Album Review: Donna Ulisse – Holy Waters

Ken Morton, Jr. | May 11th, 2010

donna-ulisse-holy-watersSigned to Atlantic Records in the early 90s, Donna Ulisse first hit the country music scene as a traditional country artist. It was her reinvention as a bluegrass artist over the last few years that has brought her home to her roots, however, with her 2009 album Walk This Mountain Down winning heaps of critical praise. Holy Waters is a continuation of the traditional bluegrass sound employed on Walk This Mountain Down, the primary difference being that with this installment Ulisse focuses almost entirely on gospel-themed songs.

While the theme here is overtly Christian, Ulisse’s songs use nature–and the beauty that surrounds her home–as an analogy layered over the top of many of the tracks, with the title cut serving a perfect example: The beauty of the river described in “Holy Waters” is not only the “tranquil peaceful blessed water” that flows near her personal sanctuary, but the spirit and redemption that lies within her. It’s a celebration of her faith, to be sure, but also of the land that her God created.

The result is an album that is extremely passionate and obviously honest. It’s a tribute to her beliefs and steeped in Appalachian roots in heart and reference.

4 Stars

  1. PaulaW
    May 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Donna linked back to The 9513 on both of her facebook pages today.

    Her personal page:

    http://www.facebook.com/donna.ulisse?ref=ts

    Her ‘artist’ page:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/DONNA-ULISSE-singersongwriter/395670375379

  2. Rick
    May 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Its nice to see Donna’s latest album reviewed here so I don’t have to venture over to the Bluegrass Blog where Jow W. and his friends hang out! (jk…lol)

    Its a shame “Trouble At The Door” never caught on but its great to see Donna make the bluegrass comeback she has recently. Go Donna!

    Hey, where’s PaulaW to toss in a good word for her personal friend today? Hmm…

  3. Rick
    May 11, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Hey, how did Paula’s post leapfrog mine! I know her time stamp is earlier, but when I posted my reply it was the only one here at the time! Uh oh, Paula is a time traveler! (lol)

Tagged In This Article

Current Discussion

  • mrsandy: Also worth noting: Priscilla Mitchell was Jerry Reed's widow.
  • Leeann Ward: Wow! My heart goes out to Allison Moorer. She's had so many terrible things happen in her life. It's too …
  • Leeann Ward: I must have this audio book!
  • Juli Thanki: Ha! Same thing happened at Sturgill Simpson's show I went to last month, only he was singing "I Never Go …
  • Dave D.: On the topic of Lee Ann and dark songs, the funniest moment at this year's Americana Fest was during her …
  • Jonathan Pappalardo: I love Lori McKenna. Coming from Massachusetts, she's our local girl. I've been fortunate to see her in concert a …
  • bll: I suss her re-recording her hits for 'Gwendolen records' means she can stop MCA from releasing her hits against her.
  • Greg Judy: Cooler festivals and marching bands at the football games!
  • kevin ilinger: Fall colors bluegrass and apple cider
  • luckyoldsun: If I was a "long-time fan" of Trisha, I'd probably spring for the CD.

Recently Reviewed Albums

  • tom t hall storytellers
  • paulthorntooblessed
  • duhksbeyondtheblue
  • kelleymickwee
  • sandrarhodes
  • candi staton
  • sturgillsimpsonmetamodern
  • raypricebeautyis