Although she’s blessed with one of the most striking voices in bluegrass since Alison Krauss ascended, North Carolina native Donna Hughes is first and foremost a songwriter, as is evident throughout her Rounder debut. Hughes began to be recognized as a notable writer when her song “My Poor Old Heart”, a tale of how blossoming love was thwarted by doubt, was recorded by Alison Krauss & Union Station for their most recent release Lonely Runs Both Ways. Krauss is among the many first-rate guests who helped out on Gaining Wisdom, which seems both comforting and familiar even after a single listen. Producer Tony Rice creates a warm and intimate setting for Hughes’ deeply personal narratives, with the likes of Sam Bush, Rhonda Vincent and Mary Chapin Carpenter also contributing.
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