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(540) 745-2001 • info@countysales.com

DONNA HUGHES 'Gaining Wisdom'

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Ms. Hughes, a North Carolinian, has an enjoyable album here that benefits from strong yet sensitive production by Tony Rice, and fine supportive picking from a number of Bluegrass musicians including Rob Ickes on dobro, Mike Bub (bass), Sam Bush, Ron Stewart, Rickie Simpkins and Wyatt and Tony Rice. Ms. Hughes --who plays piano on 5 of the 14 songs --writes most of her material (a dozen of them are here), and sings in a pleasant voice that has a modest country flavor but lends itself pretty nicely to Bluegrass and even to pop (nice version of Cindy Lauper's TIME AFTER TIME). Her voice is strong enough to carry an album, but she gets a royal treatment with harmony vocals by such noted singers as Sonya Isaacs, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Alison Krauss, Carl Jackson., Rhonda Vincent and Alicia Nugent (wow). Nice job.