DONNA HUGHES, FROM THE HEART
Running Dog Records
Obviously, Donna Hughes has been busy putting pen to paper in the four years since her last album. She is releasing two records this year. One, titled Fly, has eight originals. This one has 19 to go along with covers of the old gospel standard “I’ll Fly Away” and Tom Petty’s “Lucky.”
More than most singer/songwriters, Hughes has a knack for making her songs sound autobiographical. That’s a great plus. Certainly, there are tracks here that don’t do that. Some are written from a perspective that is not the writer, as is definitely the case in one of the more emotional songs on this album, “Dog On A 10 Foot Chain,” which sees the world through a dog’s eyes. “Where The Good Daddies Go,” another emotional tour de force, is in that category, as is “The Red Oak Tree” and the scenes it has witnessed as it stands for years in a graveyard.
Still, she seems to be drawing on her own life more than most. No less than ten tracks here leave you with that feeling. There’s just something personal in the way she sings the love songs “I Love To Be With You,” “I Wanna Grow Old With You,” and “Easy To Love.” They seem to be autobiographical, just as her portrayal of a singer visiting an old woman in “Gone” may be based on her own experience. And the observations expressed in “Wal-Mart Checkout Line” and “Facebook,” humorous as they may be, might reflect her own social commentary.
This could all be conjecture. Maybe she’s just good at playing roles. Either way, Hughes gives us a very good recording—one always well-played, always well-sung, and predominantly masterfully-written. (www.donnahughes.com)BW