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What is the Blues?



Son House

Rory Block

Johnny Winter

Eric Sardinas

Robert Nighthawk

Muddy Waters

Robert Johnson

Lucinda Williams

Lyle Lovett

Furry Lewis

Tampa Red

Bob Brozman

Memphis Minnie

Bonnie Raitt

John Hammond

Chris Walz

BB King

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Fred McDowell

Steve Arvey

Kraig Kenning

Mary Flower

Ma Rainey

Bessie Smith

Etta Baker

Sippie Wallace

Big Bill Broonzy

Neal Schon

Eric Clapton

Harvey Reid

Roy Rogers Slide Player

Donna Herula is a Chicago-born blues singer, songwriter and acoustic slide guitarist that has a passion for playing traditional country blues, Delta Blues, early Chicago Blues, folk, roots, and Americana in addition to contemporary and original songs.  Her sound combines her love for music of the Deep South and Chicago with her love of blues guitar improvisation.  

Acoustic Guitar Magazine named Donna one of the “top 10 up and coming resonator guitar players” and featured her in an article, “Down and Dirty: 10 contemporary resonator players talk about their love for that nasty sound.”  In October 2016, Donna was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame.

Donna is a regular performer at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago and has opened for Buddy Guy multiple times.  She is also a teacher at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago where she teaches Acoustic Slide Guitar, Blues and Americana Fingerstyle and Electric Slide Guitar group and individual lessons. 

Donna was the headliner of the 2014 Durban International Blues Festival in South Africa and has performed at the Chicago Blues Festival three times and King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas twice, including solo tributes to Robert Nighthawk, Sister Rosetta Tharp and Johnny Shines. She was also the co-winner of the 2010 and 2011 Chicago Blues Challenge, solo-duo category.

Donna has provided numerous educational blues programs at libraries and has also performed at many music festivals, art festivals and concert series.  She plays as a soloist, in a duet or band depending on the venue. 

Donna has been inspired by blues singers, guitarists and songwriters, including Son House, Rory Block, Lucinda Williams, Johnny Winter and Lyle Lovett. 

What’s New?

New Video:

Tony Nardiello and Donna Herula play Statesboro Blues at The Outta Space in Berwyn, IL on January 5, 2020. 


Donna and Harlan Terson play Can’t Be Satisfied at the Old Town School of Folk Music - Music Store - Different Strummer - on October 22, 2019.


Donna and Marcus Cartwright Live on King Biscuit Time - KFFA Radio at the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Arkansas on April 12, 2019.  https://youtu.be/FASe_GbHGJk

I Can Tell

Donna and Suzie Vinnick at the FARM Folk Conference in Grand Rapids, MI on October 26, 2018.


Can’t Be Satisfied

Donna, Kenny Smith and Melvin Smith play Can’t Be Satisfied at the Windy City Blues Festival on September 22, 2018.


Richland Women Blues

Donna and Chris Walz perform at the Woodstock Folk Fest

July 15, 2018


Give Me Back My Wig

Donna and the Chicago Women in the Blues


Blues Blast Magazine

Donna was one of the three artists featured in the Chicago Blues Guitar Women article that Blues Blast Magazine published on April 5, 2018.  Click here to read the article.

Acoustic Guitar Magazine

Acoustic Guitar Magazine included Donna in their May 2016 issue of the top 10 “up and coming resonator players" in the story “Down and Dirty: 10 contemporary resonator players talk about their love for that nasty sound,” by Mark Kemp. Click here to read the article.


Donna is teaching an ONLINE Bottleneck Blues: Intro to Slide Guitar Workshop for 90-minutes on Saturday, April 25th at 1pm at the Old Town School of Folk Music. https://www.oldtownschool.org/classes/detail/?courseid=5784

Donna is teaching an 8-week ONLINE Acoustic Electric Slide Guitar on Sundays at 12 noon at the Old Town School of Folk Music beginning on Sunday, May 10, 2020. To learn more, click here: https://www.oldtownschool.org/classes/detail/?courseid=2499

Donna is teaching an 8-week ONLINE Continuing Slide and Fingerstyle class on Sundays at 2pm at the Old Town School of Folk Music beginning on Sunday, May 10, 2020.  To register, click here: https://www.oldtownschool.org/classes/detail/?courseid=5584

Donna is teaching an 8-week ONLINE Acoustic Slide Guitar 1 class on Sundays at the Old Town School of Folk Music beginning on Sunday, May 10th at 3:30pm. To learn more, click here: https://www.oldtownschool.org/classes/detail/?courseid=5697

Venues Played:

Blues, Folk and other Music Festivals

Chicago Blues Festival (Front Porch Stage & Route 66

    Raodhouse Stage)

2014 Durban International Blues Festival (South Africa)

King Biscuit Blues Festival (Lockwood-Stackhouse Acoustic Stage)

Juke Joint Festival (Clarksdale, Mississippi)

Mississippi Valley Blues Festival (Tent Stage)

Bayfront Blues Festival, Acoustic Stage (Duluth, MN)

Fox Valley Folk Music and Storytelling Festival (Geneva, IL)

Blues By the Bay, Main Stage (East Tawas, MI)

Alpena Blues Festival (Main Stage)

Woodstock Folk Fest (Woodstock, IL)

Old Town Blues Festival, Main Stage (Lansing, MI)

Mother’s Best Music Festival, Main Stage (Helena, Arkansas)

Robert Nighthawk Symposium, Delta Cultural Center, Miller

    Hotel (Helena, Arkansas)

CU Folk and Roots Festival (Urbana, IL)

Festival for the Eno, 4 stages (Durham, North Carolina)

Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation

Numerous Art Festivals

Blues Bars and  Clubs

Buddy Guy’s Legends (Chicago, IL)

BB’s Jazz Blues and Soups (St. Louis, MO)

House of Blues (Chicago, IL)


Donna & Mike Wenner (from the Nighthawks) play at the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College Blues & Swing Week Faculty Performance in Elkins, West Virginia on July 14, 2015. The three songs include a solo performance by Donna (Kansas City) followed by the duet (My Home is in the Delta & Take It Easy Baby):


Donna, Rob Anderlik and Mike Church play Crying Won’t Help You at the Fox Valley Folk Festival on September 5, 2016


Donna, Rob Anderlik and Mike Church played at Kiss the Sky Records in May in Batavia, IL and recored the following songs:

Vestapol: https://youtu.be/kJjE0JWrrO8

Come On In My Kitchen: https://youtu.be/Xw7TsuUBzyg

Crossroads: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hrkVR_XysE

Kind Hearted Woman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q94yCwtPQSE

Donna playing with the Chicago Women in the Blues in June: https://youtu.be/7pa2FUAuxms

Watch Donna at the 2014 Durban International Blues Festival in South Africa, October 15, 2014:


Watch Donna & Tony playing at Buddy Guy’s Legends on November 1, 2014 for the acoustic dinner set: http://www.gigity.tv/event/100848.

Contact Information

To be added to Donna’s e-mail list, e-mail: belladonnablues@yahoo.com.