Donna Ulisse – Back in the USSR

OK…  so there isn’t a USSR anymore, and Donna Ulisse has never been and, therefore, can’t return, but the Beatles reference was just too tasty to ignore.

All that being said, Ulisse will travel from Nashville in July to headline at the Second Kremlin Square Russian Bluegrass Festival in Vologda, Russia.

The invitation from the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission means Donna, along with her band, The Poor Mountain Boys, will make two appearances at the Vologda festival and two appearances at private functions in Yekatarinburg, Russia.

This will be Ulisse’s first international trip, and her biggest tour undertaking as a bandleader. She tells us that she is filled with a mix of emotions.

“Part of me is coming unglued thinking about the long flight over but the daredevil part of me is already taking flight and practicing my broken Russian/English.

I have known about this trip for a couple of months now and have yet to tell my mother. She will FREAK when she hears about it. I already get calls from her EVERYDAY, many calls EVERYDAY telling me that she is worried about me traveling down the road a couple of hours to the shows we are doing these days. If I tell her too early about leaving the country she will call me non-stop with some new reason to phone Russia and tell them I can’t come over….lol. She is so afraid of planes and trains and we will be getting lots of both means of travel during our week in Russia. I suppose I will worry about her worrying….it’s a vicious cycle.

What a great opportunity to introduce bluegrass to new audiences. This is the second year that the US Russia Bilateral Presidential Commision has sponsered this festival as a cultural exchange to introduce American Bluegrass music to Russians. The first year Pete and Joan Wernick were the headlining act for the USA. To follow after these greats is a huge honor to me. I can’t believe that I will get to be a part of it and get to see the sights of Russia to boot.

Wow, what a journey I’ve been on since 2007. Every time I think it couldn’t possibly get more exciting something else comes along to take my breath away again. So much is happening right now for me. I have my fourth CD coming out next week, my summer touring is starting in earnest and I’m leaving the country in July….whew!

We are going through the whole passport experience. Leaving the country seems to be a little trickier these days but all is well. The Poor Mountain Boys are good to go!”

The Poor Mountain Boys are Rick Stanley [guitar], Jon Martin [mandolin], Greg Davis [banjo], Tony King [guitar] and Bobby King [bass].

The first concert appearance is scheduled for Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 7:00 p.m..

Ulisse’s fourth album for Hadley Music Group is entitled An Easy Climb.