Deb Callahan Band

Philadelphia’s blues and soul drenched vocalist and songwriter Deb Callahan grew up in the Boston area but has been a mainstay on the mid-Atlantic music scene since the late 90’s.  During this time she has gained a reputation for writing creative blues, soul and roots influenced original music and using her powerful, expressive voice to deliver an exciting live show. Her 2002 debut CD “If the Blues Had Wings” was featured as the hot debut in the October/November 2004 issue of Blues Revue MagazineBlues Revue referred to her as the next Bonnie Raitt and raved “Philly’s Deb Callahan has the pipes, the songs and the raw talent to graduate to the next level”.

Deb released her 5th CD “Sweet Soul” Sept 1, 2015 on Blue Pearl Records. The CD, produced by renowned producer and drummer Tony Braunagel, was recorded at Ultratone Studios in Los Angeles, CA. Deb and guitar player Allen James  traveled to Los Angeles in February 2015 to record the tracks with an all star studio line-up including Johnny Lee Schell, engineering and slide guitar, Mike Finnigan on keyboards, Reggie McBride on bass, Braunagel on drums and James on guitar. This group of LA musicians have recorded and toured with performers such as Etta James, Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal so it was a truly wonderful experience to play with and learn from each one.

It’s been almost 5 years since Deb’s last CD, “Tell It Like It Is” was released. Shortly after this release, Deb became a mom to her now 4 year old son Elijah. The experience of being a new mom has had a direct impact on her writing and focus in her life. The songs from “Sweet Soul” were written during an overall sweet and rich phase of life. Deb worked with James and Chris Arms (who produced Deb’s last 3 CD’s) to write the original material and with producer Braunagel to find some gems written by others that fit the vibe as well. The mood of this blues, soul, roots CD is upbeat, rockin, funky and fun and explores the theme of love and family with an honest and at times humorous view into both its joys and challenges. This includes the experience of loving a child or partner, the connection and sweetness you feel when you slow down and just be present with ones you love, the pain and difficulty of letting go of a family member, the ups and downs of living with someone, the inner tension about balancing family and career, the energy it takes to keep things running to do a lot of different things in life.

“Sweet Soul” has been receiving some wonderful national and international airplay on blues and triple A radio stations as well as great press and reviews. A few accomplishments include charting at #24 in the Living Blues Magazine Chart in Sept 2015, been in the top 50 National chart from Sept 14, 2015 till the present (March 6, 2016) for Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Blues Album Chart, been in the top 5 chart position from Sept 14, 2015 till the present (March 6, 2016) for the Roots Music Report Top Blues for the state of PA, has been featured in Big City Blues Magazine – Oct 2015 issue on “Soul Diva’s” with Bettye Lavette and many others, top 10 for 2015 list for reviewer Mark Gallo in Blues Bytes, nominated for Best Soul – R & B Album 2015 in Blues 411 2015 “Jimi Award Nominee”.

Press Quotes for Sweet Soul

“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” Randall Parrish/Vivascene Music Magazine.

“Deb Callahan has a singing voice that is unique: her confident swagger, great pitch, sincere passion, and resplendent phrasing combine to make her new new album Sweet Soul irresistibly captivating” Randall Parrish/Vivascene Magazine

Sweet Soul reveals the Philadelphia singer-songwriter to be in full possession of her abilities, confident, relaxed, yet pulsing with verve. Living Blues Magazine

“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

“From the opening minor key Big Love, it’s obvious that this is unique, both vocally and lyrically. There’s nothing cliché on the set. This is the work of a mature woman with the thoughts and ambitions of a grown up. Brilliant”. Mark E. Gallo/Big City Blues

Doing  social work in the heart of Philadelphia would be a good place to learn  about life’s hard knocks and this urban school ground taught  singer/songwriter Deb Callahan well.   Her rich, honest and soulful tunes resonate with listeners and run the gamut from soulful ballads, to upbeat, dance oriented grooves.  Her road tested band includes Allen James, Garry Lee and Tom Walling.

grunge quoteCallahan’s voice has the spiked fervor of contemporary Susan Tedeschi, but it’s richer and smoother.  Stylistically she’s picked up a lot from one of her earlier influences, Nina Simone – Simone’s squirming rhythms and hypnotic vocals reverberate in Callahan’s music.”  “Deb Callahan is a shouter, a crooner, a soul-belter and above all a gifted lyrical interpreter.  She could sing the phone book and make it sound good.”

