Donna De Lory live in Penn
Donna De Lory kicks off her new intimate US tour performing in Pennsylvania on Wednesday and Thursday, already capturing the attention of the press: here’s an article from Philly.com.
Meditative singer Donna De Lory can’t believe how far she and her girlfriend Madonna have come since they started working together on Madonna‘s albums and tours in 1987.
“I remember living the high life, riding around in a limo with her, going to a Billy Idol concert, going into his dressing room and while we’re sitting there, he’s taking his clothes off!” De Lory recalled with a laugh, and without me cluing her that Idol’s in town this weekend (see separate story). That’s karma.
Now both Donna and Madonna are mothers and spiritually centered – practitioners of yoga and creating art that reflects on Eastern religions, “though we’ve gotten there by somewhat different paths,” De Lory said in a recent chat.
Madonna did her part most notably on her 1998 “Ray of Light” album. De Lory started coming into her own with tracks on the albums “Bliss” (2001) and “In the Glow” (2003), and most thoroughly with her latest set, a hypnotic disc of devotional music called “The Lover and the Beloved” that she’ll feature in two area performances this week.
Wednesday, De Lory returns to a favorite haunt, Yoga on Main in Manayunk, for a sit-on-the-floor, after-class show. The following night, she’ll mix the devotional music with a bit of her pop stuff (including some songs written with local friend Eric Bazilian) at the Point.
To continue reading this story by Jonathan Takiff from the Philadelphia Daily News please click on the Full Article link below.
To read more about Donna‘s upcoming gigs check out our previous news item by clicking here.
Amazing in its power to soothe and carry you away, “The Lover and the Beloved” is a collection of ancient Indian mantras – cyclical chanted prayers – set to modern beats, with De Lory accompanying her own haunting vocals on a small pump organ called a harmonium. It’s an instrument that “Christian missionaries took to India,” she said. “Legend has it the people rejected the religion but kept the instrument.”
De Lory first tasted devotional music when she started doing yoga as a young artist studying dance in Los Angeles.
Years later, when she began working with Madonna as a core backup singer and dancer (a “day job” she’s still doing), “I wasn’t sure I could still do the moves, the poses she went into,” related the performer. “I’d lost my flexibility. Madonna encouraged me to do yoga again, saying, ‘Believe me, Donna, this will get it back to you,’ and she was right. So she was a huge influence as far as the physical side of my development. And she also turned me on to a CD by an amazing devotional singer, Krishna Das. Funny how this all happens.”
At first, De Lory tried to steer her solo career in the dance-pop direction with records made for the Madonna-mad Japanese audience (who were getting to know Donna, too, after the documentary “Truth or Dare” came out in ’91), then with her self-titled MCA album debut in the mid-’90s. “That one led me all around the world, doing track dates, performing in clubs.”
World music influences began to take root after she started to collaborate with cellist Cameron Stone, who will be on stage with De Lory at the Point.
It was after a particularly bad night performing six years ago at another local venue, the Grape Street Pub, “where the crowd was very drunk and noisy and not really listening,” that De Lory started pondering alternative outlets for her music. As fate should have it (again!), she found herself striking up a conversation in the produce aisle at Fresh Fields (now Whole Foods) with a guy named David Newman, himself a devotional singer and co-proprietor of Yoga on Main.
“David’s become a really good friend. He influenced me a lot by introducing me to mantras, by encouraging the evolution of my songwriting and by giving me a different sort of venue to play – his yoga studio.”
These days, yoga studios “are the biggest sellers of my discs. It’s a different niche, underground, which is the way the music business started out – people playing music for each other.” *
“Donna De Lory and David Newman Unplugged”
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Yoga on Main 4363 Main St., $15 in advance, $17 at the door, 215-482-7822.
De Lory also performs at 8 p.m. Thursday (with opening act Lynda McLaughlin) at the Point, 880 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, $10, 610-527-0988, www.atthepoint.com.