SOUTHLAND BLUES E-WEEKLY - JULY 23, 2021
Jim Santella and Southland Blues E-Weekly 7/23/21
Bang at the Door
Acoustic blues brings a warm feeling to your heart as Donna Herula and her musical partners interpret 11 original songs and three covers on this, her third album. Using acoustic and electrified resonator guitars, she works with Chicago blues, Delta blues, and a whole lot of heartfelt blues music. Her soothing voice blends well with her slide guitar action as she launches a convincing argument through lyrics, harmony and rhythm.
Bill Newton’s harp soars pleasantly over “I Got No Way Home” as Herula “explains” the trouble she’s in. The two artists trade phrases, lead the way into an interesting piano interlude by Daryl Davis, and then continue the action with a clear understanding of her message. With Lucinda Williams’ “Jackson,” she and Tony Nardiello team up for a comfortable duet that features his clear, countrified vocal. Their teamwork makes for a well-found ballad that lasts. Later, with “Who’s Been Cookin’ in My Kitchen,” Herula goes it alone with respects paid to all the blues pioneers who led the way more than a century ago.
The album offers plenty of variety as veteran blueswoman Donna Herula veers left and right through historical areas of note. As the album’s liner notes reflect, Herula and the other artists “shared and supported each other from North Carolina to Chicago and back.” That covers some mighty fine blues territory.
Jim Santella - Southland Blues E-Weekly, 7/23/21