Living Blues Magazine Feb 2011

She has shared the stage with Buddy Guy, Billy Preston, James Cotton, Shemekia Copeland, Hubert Sumlin, Debbie Davies, Savoy Brown, Big Jack Johnson, Sean Costello, The Holmes Brothers, Phil Guy, Deanna Bogart, Ann Rabson, Nick Curran, Southside Johnny, Floyd Lee, NRBQ, Joe Bonamassa, Guitar Shorty, Little Ed and The Imperials, Bob Margolin, Paul Cebar, Tommy Castro, Anthony Gomes, Johhny Lee Hooker Junior, Sister Monica Parker, Marcia Ball, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Duke Robillard, Eric Lindell and many more.

Major Festivals 2005-present

Monterey Bay Blues Festival, Monterey Bay, CA 2005
Kickoff event for the St. John’s Blues Fest, St. John, VI, 2009, 2010
Fargo Blues Fest, Fargo, ND 2010
Springing the Blues Festival, Jacksonville, FL 2005
Rockin the Bay Music Fest, Gladstone, MI June 2010
The South Florida International Blues Fest, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 2009
The Trempealeau Blues Fest, Trempealeau, WI 2009
The Boundary Water Blues Festival, Ely, MN, 2008
Bayfront Blues Fest, Duluth, MN 2009
Sawdust Days, Oshkosh, WI 2011
WXPN 8.5 radio Exponential Music Fest, Philadelphia, PA 2011
Asbury Park Jazz Fest, Asbury Park, NJ 2012
Ambassador’s Blues Fest, St. Peter, MN 2012
Bourbon St. Blues Fest,
Lebanon Township, NJ 2010
Blast Furnace Blues Fest, Bethlehem, PA 2011
Gypsy Moon Blues Fest, E. Petersburg, PA 2013
Low Country Blues Bash, Mt. Pleasant, SC, 2009
PeeDee Blues Bash, Florence, SC 2009
Greenwood Blues & BBQ Fest, Greenwood, SC 2013
Cookin at McCooks in Niantic, CT, 2008, 2011
White Mountain Blues & Boogie Fest, Thornton, NH 2009
Eastern Bayside Blues Fest, Essex, MD 2010, 2011, 2012
The Pittsburgh Blues Fest, Pittsburgh, PA 2009
The Western Maryland Blues Festival in Hagerstown, MD 2005, 2006
The Heritage Festival, Wheeling, WV 2005, 2011
Red Bank Blues Fest, Red Bank, NJ 2005
The Philadelphia Blues Festival at The World Cafe Live, 2006
The Berks Blues and Jazz Festiva, Reading, PA 2006
Lehigh Valley Blues Fest, Whitehall, PA 2005
The Briggs Farm Festival, Nescopeck, PA 2006, 2008, 2010
The Greater Eastern Blues Festival, Harrisonburg, VA 2006
The Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival, Anapolis, MD 2007
The Wilmington Blues Festival, Wilmington, DE 2007
The Media Blues Stroll. Media, PA 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013
The Shenandoah Valley Blues Bash, Luray, VA 2007
The Central Delaware Blues & Jazz Festival, Felton, DE 2008
The Safeway BBQ & Blues Fest, Washington DC 2007, 2008
The Belair BBQ & Blues Fest, Belair, MD 2006
The Bucks County Blues Society R & B Picnic, Morrisville, PA 2008
Musikfest, Bethlehem, PA 2008, 2009
Brandywine Food & Wine Festival, Westchester, PA 2013
Lehigh River Blues Jam, Catsauqua, PA 2013
Stockton Blues Fest, Stockton, NJ 2009
June Jam, Houston, DE 2009
Arden Guild Music Fest, Arden, DE 2005
Footmad Concert Series, Charleston, WV 2005
Steppingstone Museum Blues Fest, DE 2005, 2012
Paoli Blues Fest, Paoli, PA 2009, 2011
Lancaster Blues Fest, Lancaster, PA – 2007
Chameleon Club Blues Fest, Lancaster, PA 2009
Spyglass winery Blues Fest, Sunbury, PA 2008
Wine in the Woods Music Fest, Columbia, MD 2008, 2010, 2012
Black Walnut Winery Blues Fest, Sadsburyville, PA 2012, 2013
Camp Jam in the Pines, Medford Lakes, NJ 2007
Turks Head Music Fest, Westchester, PA – 2007