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Donna Ulisse | An Easy Climb

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United States - Tennessee

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Country: Bluegrass Folk: Appalachian Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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An Easy Climb

by Donna Ulisse

Singer songwriter driven "Bluegrass without Borders" continues to describe Ulisse's music most accurately with a good mix of traditional and contemporary tunes. Top notch bluegrass instrumentalists always surround her powerful vocals.
Genre: Country: Bluegrass
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Let It Rain
3:22 $0.99
2. Hand Me Down Home
3:22 $0.99
3. I've Got Nothin'
2:54 $0.99
4. Crawlin' Back
2:34 $0.99
5. An Easy Climb
3:14 $0.99
6. Black Snake
5:08 $0.99
7. Her Heart Is A Stone Hard Ground
3:27 $0.99
8. Lonesome Without You
2:22 $0.99
9. Where the Cold Wind Blows
3:36 $0.99
10. Flat Broke In Arkansas
3:17 $0.99
11. Banks of Roane River
3:38 $0.99
12. Faith Is A Journey
2:52 $0.99
13. Shady Glen
5:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"An Easy Climb" marks the fourth venture into the studio by Donna Ulisse and her producer guitarist Keith Sewell and they have once again proven that they are a team with chemistry knowing how to deliver a top notch bluegrass/acoustic project. With Ulisse supplying the remarkable original material that sets her apart from so many other artists in her genre and powerful yet sensitive vocals and Sewell leading a stellar group of musicians with the perfect arrangements for Ulisse's compositions, it makes a truly winning combination. Once again, Ulisse treats us to songs that are born of many of her family and personal relationships; and like a great painter would observe life around them and put it on canvas, she does the same by putting what she observes into the songs she writes and sings. With "Hand Me Down Home" she sings about the land in the Clinch Mountains of Virginia where her husband, Rick Stanley and his family hail from. The song references how the family homestead became more like a family heirloom after the passing of her father-in-law a few years ago. "Banks of Roane River" is a tender ballad about her own great-grandmother who lived a hard life working on a farm and raising fourteen children. "Where The Cold Wind Blows" 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. There are some romping fun tracks also like the opening song "Let It Rain" that is a real barn-barner it goes so fast! Once again Ulisse proves herself in the bluegrass genre and one can see why she is becoming a favorite on the festival circuit.

Musicians on An Easy Climb
Musicans: Acoustic Guitar/Keith Sewell
Banjo/Scott Vestal
Dobro/Rob Ickes
Upright Bass/Viktor Krauss
Mandolin and Fiddle/Andy Leftwich
Harmony Vocals: Keith Sewell, Rick Stanley, Greg Davis, Tony King, Jon Martin

"There have been many examples over the years of mainstream country music missing the boat on some of the best vocalists in the business. Some of those singers, in turn, have thankfully landed in the bluegrass genre. What is Pop Country's loss is bluegrass music's gain, including artists such as Rhonda Vincent, Sonya Isaacs, Pam Gadd, Patty Loveless and more. You can add another one to the list with Donna Ulisse. There have been bluegrass-fueled songs from each of Ulisse's recent albums, usually one song in particular, that simply soar with her sweet vocals singing the right melody and the best bluegrass musicians given room to rip. On her When I Look Back album it was the song 'I'm Calling Heaven Down.' On her Holy Waters CD it was 'This Crazy World.' On her brand album, titled An Easy Climb, it is rocking group effort called 'Let It Rain.' Her pipes can withstand the pressure and then sing a pretty song to boot, and that is a beautiful thing!" - Derek Halsey - Award-winning Bluegrass Journalist

"Donna Ulisse's An Easy Climb is another step forward in a career that has already brought much enjoyment to listeners. With strong, fresh songs, great players, and her clear, distinctive voice, it's an album that will bring still more to listeners already familiar with her work--and to new fans, too. Congratulations, Donna, on another job well done!" --Jon Weisberger/Journalist

