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Review – Silvano Brambilla (Italy)


(Italian to English Translation Below)

When the performers of the capital of the blues, Chicago are mentioned, in abundance they are names of bluesmen, among which Koko Taylor alone finds more exposure. Mind you, no criticism, but we often forget that on the registers of the chicago blues there are blueswomen who by determination and definition of style, were or are like bluesmen. In addition to the aforementioned Koko Taylor, Bonnie Lee, Valerie Wellington, Deitra Farr, Zora Young, are a good enough example.

We are therefore pleased when we are given the opportunity to highlight a female figure, in this case it is Donna Herula, guitarist / singer with a long experience full of gratifications. A few examples: in 2016 she was inducted into the Chicago Blues Of Fame, is a continuous stream of awards and accolades, has requests for concerts all over the world, and has been invited several times to the historic radio show, King Biscuit Time, of the legendary conductor, Sonny Payne. She lives on music and for music, she is also a teacher today at the Old Town School of Folk Music and in the past at other colleges, and she is the architect of educational programs on black and white folk music. Her passion is such that, while playing an instrument, the resophonic guitar, which in fact by its nature is associated with acoustic music,

Donna is an artist with multiple resources, impregnated by the influences that have had on her, Son House and Fred McDowell, Muddy Waters and Johnny Winter, Rory Block and Lucinda Williams. Live, but also on record, she plays in a duo with her husband Tony Nardiello, acoustic guitarist, and with small bands. This latest album by her, her third, is characterized by a pleasant stylistic versatility and accompaniment. Of the fourteen tracks, eleven bear his signature, the title track is the first, a breezy blues that already shows its decisive character in singing and in the use of resophonics, helped only by FJ Ventre with the double bass, also the creator of the recordings and mixing, and Dana Thalheimer on drums.

With a broader accompaniment she is now immersing herself in the best sound tradition of New Orleans with, Pass The Biscuit, a heartfelt memory of the aforementioned Sonny Payne and those moments spent on the radio in her broadcast. With the pressing blues of Can't Wait To See My Baby, Donna in singing duet with her husband, shifts the horizon to Chicago, before an intense ballad about a loved one in prison, Promise Me, with all stringed instruments , she with resophonics, her husband acoustic guitar, Jon Shain mandolin and producer of the record, FJ Ventre double bass. Very beautiful. Another setting, now jazzed up with, Not Lookin 'Back, where, however, the sound of her resophonic keeps a blues step alive, which is then livened up by passing through Chicago again with I Got No Way Home, between piano, harmonic vocal accompaniment. The autograph instrumental, Black Ice, opens the door to excellent moments related to acoustic blues, there is the solo version of the cover of Bukka White, Fixin 'To Die, and a cover of Lucinda Williams, Jackson, in duo with her husband Tony Nardello, first voice and acoustic guitar. With a flavor of an old country blues, thanks to Anne Harris' violin, Donna Herula sings in Got What I Deserve of a mother struggling with motherhood, then again alone with acoustic guitar she exposes a double meaning theme in Who's Been Cookin 'In My Kitchen, ending with a version of The Soul Of A Man complete with accompanying voices, which completes a record where spontaneity, intensity and liveliness are in every fold.

Silvano Brambilla (Italy)

Website: http://www.ilpopolodelblues.com/wp/contatti/Silvano Brambilla, Italy -- Il Popolo Del Blues

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