Deb Callahan is Making a Scene
Making a Scene Presents an Interview with Deb Callahan
Philly’s blues and soul drenched singer and songwriter Deb Callahan recently celebrated the March 2023 release of her 6th studio album “Backbone”! The album consists of 12 songs including 10 original new tunes and recently charted #2 for the Roots Music Report Top 50 Blues albums. Her music has received some great national and international airplay on blues and triple A radio stations and is beginning to garner great press and reviews. ” The new album was produced by Philadelphia producer, songwriter, and guitarist Chris Arms and recorded live at Morningstar Studios in Glenside, PA. Deb recorded this album with her road tested, all-star band of Allen James on guitar, Garry Lee on bass and Tom Walling on drums. The CD features London producer and songwriter Danny Schogger on keyboards and Arms on slide guitar. There are guest appearances by Great Britain’s Alan Glass on acoustic guitar, and Philly musicians; Jay Davidson on sax, Steve Jankowski on horn/trombone, John Colgan Davis on harmonica and Charlene Holloway on backing vocals. “Backbone” has a blues and funk base and embraces a range of rock, soul, roots and swing styles.
The songwriting reflects the intense impact of world events over the past few years exploring themes of uncertainty, vulnerability, being comfortable with and showing up for oneself, taking a stand, polarization in beliefs, freedom and letting go. Deb worked with Arms, Schogger and James to write much of the original material and chose two covers that fit in well with the material including Percy Mayfield’s “Danger Zone” and Sean Costello’s “Anytime You Want”. Deb and her core band’s sixteen years plus of performing and touring together shines through on this CD, creating a unique chemistry and an ability to play with natural, nuanced improvisation. Deb and her band have been performing, touring, recording and entertaining music fans both regionally and around the United States since the late 1990s.
Deb has released 5 prior CDs since 2002: If the Blues Had Wings, The Blue Pearl, Grace & Grit, Tell It Like It is, Sweet Soul and a limited edition World Café Live DVD. She has graced the stages of many festivals nationwide from The Monterey Bay Blues Festival in Monterey, CA, The Springing the Blues Fest in Jacksonville, FL, The Bayfront Blues Fest in Duluth, MN to WXPN’s XPonential Music Festival in Philly. www.debcallahanband.com “Deb Callahan is an exceptional blues singer who displays a deep appreciation of American roots music. Many of Deb Callahan’s compositions tell stories and have profound meaning. On her new release, ”Sweet Soul” on Blue Pearl Records, Callahan delivers a knock-out Blues punch securing her place among the genre’s finest vocalists and songwriters” She has a singing voice that is unique: her confident swagger, great pitch, sincere passion, and resplendent phrasing combine to make her new album “Sweet Soul” irresistibly captivating” Randall Parrish/Vivascene Magazine “Sweet Soul” reveals the Philadelphia singer-songwriter to be in full posession of her abilities, confident, relaxed, yet pulsing with verve.
Living Blues Magazine Anyone who thinks contemporary blues is not evolving enough lyrically or stylistically need only have a listen to Callahan’s pioneering originals here to have their faith restored. Blues Music Magazine “Sweet Soul” is an entertaining journey in the blues and soul world from one of the best contemporary vocalist in either genre. Graham Clarke, Friday Blues Fix Blog/Blues Bytes “Sweet Soul” is a marvelous recording with some excellent material (both new and covers of lesser known numbers), terrific production and playing, and Deb Callahan’s superb singing. Let folks compare her to Bonnie and Tracy. After listening to her, folks will be comparing other singers to her. Ron Weinstock/Jazz/Blues