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Concerts & Events

Saturday, November 20, 2021  ·  8:00 PM CST

Donna Herula - Bang at the Door Celebration

with special guests Erwin Helfer, Anne Harris, Katherine Davis & Rebecca Toon

4545 N Lincoln Ave · The Myron R. Szold Music & Dance Hall · 773.728.6000

Chicago Blues Hall of Fame Inductee and Old Town School Blues Fingerstyle and Slide Guitar Teacher, Donna Herula, released an album, Bang at the Door, in May 2021, and in July, it was nominated for best Acoustic Blues Album by the Blues Blast Music Awards.

Celebrate the album and award nomination with Donna Herula and friends including special guests Chicago Blues Legends Erwin Helfer (piano), Anne Harris (fiddle), Katherine Davis (blues singer) and Old Town School vocal teacher, Rebecca Toon. Donna's band includes Donna (vocals, resonator and acoustic guitars), Marc Edelstein (upright bass), Tony Wittrock (guitar, mandolin, banjo guitar), and Kenny Smith (drums) with singers Tony Nardiello and Kary Ream.

Donna and friends will be playing songs from her new album that include original and traditional blues music that “flows from acoustic blues through gospel, jazz, and ragtime, to the electric Chicago blues style, with nods to New Orleans, folk and country influences.” – Mark Thompson, Blues Blast Magazine

Bang at the Door Album Reviews

The album received rave reviews from all over the world including the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Croatia, the Netherlands and Hungary. To read the reviews, visit: donnaherula.com/reviews. Here are what some reviewers said:

“This album certainly will be destined for awards -- it's the best acoustic blues and roots album I've heard in at least a year, if not longer. It's a wonderful mix of Delta and Chicago blues with some great folky overtones. I don't think I can pick out a favorite cut here because they are all superb. Eleven fine originals and three marvelous covers make for some really interesting and classic performances from top to bottom.” – Steve Jones, Chicago Blues Guide

"Herula delivers a set that is powerful, passionate, and a great listen. The originals here draw from personal experience, giving them a level of power not found in much of the current blues scene." - Bill Wilson, Reflections in Blue

“Black Ice” and [Donna's version of] Lucinda Williams' “Jackson” are the kind of masterful performances that I'd like to say should be mandatory listening in music class.” – Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro, Mary 4 Music

“People are going to start talking about Donna Herula, beginning with her superlative guitar prowess. Herula managed to bring out an album with the female perspective.” – Frank Matheis, Living Blues

“Donna Herula is a slide guitar star for the 2020s and beyond.” - Blues Blues (UK)

Donna Thanks the Old Town School Community

Donna would like to thank the Old Town School Community for their support. “I appreciate all of the kind words about the album and songs and for everyone's vote in the Blues Blast Music Awards. I could not have created such a great album without the support of Old Town School community including students, fellow teaching artists, administrators, and senior leadership.”

More About Donna

Donna Herula is a Chicago-born blues singer, songwriter, and slide guitarist that has a passion for playing traditional Delta and Country Blues, early Chicago Blues, folk, Americana, and roots music. Using electrified resonator guitars, her sound combines her love for the music of the Deep South and Chicago with her love of blues guitar improvisation. Her songwriting tips the hat to the tradition while creating a fresh, contemporary perspective on blues and roots music.

Donna began playing guitar when she was 10 years old. She has been a performer at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago for the past 10 years and has opened for Buddy Guy numerous times. She was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2016 and was featured in Acoustic Guitar Magazine the same year. Donna played in the group “Chicago Women in the Blues” for 6 years with Shirly King (BB King's daughter) and other Chicago Blues women. She performed at many blues and folk festivals including the Chicago Blues Festival, King Biscuit Blues Festival and numerous times on the King Biscuit Time radio show with legendary host, “Sunshine” Sonny Payne, whom she wrote a song about on the new album. Donna has performed at international blues festivals as far away as South Africa.

Donna plays in a blues band with Marc Edelstein, Tony Wittrock and Kenny Smith and she also plays in an acoustic folk/blues duo with her husband, Tony Nardiello.

Read more about Donna here.

To see a list of classes that Donna is teaching at the Old Town School, click here.

More About Bang at the Door:

Bang at the Door debuted at #1 on the Acoustic Blues Music chart and continued at #1 on the Acoustic Blues Album Chart for 9 weeks (Roots Music Report). The album also rose to #1 on the overall Blues Music Chart (Roots Music Report) and to #3 on the Australia Blues and Roots Airplay Chart.
Donna's original song “Can't Wait to See My Baby” was in the Top 15 Rack of Blues (most played songs) on SiriusXM's BB King's Bluesville for 7 weeks. Seven of her original songs and 2 that she covered were in the top 10 Acoustic Blues Singles Chart and 4 of her original songs reached #1 on the Acoustic Blues Singles Chart (Roots Music Report). Read more about the award nomination here: https://donnaherula.com/blues-blast-music-award-nomination/

The album Bang at the Door was recorded at Good Luck Studio in Chapel Hill, NC by FJ Ventre and produced by Jon Shain.