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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

What’s New?

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 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.

Donna Herula is a blues slide guitar player and singer from Chicago that plays Delta, country and modern blues styles.  She was the co-winner of the 2010 and 2011 Windy City Blues Society Blues Challenge, Solo-Duo Category, and a semi-finalist at the 2012 International Blues Challenge.  She was also a semi-finalist in the 2012 Yamaha Six String Theory international guitar competition.

An accomplished slide guitarist, Donna headlined the 2014 Durban International Blues Festival in South Africa.  She has performed multiple times at the Chicago Blues Festival – in 2015, performing a solo tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Johnny Shines for their centennial celebrations, in 2013 in a duet with Tony Nardiello and in 2009, performing a solo tribute to slide guitar master Robert Nighthawk for his centennial celebration.  She also performed as part of a Robert Nighthawk symposium for the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Arkansas (Nighthawk’s hometown).

Donna is a regular performer at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago and has performed at the House of Blues Chicago as well as BB’s Jazz, Blues and Soups in St. Louis, MO.  In addition to playing traditional blues on National resonator guitars, she also plays electric slide guitar as part of the Chicago Women in the Blues.  Other blues, folk and music festivals that she has performed at include the King Biscuit Blues Festival, Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, the Woodstock Folk Festival and the Bayfront Blues Festival.

Donna teaches individual students and has taught workshops on slide guitar and/or Delta Blues guitar at venues such as the Folk Alliance Region Midwest conference, the Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots Festival, Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, folk clubs, and music stores.  She has given numerous educational performances at libraries in an acoustic duet with her husband, singer, guitarist and harmonica player, Tony Nardiello.  She has performed on various radio stations, including King Biscuit Time and Delta Sounds in Arkansas, GLT Blues Next, WNUR and WDCB.

Some of the artists that have inspired Donna include: Son House, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Rory Block, Memphis Minnie, Furry Lewis, Robert Nighthawk, and Johnny Winter.

Donna recorded two CDs -- one solo, self-titled CD and a second titled, The Moon Is Rising: Songs of Robert Nighthawk.

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)

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)


Delta Blues Workshop Taught at:

    The CU Folk and Roots Festival

    The Lake County Folk Club

Slide Guitar Workshop Taught at:

    The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival

    The FARM Folk Conference

    Corson’s Music Store

Other Performances

Numerous libraries, schools, music conferences, coffeehouses, concert series, women’s and performing arts centers

Contact Information

To be added to her mailing list, e-mail: belladonnablues@yahoo.com.  For more information, view “Video Clips” and listen to “Music Clips” on this Web site or go to: www.myspace.com/donnaherula.