Posts Tagged ‘Viktor Krauss’

Hadley Music Group releases Showin’ My Roots by Donna Ulisse!

It might seem surprising for a performer who has been nominated as IBMA’s top songwriter for two successive years to be releasing a “covers” album, but ― in a sense ― that’s what Donna Ulisse has done with her latest effort.

Yet, while Showin’ My Roots puts Ulisse’s interpretive skills on fine display, it stands as far more than a stylistic exercise or even a tribute. Although her deft touch as a lyricist and composer is present on only two of these 13 tracks, the rest are songs that form the bedrock of her musical heritage: She has lived and breathed them for so long, she might as well have written them.
And she breathes new life into them with her magnificent voice, as warm and supple as ever, backed by some of the finest musicians in bluegrass music. Ulisse co-produced Showin’ My Roots with acoustic guitar virtuoso Bryan Sutton, and the supporting cast includes Scott Vestal on banjo, Rob Ickes on Dobro, Andy Leftwich on mandolin and fiddle, and Viktor Krauss and Byron House on upright bass. Sam Bush duets on the traditional work song “Take This Hammer,” and harmony vocalists include John Cowan, Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, Fayssoux McLean, Larry Stephenson, Frank Solivan, Jerry Salley and Rick Stanley, Ulisse’s husband and band mate.

This is a diverse collection of songs, in tempo and sentiment. The Stanley Brothers (cousins of Ulisse’s husband) are represented in songs penned by Carter (the sprightly “How Mountain Girls Can Love”) and Ralph (the resigned “If That’s The Way You Feel”). Ulisse honors two heroes with her spin on Merle Haggard’s version of Dolly Parton’s “In The Good Old Days When Times Were Bad.” “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad,” made famous by Tammy Wynette, shows her feisty side, as does Loretta Lynn’s “Fist City.” She serves up a gorgeously wistful take on Hank Locklin’s “Send Me The Pillow You Dream On,” and an earnestly prayerful “Wait A Little Longer Please Jesus.”

Two songs that Ulisse wrote with her husband bookend this album. Both beautifully illustrate the love that went into this project. The album-opening title track is an ode to those whose “singin’ and writin’ lit a fire in me”: Haggard, Parton, Lynn, Carter Stanley. And  “I’ve Always Had a Song I Can Lean On,” closes the album with a message that illustrates the importance music has always played in Ulisse’s life.

From beginning to end, Showin’ My Roots is as an extended love song to her influences, and one that lovers of bluegrass and traditional country music are sure to enjoy again and again. These timeless performances may well light a fire in generations to come.

Street Date: October 15 2013

Ulisse’s “An Easy Climb” ships to radio

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.

Donna Ulisse back in studio

Producer Keith Sewell and Donna Ulisse

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.