February 1, 2009

Hittin the Note Magazine


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Hittin the Note Magazine

Atlanta, GA

Feb 2009

Written by Tom Clarke

Philadelphia’s Deb Callahan positively exudes Grace & Grit, the qualities that define her attractive singing voice. But the title of her third album really only suggests a scratch on the surface of her amazingly deep songs. Callahan is a longtime social worker who conveys insights by way of a cohesive mix of bluesy music styles. “Food on the Table” is the rock-hard and soulful tale of single mom rising to the challenge of love and instinct. A gospel-tinged a cappella excerpt of Nina Simone’s “I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel To Be Free” impeccably sets up “How Many Times,” a blues from the old-school soul department in which Callahan questions a woman’s devotion to a contemptible partner. “Guilty” takes an opposite tack, a gut-wrenching blues in which the lady accepts responsibility for her bad choices. On the bright side there’s hope for salvation in the Bayou-drenched “Carry Me,” and pure, welcoming beauty in “Big Wide Space.” Callahan’s band is excellent, especially guitarist Allen James whose well-placed leads put a little sting in most everything here. Do not pass on this superb album!