Donna Herula is a blues singer, songwriter, resonator slide guitarist, and Chicago Blues Hall of Fame inductee. Playing a variety of blues styles, her songwriting tips the hat to the tradition while creating a fresh, contemporary perspective on blues and roots music.
Donna won “Best Traditional Blues Artist” and her album, “Bang at the Door” won “Best Acoustic Blues Album” at the 2022 Independent Blues Awards. Her original song “Bang at the Door” won “Best AAA/Alternative Song” at the 2022 International Acoustic Music Awards. Donna was also voted “Artist of the Year” by the 2021 Doc’s Blues Awards in the UK.
The album, “Bang at the Door,” received rave reviews from all over the world (e.g., France, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Holland, Hungary, UK, Australia). It was listed on numerous “Best of 2021” music lists for the year including: Living Blues Magazine Top 50 Albums, “IBBA Most Played Albums – Top 40 Annual Chart for 2021” (UK Blues DJs), and charted #1 on the Acoustic Blues Album “Best of 2021 List” according to the Roots Music Report. Songs from her album were also played multiple times on the BBC and, for 8 weeks, her song “Can’t Wait to See My Baby” was on SiriusXM – BB King’s Bluesville’s Top 15 Rack of Blues (most played songs).
Shari and Dave first met in the summer of 1991, crossing paths as performing blues musicians: Shari was the partner of harmonica legend, Madcat Ruth, (Madcat & Kane), while Dave was leading the electric blues band, Big Dave and the Ultrasonics. A happy marriage, thousands of miles of touring, and more than twenty-five years later, they are loving life on the road together.
Friends, neighbors, fellow musicians and fans have asked over the years, “When are you two going to start playing together?” The truth is, they’ve been playing together since their first date. In many ways their playing has developed side by side, listening to and learning from great acoustic blues guitarists from the past – Reverend Gary Davis, Robert Johnson, Blind Blake, Robert Lockwood Jr. to name just a few. Whether stomping out a blues on the front porch, deciphering a rag in the basement, or swinging on a lazy day in the back yard, they’ve been finding ways to put guitar parts together for years.
As an acoustic blues duo, Shari and Dave throw a four handed guitar party of original and time-honored blues, gospel, swing and ragtime. Steeped in Dave’s smoky vocals, percussive rhythm and innovative lead lines, Shari’s crisp picking style, rootsy leads, and stinging slidework, their music has been described as “street swing and stomp blues,” – like a testament to sounds once heard on the streets of Harlem, the juke joints of Mississippi, the Carolina hills or the jug bands of Memphis .