Philadelphia's blues and soul drenched vocalist and songwriter, Deb Callahan grew up in the Boston area but has been a fixture 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, dynamic, emotionally expressive voice and engaging stage presence to deliver a unique, high energy live show. Deb's 2002 debut CD If the Blues Had Wings, garnered her positive acclaim from the blues and roots community and was featured as the hot debut in the October/November 2004 issue of Blues Revue Magazine . Blues 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 celebrated the release of her most recent CD The Blue Pearl in November 2005. She teamed up with producer and song-writer Chris Arms, to craft a contemporary sounding CD with all the elements of timeless blues, soul and rock music. From the New Orleans blues/funk of the title track " Blue Pearl Moon " to the marriage of traditional and modern in the "Credit Card Blues ". Deb encorporates thoughtful and often funny lyrics to tell a modern day blues tale.
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 romps. Deb came up with the idea for the title of the CD, The Blue Pearl from an Eastern spiritual concept which states that when in a state of deep meditation, a person will encounter a tiny, sparkling blue light in the forehead known as "The Blue Pearl". This is the light of the soul within a human being. Deb says "This felt right for this CD, because a lot of the lyrical ideas were about stripping down to the essence of things and not getting caught up in all the internal and external distractions and negativity that prevent us from being truly present with our deepest self. On a lighter note, I also just liked the image of the blues being at the center of the music deep within but it clearly being surrounded by other influences and musical ideas."
2005 saw Deb Callahan and her band emerge onto the national blues scene with performances at festivals on both sides of the country, including California's Monterey Bay Blues Festival and Florida's Springing the Blues Festival as well as many fests in the mid-Atlantic region such as The Western Maryland Blues Festival in Hagerstown, MD, The Heritage Festival in Wheeling, West Virginia, Red Bank Blues Fest in Red Bank, NJ, Lehigh Valley Blues Fest in Whitehall, PA, The Briggs Farm Festival in Nescopeck, PA, The Greater Eastern Blues Festival in Harrisonburg, VA and a number of others. She has toured the club circuit up and down the East Coast from Maine to Florida. Her talented, tight and versatile band consisting of Philly greats Allen James on the guitar, Garry Lee on bass and Doug Master on drums lay the foundation for the tapestry of blues, rock, soul, funk and folk sounds woven together on the recordings as well as live shows.
Deb's music has been played at radio stations around the United States and Europe, she has been selected as WXPN Philly Local Pick a number of times over the past few years and received regular airplay on WXPN (Philly) Blues, Folk Shows and the Women's Music Hour. She's also received airplay from WRDU in Newark, DE, WRSU in New Brunswick, NJ, WDIY and WMUH in the Lehigh Valley, PA area, WTMD in Baltimore, MD, WPFW in Washington DC, WMPG in Portland, ME, other parts of the US and stations around the world including Italy, Australia, Belgium, England, Germany and France.
Deb 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 and more.
Deb Callahan is most often compared to singers such as Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Lydia Pense. She says "for me it is the blues and soul singers that have always gotten to my gut which includes people like Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Nina Simone, Otis Redding, Billie Holiday, Buddy Guy, Stevie Wonder, Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, Bessie Smith, Joan Osborne, Ray Charles, Al Green and Mavis Staples and Irma Thomas...to name a few.