Donna De Lory
Donna De Lory’s new solo album, HERE IN HEAVEN, is a gorgeous mélange of all the flavors and colors in the gifted singer/composer/multi-instrumentalist’s multifaceted musical world. Beloved for decades as a reigning diva of devotional music, De Lory also has deep roots in heartfelt and expressive pop songcraft. Her vision and breathtaking voice possess the scope and range to embrace all of these influences on HERE IN HEAVEN. The self-produced album blends vibrant Indian and Latin tonalities with contemporary grooves, lavish string arrangements and exquisitely crafted melodies. It all adds up to a masterful musical statement that is deeply personal yet universal in resonance.
De Lory’s keen pop sensibility was honed by two decades of touring the world as Madonna’s back-up singer and dancer, performing in the documentary film Truth or Dare and on the Who’s That Girl, Blonde Ambition, Girlie Show, Drowned World, Reinvention and Confession tours. She grew up in a highly musical household—the daughter of the late, Grammy-winning pianist and producer Al De Lory, who was part of the legendary Wrecking Crew and inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame. Her grandfather played in the studio orchestra at Warner Bros. for films including Casablanca and Gone With The Wind.
Following up on the international dancefloor and chart success of her self-titled, 1993 MCA/Universal solo debut album, De Lory went on to extensive recording work with such artists as Bette Midler, Leonard Cohen, Belinda Carlisle, Carly Simon and Selena, to name a few, also lending her voice to film soundtracks. And with her 2004 album of sacred Sanskrit mantras, The Lover and the Beloved, De Lory became one of the foremost voices of the burgeoning world devotional music scene. All of these elements meld together beautifully on HERE IN HEAVEN.
Seven of the album’s nine songs are originals that showcase De Lory’s considerable skill with classic song structures and arrangements. Her evocative melodies and extraordinary voice are framed by pristine instrumentation and percussive grooves. The emotional truths contained in these engaging, accessible tunes are just as uplifting and profound as those of the cherished sacred mantras for which she is so respected. Stylistically, the new album represents a bridge between De Lory’s two musical worlds.
It is an intimately personal work, with songs paying poignant tribute to both her late parents, a passionate Spanish-language ballad, “Amor Amor,” co-written with her father (and featuring him on piano), and inspiring, open-hearted paeans to the beauty of nature and love. She also covers two songs she’s always wanted to record, the moving “Never Be Mine” by Kate Bush and the lilting “Listen” — co-written with singers Avasa and Matty Love and featuring a charming chorus starring Donna’s daughter Luci and her third grade classmates.
Musicians on HERE IN HEAVEN include guitarists James Harrah (Jewel, Madonna, Ray Charles) and Gerry Leonard (David Bowie); percussionists Dave Allen (Michelle Branch) and Luis Conte (Phil Collins, Madonna, James Taylor), and strings player Stevie Blacke (Beck, Rob Thomas, Nelly Furtado), among others. De Lory herself contributes keyboards and harmonium. The album was mixed by studio wiz Kevin Killen (U2, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Elvis Costello). itself.