Monday, June 6, 2016

CD: DONNA CUNNINGHAM - My Kind Of Country

DONNA CUNNINGHAM
My Kind Of Country
Gone For Good - Better Days To Cry - Arms Of A Stranger - Don't Tell Me That You're Gone - A Satisfied Me - Walkin' On The Blue Side - Kickin' Up Dust - Rock-a-Bye True Love - Keep It To Yourself - What A Heart Will Do For Love - Beer Bottle Brown - Made in Texas - Read My Lips - Mirror In My Mind - Regimen
 
Donna Cunningham is one of those monstrously good country singers that never took the road that contemporary country music has taken, actually a kind of road of near self destruction for real country music.  Rather, Donna focuses her direction on doing some incredibly good 'real' country music songs that tell a story.  Not over produced, and most important of all, sincere.  Her voice is remarkably much better than the studio-perfected voices of some of today's so called 'country' artists.  Personally I'd much rather hear a vocalist sing from her 'gut' than listen to someone who is only para-phrasing something that has already been done before them, done so much better.  That's kind of Donna Cunningham's objective, to NOT sound like someone else, putting it simply just being one's own self.  That was the secret of all the great female country artists of the past, and unfortunately not recognizable in today's USA 'chart' female artists.  The first song on this CD is a nice recognizable "Gone For Good" and it's easy to see why it wound up as track number one.  Donna's voice is perfect for this song, which is a nice country blues interpretation with an incredible harmonica player floating in the background.  What a treat!  Recorded at various locations, none of them Nashville, probably accounts for the individuality of this project, which is missing in most Nashville productions these days.  I'm sure there are a number of artists that pay tons of money to get a 'hit' recorded in Nashville.  That doesn't necessarily mean it's going to happen.  If I were a gambler, I'd put some money on this filly, Donna Cunningham, who is way ahead of the so called other runners.  A thoroughbred just can't be beaten, so I'm thinking my money is safe on this bet.  Donna records for Century II Records, who rather than spend tons of money on 'maybe's in the charts of America, has instead given her music over to Europe, especially in places like England, Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Belgium, France, and all those other countries that still have a deep appreciation for what country music should really sound like.  At these locations, she is a chart topper everywhere a chart appears in Europe.  What does this say about America?  Simple isn't it, all you have to do is think about it a little bit, you'll be able to figure the answer out yourself quite easily.  This entire CD is just plumb full of incredibly well produced songs, with the focus on a voice that can treat each song with respect and talent.  The harmonica appears every once in awhile, and it's a perfect 'effect' behind Donna's perfect voice.  Off to the Rural Roots Music Commission this lovely CD goes, still time for this year's award nominations.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, Pres., NTCMA - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International

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