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

  • Janice Brooks: Hopes somebody gets those memos about drinking songs. Meanwhile I'm feeling a lot of slots with Bluegrass.
  • Leeann: Great news about Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White's duet album! Absolutely appalling about the Keith Urban concert!! Both the rape and …
  • bob: I found the Billboard article about country music radio needing an alcohol intervention interesting. Songwriter Adam Wright is quoted as …
  • Matt: Definitely agree with C.M. about Maddie & Tae. Certainly not the tidal wave of change some claimed it is or …
  • Dave D.: Good stuff, as always. My copy of Producing Country arrived yesterday, and it looks to be as good as …
  • Scooter: I agree Holly Williams can do no wrong in my eyes. Such a good album and great to see live …
  • Carrie Mclaughlin: Your my Hero Mr. Jim Lauderdale!!! Come to Alaska Please? hehehehe
  • Jeremy Dylan: You should check it out Dave D. It's from the first (and strongest) season.
  • Leeann: Wow! I love that Holly William's cover of "No Surrender"! She's gotten to be so good.
  • luckyoldsun: I made it through a minute of that "Girl In a Country Song Video." Man, that sucks.

Recently Reviewed Albums

  • kelleymickwee
  • sandrarhodes
  • candi staton
  • sturgillsimpsonmetamodern
  • raypricebeautyis
  • rodneycrowelltarpapersky
  • rhondavincentonlyme
  • mandybgibson