With movie-like drama and clarity, Donna Ulisse re-tells the story of Christ’s conception and birth in her powerful new album, All The Way To Bethlehem. But this is not a conventional Christmas CD. Rather it occupies the same artistic territory as such Bible-based narratives as Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
All The Way To Bethlehem will be released October 23rd.
Inspired by the myth about the origin of the inn near which Christ was born, Ulisse put herself in the place of the harried innkeeper who had to turn Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary away, even as he sympathized with their plight. This yielded the album’s keystone song “You Cannot Stay Here”. From there, Ulisse and a corps of gifted co-writers, conjured up the words and feelings of the other figures in this timeless saga–the angel that delivers the unsettling news to Mary; the puzzled but compliant Joseph; Mary’s much older cousin, Elisabeth, who also conceives miraculously; even the Star of Bethlehem, beaming with pride and self-importance as it heralds this earth-changing event. But above all, there is Mary, the radiant new mother, who whispers to her baby before surrendering him to his divine destiny, “Let the world wait
for a little while.”
Produced by Keith Sewell, the much-praised sideman for the Dixie Chicks, Lyle Lovett and Ricky Skaggs, the 11 songs on the album are performed principally to acoustic instruments. In addition to Sewell, the musicians include Andy Leftwich, of Skaggs, Kentucky Thunder band; Viktor Krauss, who, like Sewell, has long been a mainstay in Lovett’s band; Rob Ickes, the multiple award-winning dobroist and member of the Grammy-nominated bluegrass group, Blue Highway; Byron House, whose many musical achievements include membership in Robert Plant’s Band Of Joy; John Mock, who counts James Taylor, Kathy Mattea and the National Orchestra of Ireland among his array of live and recorded credits; and vocalists Wendy Buckner Sewell, Ana Sewell and Rick Stanley.
All The Way To Bethlehem has a companion songbook. It will also be available in choral arrangements next year. Ulisse, a recent nominee for the IBMA’s Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year award, will perform the full album at upcoming Christmas shows with her band, The Poor Mountain Boys.
Hadley Music Recording artist Donna Ulisse and producer Keith Sewell have wrapped up work on her first Christmas album set for release in the fall of 2012. The album title will be “All The Way to Bethlehem” and is a self-written concept album chronicling the journey to Bethlehem for the birth of Christ.
Ulisse spent the past several months researching the story of the Nativity and all the characters and writing the songs with several co-writers as well as two that she wrote alone. This will be the fifth CD Sewell has produced for Ulisse.
Once again Donna Ulisse was the guest of Kyle Cantrell, host of Track by Track on SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction Channel 61 in early October. The show is an hour long interview that goes through the artist’s new release “track by track” as Kyle interviews them about the stories behind the songs, the recording of the album and other various items of interest in their careers.
Naturally on this taping they were discussing Donna’s newest release, An Easy Climb. The show will air four times per the schedule listed below.
Wednesday, November 30 @ 11 AM Eastern
Thursday, December 1@ 9 PM Eastern
Saturday, December 3 @ 8 AM Eastern
Sunday, December 4 @ 11 AM Eastern
Bluegrass artists Nu-Blu and The Bankesters have recently recorded songs co-written by Donna Ulisse from the Uncle Hadley Music catalog. Nu-Blu recorded “Guitar Case” and “That’s How I’m Supposed To Be” co-written with Marc Rossi and The Bankesters recorded “Give Me This Day” co-written with Kerry Chater and Lynn Gillespie Chater. All three cuts have been receiving airplay on bluegrass and folk radio.
As Ulisse has more success writing and recording her own songs, she is receiving more requests from other acts for songs out of her catalog. She also continues to co-write with a variety of other singer-songwriters as well as alone.
Donna Ulisse’s fourth bluegrass CD An Easy Climb has shipped to radio. It is another collection of thirteen songs written or co-written by Ulisse and is also her fourth collaboration with producer Keith Sewell at the helm in the studio. Other co-writers on the project are Marc Rossi, Rick Stanley, Kerry Chater, Lynn Gillespie Chater and Irish singer songwriter Ben Glover. The CD is shipping to bluegrass radio, folk radio, Euro-Americana DJs overseas as well as Americana stations. The CD is also available on Airplay Direct for download by radio stations worldwide.
Musicians on the CD are Rob Ickes on dobro, Viktor Krauss on upright bass, Scott Vestal on banjo, Keith Sewell on acoustic guitar and Andy Leftwich on fiddle and mandolin.
Hadley artist Donna Ulisse is back in the recording studio working on her fourth release for the label. Once again she is collaborating with producer/guitarist Keith Sewell who has been at the helm of her prior releases on Hadley Music Group Records.
Musicians on the project are some of the cream of the crop in the bluegrass genre with Sewell on guitar, Andy Leftwich on mandolin and fiddle, Viktor Krauss on upright bass, Rob Ickes on dobro and Scott Vestal on banjo. The album will be a new collection of original tunes written or co-written by Donna. Other co-writers on the material are Rick Stanley, Marc Rossi, Kerry Chater, Lynn Gillespie Chater and Ben Glover.
The CD is set for an early June 2011 release.
December 1, 2010 found Donna Ulisse and her band The Poor Mountain Boys back on the stage of the Loveless Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee for the acclaimed show Music City Roots. The show is broadcast live on WRLT 100.1 FM in the Nashville area and can also be watched online worldwide via a live stream of the evening’s entertainment.
Music City Roots, Live From The Loveless Cafe is a weekly, two-hour radio show that revives the historic legacy of live musical radio production in Nashville. Broadcast on Wednesday nights from 7pm to 9pm, CST, Music City Roots, Live From The Loveless Cafe showcases Nashville’s astonishing music scene, from country and Americana to more progressive interpreters
of tradition — a “roots and branches” format that brings together fans of different tastes and generations. Presented live from the stage of the Loveless Barn, this show will showcase purveyors of authenticity across many genres. The host of the show is Jim Lauderdale and Keith Bilbrey is the announcer.
Also appearing on the show with Donna were bluegrass legends JD. Crowe and The New South, Jesse McReynolds as well as Folk Soul Revival.
You can watch the archive of the live stream by clicking here and choosing the Dec.2010 box and then finally choosing Dec. 1. Donna’s portion of the show begins at approximately 1:08.
Congratulations to Donna Ulisse for the wonderful feature piece written about her in the October issue of Bluegrass Unlimited. Ulisse was attending the annual International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass Conference when she learned about the story being published and is seen here in the Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine’s booth with the writer of the article, Ted Lehmann sharing a celebratory moment.