stage with a bluegrass band and broke out into “Take This Hammer”. From that moment until now, there has never been any doubt that she would be creating music. She worked in a local western swing band where she met and married Rick Stanley, being fully indoctrinated into a bluegrass family when Rick’s cousin Ralph Stanley, along with the Clinch Mountain Boys performed at their wedding reception.
In the 1980′s Donna moved to Nashville and stayed busy singing demos for publishers and writers. She has had a busy life as a respected vocalist behind the scenes with her first session as a young background singer being for a Jerry Reed album and finding out at the last minute that Reed preferred to sing around the mic with the singers. It was a wonderfully unnerving Experience for the young Ulisse.When renowned country songwriter Glenn Sutton was inducted into the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, it was Ulisse who was called upon to sing some of his hits recorded by Tammy Wynette and Lynn Anderson for the who’s who of the music industry crowd and she brought the house down. Fans still remember her as an artist on Atlantic Records where she was signed and released the album “Trouble At The Door” in 1991. The album had three singles and two videos. During this time she appeared on the network TV show “Hot Country Nights”, was a guest on “Hee Haw”, “Nashville Now” and “Crook and Chase”.
Bluegrass fans are getting to know Ulisse for her songwriter-driven brand of bluegrass, often called “bluegrass without borders”, after enthusiastically receiving her 2007 release “When I Look Back” as well as her 2009 release “Walk This Mountain Down, both produced by guitarist Keith Sewell and both self-penned collections of songs. “Walk This Mountain Down” was a Top 30 Americana chart album. The title track stayed in the Bluegrass Unlimited chart for six months while the week ending June 1, 2009 found Donna Ulisse as the #1 artist on Sirius XM’s Bluegrass Channels 65/14 with “I Lied” as the #1 song five times in 2009. To top it all off, “I’m Calling Heaven Down” went on to win Bluegrass Song of the Year in the 2009 Just Plain Folks Awards. April 2010 saw the release of “Holy Waters” which was her third collaborative effort in the studio with Keith Sewell as producer and is a bluegrass/collection of thirteen songs; twelve of which she wrote or co-wrote. She refers to it as her own “soul journey”.
In June of 2011 Hadley Music Group released a fourth CD on Ulisse; another collection of original tunes by this gifted singer songwriter titled “An Easy Climb”. Then in November of 2011, the label released two new original Christmas singles to radio written by Ulisse which are also available digitally online to fans.
Ulisse’s show with her band The Poor Mountain Boys offers the audience a unique insight into the stories behind many of the songs she has written as well as some great picking in a show of new bluegrass songs laced with standards.
To learn more about Donna Ulisse please visit her website
To buy Donna Ulisse’s music please visit her online store below: