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What is the Blues?



Son House

Rory Block

Johnny Winter

Eric Sardinas

Robert Nighthawk

Muddy Waters

Robert Johnson

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 blues slide guitar player and singer that was born and raised in Chicago.  She has a passion for playing traditional Delta and country blues as well as early Chicago blues.  In the May 2016 issue of Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Donna was named one of the “top 10 up and coming resonator guitar players.”  In October 2016, she was inducted into Chicago Blues Hall of Fame. 

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.  She is a regular performer at Buddy Guy’s Legends and has opened for Buddy Guy multiple times. 

Donna is currently a teacher at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago where she teaches Acoustic Slide Guitar and individual and group guitar lessons.  She and her husband, Tony, also perform in a duo and have given numerous blues educational performances throughout the Midwest.

Some of the artists that have inspired Donna include Son House, Johnny Winter and Rory Block.

What’s New?

New Video -Richland Women Blues

Donna and Chris Walz perform at the Woodstock Folk Fest

July 15, 2018


New Video - 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 will be teaching a 90-minute 1-time workshop called, “First Base Bottleneck Blues: Intro to Slide Guitar” on Saturday, August 4th, 2018 from 1pm to 2:30pm at the Old Town School of Folk Music on Lincoln Avenue.  To learn more or register, click here: https://www.oldtownschool.org/classes/detail/?courseid=5784

Donna is teaching an 8-week Acoustic Slide Guitar 1 class on Sundays at the Old Town School of Folk Music beginning on September 9, 2018. To view a video about the class and to register, click here for Acoustic Slide Guitar 1 at 12pm:


Donna is teaching an 8-week Acoustic Slide Guitar 2 class on Sundays at the Old Town School of Folk Music beginning on September 9, 2018.  To register, click here for Acoustic Slide Guitar 2 at 2pm: https://www.oldtownschool.org/classes/detail/?courseid=5584

New YouTube Videos:

Crying Won't Help You


Walkin' Blues


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 Festival (Lockwood-Stackhouse Acoustic Stage)

Mississippi Valley Blues Festival (Tent Stage)

Bayfront Blues Festival, Acoustic Stage (Duluth, MN)

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.