Donna Marie - Lockdown
Donna Marie may be more familiar to most as a bandleader, as part of the show "A Country Night In Nashville" or maybe as a member of the Songs & Story Collective or even from performing in her own band Dove Ties however she does occasionally release solo material and it is aways worthy of a listen.
It seems only yesterday but was in fact 2020 when she released an inventive version of Del Amitri's "Nothing Ever Happens" during the height of Lockdown and now her first release since is set to take us back to those days. The jury is probably out on whether people will wish to be taken back to darker times in the run up to Christmas however those times were exceptionally bleak for perfomers with the double attack of a life threatening virus along with the prospect of financial ruin and potentially never being able to earn a living again in their chosen field.
"Lockdown" opens to a definite Americana feel, the electric guitar reminiscent of spaghetti western, the acoustic guitar played with its own sense of urgency along with some percussion that rgoes to create a soundscape much like the outside world at the time, bleak and barren. Donna's initial observations are pretty factual and straight forward, very much reflecting on how things were affecting her
""Lockdown and lonely - there's nothing to do
Work has dried up now the world is blue - Oh No"
The chorus when it comes reflects the sad reality of the time though Donna's eyes
"Another drink to ease the pain
Nothing ever seems to change
The rich keep money for themselves
Some people never getting help"
Later verses take in other frustrations and paranoias
"The TV is useless It's nothing but noise
Suits are controlling we're losing our voice"
"Life is a battle, big brother a spy"
The final stages, see the song speed up in pace and volume which does somewhat break the atmosphere that has previously been so carefully created.There are many positives to be taken from the single, Donna is able to build a bleak backdrop to her lyrics with remarkably little instrumentation to great effect and certain lines really convey the pain and frustration that people felt at the time.