by Candice Marshall
Only a little over a month ago, I received a friend request via Facebook from 'someone' named 'Donna Marie Sludds' and as per my usual routine when 'accepting a new 'facebook friend', I did my background check: Wikipedia (check), Website (check), Twitter (check), rave reviews and copious articles going back years (check check check!). Yes, that's what I discovered in my journey when researching this 'someone' known as Donna Marie AND Michael J Cloke (they come as a pair you see). This Irish-born husband and wife duo (who have been performing for a combined 19 years) have an extensive and creative music history with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
In fact, today, their single and cover of the Dolly Parton & Porter Wagoner song 'Just Someone I Used To Know' (originally released in March 1970) has released and is already sitting at number FIVE on the iTunes charts! But I am not surprised, this is a duo which has been burning up the Country Music Scene across the pond in a huge way as established musicians (as well as actors - both have appeared in the History Channel's prime television show: Vikings). They have made many Television and Radio appearances globally with industry peers such as Davey Arthur & The Fury's, Brian Kennedy, Derek Ryan, The Saw Doctors & Jeannie Sealy, and the Moore & Moore sisters and their imprint and legacy in Country Music continues to grow toward North American shores as well as Globally.
Just Someone I Used To Know
This song has been played many times in my grandfathers home while I was growing up so this would be a song that I am well aware of in it's original composition and sound. In fact, one could always hear Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn (the Greats, as we called them) playing in that old farmhouse long ago so I have come to associate classic Country Music with some of the fondest of family gatherings to this day. When hearing any Artist re-creating music from these iconic Country Geniuses, I have a very selective ear as to whether they can 'make the cut' or not.
So here's my take: There's no denying, Dolly has a very distinguished voice which is iconic Classic Country Music and she has definitely made her mark in Country Music History. However.......there is no mistaking Donna Marie's lilting and beautiful, established vocals in this re-make: that this is an Artist who has fine-tuned the art behind what Classic Country music should sound like and she probably has the troph(ies) to prove it too! (in fact, I know she does!) Now, combine this with Michael J's strong vocals and stunning composition, audibly, the two take this vintage jewel (song) and place it in the top of the crown. For the sake of the 'theme' of this article, we will call this a universal 'Rodeo Queen's' crown too.
I encourage anyone to take a moment out of their day today and sit and listen to two minutes and 56 seconds of 'blast-from-the-past' bliss also known as Donna Marie & Michael J Cloke. Then when you are done doing that, go and Google them: at least seven pages of content will pop up. From a girl who was raised on the prairies of Alberta, Canada, with Classic Country Music as a music staple in her household, I can honestly say that this duo uphold the tradition behind this classic song and present it with a signature twist all of their own. Well Done!
“Just Someone I Used To Know” is Available to download from iTunes and all major download stores today:
Google Play Store: http://bit.ly/1iOLfhC
Social Media Links:
Donna Marie Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael J Cloke Email: email@example.com