Here in Heaven is more than just the most recent album from much-loved singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Donna De Lory. It is a grand summation of her musical life and journey thus far—one that has encompassed everything from touring the world with Madonna as a backing vocalist and dancer, to enrapturing audiences at Yoga music festivals like Bhakti Fest and Wanderlust with her infinitely expressive, breathtakingly beautiful voice.
Over the course of Here in Heaven’s nine resplendently realized tracks, De Lory weaves myriad strands of world music, contemporary pop, sacred sounds and introspective songcraft into one mesmerizing musical experience. Daughter of renowned pianist, arranger and producer Al De Lory (Phil Spector’s “Wrecking Crew,” Glen Campbell), Donna began singing professionally at an early age, and has done session work with Bette Midler, Carly Simon, Leonard Cohen, Selena and Belinda Carlisle, among many others. In 1987, she became a part of Madonna’s touring ensemble, dancing and singing backup vocals on the now legendary Who’s That Girl, Blonde Ambition, Drowned World, Girlie Show and Confessions tours. In 1993, De Lory made her debut as a solo artist with a self-titled album on MCA/Universal Records, hitting #1 in Japan with the single “Praying for Love,” and landing in the US top 10 dance chart with “Just a Dream.”
But as the 21st century dawned, she turned her attention to the burgeoning world devotional music scene, seeking a sense of personal and artistic fulfillment beyond the pop realm. Her 2001 CD, Bliss, was the first in a string of albums that have become the soundtrack for the Yoga and consciousness movement. These include The Lover and Beloved (2004), Sky is Open (2006), Sanctuary (2008) and Remixes (2010) and The Unchanging (2013).
Here in Heaven brings together all the diverse strands of De Lory’s life and music, offering ruminations on the passing of her parents and hopes for the future embodied in her daughter, Luciana. As always, De Lory has surrounded herself with a cadre of top-flight musicians and studio pros, including 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), string arranger Eric Gorfain (Foo Fighters, Iggy Pop) and strings player Stevie Blacke (Beck, Rob Thomas, Nelly Furtado), among others. De Lory herself contributes keyboards and harmonium. Here in Heaven was mixed by studio wiz Kevin Killen (U2, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Shakira, Elvis Costello).