"I “met” Donna Ulisse originally through her CD “When I Look Back” . I didn’t have much info on her or even know how to pronounce her last name. I did know I fell in love with her songs and voice, and that every time I played a track the phone in the studio rang with someone wanting to know “Who just sang that song?”. I’ve since watched Donna grow into a world class Bluegrass Artist and had the great honor of working with her and “The Poor Mountain Boys”. With “Let It Rain” Donna continues to show why she is one of the best songwriters ever to approach Bluegrass. Her sense of tradition, home, love, Faith, family, good and bad times are brought to life through words and melody that transport the listener to those places she sings about. It’s the very Heart and Soul of Bluegrass she breathes and with the production work of Keith Sewell the music of this project reaches that perfect blend of Contemporary and Traditional. From the High Lonesome sounds of “Lonesome Without You” to the stunning tribute to our Service men and women and their families “Where The Cold Wind Blows” or the solid groove of “Hand Me Down Home” to the jumping track “Let It Rain” this is going to be easy one of the top 10 releases of 2011. "
Dennis Jones/Host: “Goin’ Across The Mountain and The Gospel Truth” /WNCW-FM Spindale N.C.

“Donna was one of the first artists we played when we expanded our playlist to include Americana and Bluegrass music. Her traditional sound and rich melodies are the perfect compliment to our classic country mix of music. Donna Ulisse definitely belongs on The Legend, WSM!”-Joe Limardi/Operations Director/WSM 650-AM



to write a review

Dean Eaton

Donna Ullise Climbs to the Top
For some reason, Donna Ulisse has been one of bluegrass' best-kept secrets. She has truly devoted followers, fans and pickers alike, but the break-out into wider popularity has mysteriously eluded her. However, all that will change with her excellent new CD, "An Easy Climb".
Donna has recorded a series of albums that have gotten better and better, culminating in 2010's superb gospel collection "Holy Waters". With this CD, she is at a peak as a singer and songwriter. Producer Keith Sewell has surrounded Donna with a superb group of pickers and excellent ambience, and the result is Donna's best album yet, in all departments.
Start with the songwriting. Donna is the writer/co-writer on every tune here, and each one captures a different mood perfectly. Things get off to an rollicking (and funny) start with "Let It Rain", and the quality remains high throughout. Each song paints its own picture, a small story in verse and chorus.
"Hand Me Down Home" musically explores her roots; the title track "An Easy Climb" sweetly captures the peace (and hard work) of maintaining a marriage. "Shady Glen" is a unique and haunting addition to the growing catalogue of Civil War bluegrass ballads and may yet become a standard. If there is a bad cut on this record, I haven't heard it yet.
Donna's singing voice is one of the beauties in this music. Her vocals are warm, heartfelt, and as refreshing as a cold glass of iced tea on a hot day. What she brings to the 'grass table is all Donna. As a sample, just listen to her work on "Where The Cold Wind Blows" which may be the best female vocal performance so far this year (IBMA and SPBGMA - take note).
The musicians supporting her are among the best in bluegrass. Along with Sewell on guitar, you'll also hear Rob Ickes (dobro), Victor Krauss (bass), Andy Leftwich (mandolin & fiddle), and Scott Vestal (banjo). Donna's regular band, The Poor Mountain Boys, supply back-up vocals. In acoustic circles, it doesn't get much better than this. The sound is intimate and it's as if they're all sitting around your living room, performing just for you.
If you are a longtime Donna Ulisse fan - and there are more than a few of us! - then this album is essential. If you've never heard her, I can't think of a better place to start. (And by all means, you should see her in live performance!) It is her finest album to date, and all she's going do is get better. I love Donna Ulisse's music and her heart, and you will too.


An Easy Listen
The music on this album is exceptional - the production, song selection, vocal - instrument blends are perfect. It is obvious there has been a great deal of effort invested into all aspects of this skillfully crafted music. The title track is a beautiful acoustic ballad that leads the listener through a journey of a lifelong love. The music surpasses what I expected from a Bluegrass album and I often find myself enjoying a new favorite song every time I play it. I highly recommend this album and I can not wait to discover future projects from this incredibly gifted songwriter.

Craig Huegel

An Easy Recommendation
This new CD by Donna Ulisse was my introduction to her music and I am completely enthralled. An Easy Climb is a fun work of music by a seriously good musician. Women in bluegrass often seem to have a more difficult time breaking through than the men and that may be why she is not a household name in the genre. If not that, why? Donna is blessed with an exceptional voice and superb musicianship, and she can write lyrics... This is a bluegrass collection expansive enough to burst outside the box and appeal to everyone who loves good Americana music. Check this CD out and I bet you will become a convert like me.