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MP3 Donna Hughes - Same Old Me
A modern bluegrass album, containing all original songs written by Donna Hughes, performed by the finest musicians in bluegrass, like Adam Steffey, 2003 IBMA Mandolin Player of the year, and a ten-year veteran of Alison Krauss & Union Station.
21 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Bluegrass, FOLK: Modern Folk
New release entitled "Same Old Me," by singer/songwriter Donna Hughes has already received rave reviews by top professionals in the Music Industry. The CD contains 21 original songs (all written by Donna), and performed by musicians like the 2003 IBMA Mandolin Player of the year, Adam Steffey, who received fame by playing with Alison Krauss & Union Station for ten years, appearing on programs like "The David Letterman Show," "The Jay Leno Show," and the "CMA Awards Show on CMT" with the Dixie Chicks. Also on the album are other award-winning musicians, like phenomenal banjo player, Scott Vestal, acoustic guitarists, Clay Jones & Kevin Richardson, and many more big names in the industry. One of the tracks has already been chosen for "DJ''s Hot Picks," to be published in Bluegrass NOW magazine in December. The album will be reviewed in all the top Acoustic Music Publications in the coming months. Just released, click here to read some reviews already posted:
"That is one talented young lady." ~Tony Rice~
"Donna Hughes is a gifted singer/songwriter of the first order. A voice and songs such as hers are a rare find. The beauty of her latest project, Same Old Me, is that each song is just as good as the next, all worthy of airplay. I''ll eventually end-up playing each and every track on my show, no doubt about it. Fact is, Im beginning to wonder if this puppy will ever come out of my CD player again!"
-- Cary Allen Fields, Staff Writer, Bluegrass NOW Magazine
Fields Of Bluegrass Radio Hour
WICR 88.7 FM Indianapolis
~Talk about IMPRESSIVE! This one FINE project that I''m sure you are very proud of! The simple fact that you have 21 original tunes is quite an accomplishment all in itself. I see SOOOOOOOOOO many projects come across the desk that are vocally and instrumentally excellent, but lack originality. This is where you are like a shining nova. It is just icing on the cake that you have chosen such high caliber players to bring your words to life. I am going to review the project in the October Acoustica, and I am certain
that you will be well pleased. It''s very easy to write about an artist and their music when it''s as excellent as this project is.
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~To be printed in the Jan.-Feb. (2004) issue of the "National Traditional Country Music Assoc. Publication."
Donna wrote all the songs on this terrific acoustic music CD. Part bluegrass, part traditional country, part pop-country, this is one fine piece of work. It''s sort of one long story with all the feelings, the hurt, the promise, the memories, the love, the dreams, the breaking heart, and the hurting lonesome feelings, and certainly the return of love. Donna Hughes is on the threshold of fame. Rhonda Vincent will be soon looking for some fine bluegrass songs written for and by a female. Donna has all her songs ready for her. Donna, you certainly would be a welcome act at our annual festival. Mark you calendar for Aug. 30-Sep. 5, 2004, Missouri Valley, Iowa. Come share your songs, your music you! I know the people that come and they would love you! So will everyone that hears this CD. ....................I can see lots of incredibly good things happening for you Donna Hughes.
Bob Everhart, IA
National Traditional Country Music
~I once interviewed many of the best known bluegrass writers in the 1980s and concluded that almost anyone can write songs, but very few can write hit songs. You must have a certain degree of creativity, inspiration and
motivation within yourself to be successful. Donna Hughes, from central North Carolina, gives us a crisp mix of 21 originals on this 68-minute release. Some of her songs have the potential to become contemporary bluegrass or folk genre hits. Although classically trained on piano, Hughes
has a deep fondness for bluegrass music and has performed with regional bands, Wildwood and Different Directions. Hughes capitalizes on her
bluegrass foundation to adorn her presentation with modern perception and awareness. This project''s breezy singing, with first-rate accompaniment, will reinforce her position as an enchanting artist with a great deal of charm.
Hughes writes and sings her introspective songs with a relaxed, refreshing, contemporary flair in a style not dissimilar to that of Alison Krauss, Jeanette Williams, Valerie Smith, Dale Ann Bradley and Nickel Creek.
Familiar themes of relationships, rambling around, perils of drink, heading home, and motherly love are covered. Sometimes her melodies and messages seem a tad alike and trite, especially with her many references to hearts
and dreams. The album''s opener "Where Are You Darlin''?" is a tale of anguish in which she sings, "Along with all my dreams/I can''t go on, I can''t go back." "Almost Home" states "I''ll be waiting for the day and I''ll be dreaming of your face." Happiness and love only appearing in dreams is the subject of "A Dream." Her song, "Memories and Dreams," is a tribute to the favorite things she''s taken away from home. "With You" speaks of her desire to dream with her lover, when the moon is high. Even her song, "Lost," about a man who''s down on his luck makes references to his possibly having dreams to chase, but at the same time having no one to stand behind them. There are even more references to the heart in Hughes'' songs. Of the 21 offerings on this project, my choice for standout tracks include the uptempo "Little Bluebird," 6-minute jammer "Same Old Me" about her "crazy, young, wild and
free" side, expressive "With You," and balladic "Chrystal''s Song." A nice showcase for her piano playing is "Selfish Heart," arranged sparsely without any banjo or mandolin.
Hughes trumps other singer/songwriter projects by featuring some excellent guest musicians: Adam Steffey, Alan Perdue, Scott Vestal, Clay Jones, Ashby Frank, Greg Luck, Zak McLamb, Kevin Richardson and Joey Cox. "Memories and Dreams" and "I Can''t Win For Losin''" are sung solo, and the other nineteen songs offer duo or trio choruses with nicely-blended harmonies by Gena Britt, Greg Luck and Kevin Richardson. Many of the accompanists are bluegrass veterans with years of award-winning experience under their belts.
A couple others (like Ashby Frank, a two-time winner in the mandolin contest at Galax, Va., and Joey Cox, current banjo-player with "Blue Ridge") are young friends who are building strong reputations for themselves as
professional musicians. All of the pickers contribute strongly to the arrangements, and except for a few instances (e.g. "Where Are You Darlin''?" with a little more banjo and mandolin in the mix than I preferred) keep
their chops, licks and fills subordinate to Donna''s wistful vocals. I evaluated a preview copy of this all-original album, and I hope that final project, when released, includes the lyrics within the CD''s jacket. Songwriting is hard work, and only with a good deal of practice will one
become comfortable doing it. As a craft, it can be learned. As a form of communication, a person must master the styles, ways and methods to say exactly what is felt within one''s soul. With over 100 self-penned songs, the
prolific Donna Hughes clearly has a lot of talent and aptitude in the songwriting arena. Certainly, some songs seem to work better than others, and everyone will have their favorites on a fairly lengthy project such as
"Same Old Me." I encourage you to pick up this CD to discover which melodies and lyrics are most meaningful and expressive to you. Get a copy to enjoy some of the new distinctive bluegrass sounds from North Carolina and to share Donna Hughes'' reflections, thoughts, and sentiments in song. (Joe Ross)
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