October 27, 2004

City Suburban News


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City Suburban News, Philadelphia/Mainline

October 27, 2004

Local Songstress Soars

Philadelphia’s singer-songwriter Deb Callahan has been a fixture on the mid-Atlantic music scene for several years.   Now she’s flying high on accolades from the largest blues music publication I the world.

Her CD “If The Blues Had Wings” is the hot debut in the latest issue of Blues Revue Magazine Oct/Nov 2004).   Critic Hal Horowitz calls her “the next Bonnie Raitt” and raves “Philly’s Deb Callahan has the pipes, the songs and the raw talent to graduate to the next level.”

A social worker in Philadelphia for more than a decade, Callahan writes from her heart – and her head- about the blues.   She has been a counselor for women and men, families and children in crisis.   She tends to the needs of rape victims and the homeless.   “My clients have inspired me to dig deeper in the music I write.   I’ve worked with a broad array of people who want to be in a different place in their lives.   Some are in great pain and feeling very hopeless.   That feeling of wanting to be somewhere or someone different is universal, and I believe I carry this with me in the music I write.   I see music as the place to express the full range of emotions – it can be healing, and I want to be part of taking people to a better place”, says Callahan.

Using the raw edges emotions from her life’s work, Deb Callahan’s songs are cathartic and powerful.   But her unique blend of blues, rock and soul isn’t all about sadness and loss.   Like her CD title, “If The Blues Had Wings”, she lets the blues soar upward.   Callahan’s live shows, surprisingly run the gamut from soulful ballads to deliciously upbeat, danceable fun.   Whether she’s morning the slow decline of a relationship gone bad on “Broken Down Man” or teasing us with the playfully sexy double-entendre of her song “The Coffee Grind,” Callahan owns the moment with a nuanced voice that uplifts and electrifies her audience.

Hal Horowitz compares Callahan to “Etta James and Aretha Franklin” and declares, “She’s a commanding presence -brassy but fragile when hurt…This nearly flawless debut signals to the rest of the world what those in her home town know well”   Deb Callahan is a major talent.”

The Deb Callahan Band will be showcasing their spicy blend of original blues, rock and soul throughout PA, NJ, MD, VA DC and NY in support of her debut CD.   They’ll be performing at the Point in Bryn Mawr on November 5 (shows at 78pm and 10pm) and at Maggie’s Place (formerly Cafe Classics) in Doylestown on November 13, at 9pm.   For information www.debcallahanband.com