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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 & Tony will be the acoustic act opening for Buddy Guy and Corey Dennison at Buddy Guy’s Legends on Saturday, January 3, 2015.  Get your tickets: here.

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.

Listen to Donna and Tony on King Biscuit Time August 15, 2014: http://kffa.dataride-previews.com/radioaudio/kffa/kbt081514.mp3. They go on at the 18:00 minute mark.

Click here to listen to the 12 minute Podcast aired on GLT Blues Next on January 9, 2014 about Donna’s CD: The Moon is Rising: Songs of Robert Nighthawk.



Donna Herula is a Chicago born singer and slide guitar player that plays country, Delta and modern blues styles.  With a percussive guitar style and soulful voice, Donna plays fingerstyle as well as blues slide guitar on her resonator guitars, including a 1930’s National Steel Triolian and National Steel Tricone (see pictures above).

In her solo and duo acoustic performances, Donna plays a mix of songs from the early blues women, including Memphis Minnie, Ma Rainey, and Bessie Smith and the early Delta blues men, including Robert Johnson, Robert Nighthawk, Furry Lewis, Blind Blake, and Muddy Waters.  She also performs music from more recent blues and slide players including Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Lucinda Williams.

Donna was a semifinalist in the 2012 Yamaha Six String Theory international guitar competition.  She placed in the top 6 of the blues guitarist category among contestants from 58 countries.

Donna was the co-winner of the Chicago Blues Challenge, solo/duo category two years in a row; in 2010 with harpist John Jochem and in 2011 with singer/songwriter, Liz Mandeville; and with Liz, also placed in the semi-finals at the 2012 International Blues Challenge in Memphis.  In addition, Donna won the Illinois Central Blues Clubs blues challenge as a solo performer and competed in the IBCs in 2009.

An accomplished slide guitarist, Donna performed a tribute to slide guitar master Robert Nighthawk at the 2009 Chicago Blues Festival for his centennial celebration.  She also performed as part of a Nighthawk symposium for the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, AR.

In 2012, Donna’s slide guitar playing was featured on 3 tracks of Liz Mandeville’s CD, Clarksdale http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/lizmandeville1 as well as in Dutch blues film Cheesehead Blues: http://vimeo.com/58095701.

Donna has played at a number of blues and folk festivals. In 2014, she was the headliner at the Durban International Blues Festival in South Africa.  She has performed as a soloist and/or in a duet at the following festivals: the Chicago Blues Festival, King Biscuit Blues Festival (a.k.a. Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival), The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival (Davenport, Iowa), the Woodstock Folk Festival, CU Folk & Roots Festival, the Bayfront Blues Festival in Duluth, MN, Blues by the Bay in East Tawas, Michigan, Alpena Blues Festival (Michigan) and the Mother’s Best Music Festival in Helena, Arkansas. 

Donna’s second CD “The Moon Is Rising: Songs of Robert Nighthawk” was released in February 2011 and in September 2011, placed #32 on the Roots Music Report for top Blues albums played on the radio.  It includes songs from early in Robert Nighthawk’s career -- when he was known as Robert Lee McCoy/McCollum -- as well as songs that influenced him. Her CD was selected to represent the Illinois Central Blues Club in the Best Self-Produced CD Competition at the 2012 IBC.  The song, “Crying Won’t Help You” was listed as song #13 on James “Skyy Dobro” Walker’s Top 50 Songs of 2011.

In October 2011, Donna was nominated for the “Best Female Blues Performer” by the Chicago Black Music Awards.

She has been on a number of blues radio shows including six times on King Biscuit Time, with Sonny Payne, legendary host and member of the blues hall of fame, and on Delta Sounds, both on www.KFFA.com radio in Helena; GLT Blues Next in central Illinois, WNUR in Evanston, IL, WDCB, and KUAF Radio in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Donna plays as a soloist as well as in a duet with her husband singer/guitarist/harpist, Tony Nardiello. (See website page “Duet with Tony” for more information.)

See below for information on past performances.

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.