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Donna Ulisse and the Poor Mountain Boys @Randy's Pickin' Parlor

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AS International Bluegrass Music Association’s Songwriter of the Year for two years in a row, Donna Ulisse is keeping the family tradition of leading the American roots music movement.

Ulisse grew up among musical kin and traditional music and sang in a western swing band as a teen, but it wasn’t until she wed Rick Stanley, cousin of bluegrass legends Ralph and Carter Stanley, that she developed a taste for mountain music and songwriting. The award-winning performer had her a-ha moment while harmonizing with her in-laws on their front porch; after realizing her path, she became a demo singer and background vocalist in Nashville. The great exposure led her to a deal with Atlantic Records and a 1991 country album, Trouble at the Door.

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When her Atlantic deal ended, Ulisse decided to focus on songwriting; since then, she’s released seven records, from traditional bluegrass to gospel to country-influenced Christian music, and is heralded as one of the top writers and vocalists on the scene.

Most recently, Ulisse and husband Stanley co-write a tune for Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver’s record In Session; the record has received a Grammy nomination.

Saturday, February 20, 7:30 p.m., $20, all-ages

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