Get this crazy baby off my head!


Deb Callahan

Deb Callahan - If The Blues Had Wings - 2002 - Deb Callahan

This blues and soul drenched vocalist smokes on this collection of original material that combines funky New Orleans rythms, exotic delta blues sounds, gospel influenced blues and rock to create sultry, soulful blues music. © cdbaby.com

"Deb Callahan sings with passion and verve...if this impressive debut is any indication, The Deb Callahan Band may rise from regional to national blues scene success in the very near future" Illinois Entertainer

"If the Blues Had Wings", Deb Callahan's debut album, received great critical 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 called her "the next Bonnie Raitt" and gave her a huge compliment by stating that "Philly’s Deb Callahan has the pipes, the songs and the raw talent to graduate to the next level". Deb has shared the stage with great artists like Buddy Guy, Billy Preston, James Cotton, Debbie Davies, Savoy Brown, Southside Johnny, Joe Bonamassa, and Tommy Castro. A wonderful debut album from Deb Callahan, a lady with a beautiful soul/blues voice. If you like Bonnie Raitt, Rory Block, or Maria Muldaur, you will like this album. Her version of Dylan's " Positively 4th Street" is a great cover. Buy her "The Blue Pearl" album, and give this lady the credit she truly deserves.


1 Mama's Curse, Mama's Blessing - Deb Callahan/Jon Dichter [ "Moanin' The Blues" excerpt written by Memphis Minnie McCoy]
2 Can't Watch You Bleed - Walter Runge
3 More Love - Deb Callahan/Jon Dichter/Walter Runge
4 Any Kinda Man (excerpt) - Victoria Spivey
5 Burning Bridges - Deb Callahan/Walter Runge
6 Out There - Deb Callahan/Walter Runge
7 Coffee Grind - Randy Lippinc/Deb Callahan
8 Broken Down Man - Deb Callahan/Walter Runge/Jon Dichter
9 Something Bad - Deb Callahan/Jon Dichter/Walter Runge
10 Little Drops of Water (excerpt) - Edith Johnson
11 If Your Man Messes Up - Deb Callahan/Walter Runge
12 Tell Me - Deb Callahan/Walter Runge
13 Just Another Victim - Deb Callahan/Walter Runge
14 Positively 4th Street - Bob Dylan


Deb Callahan - vocals
Billy Baltera, Allen James - guitars
Robbertto Rickards - bass
Walter Runge - piano
Doug Masters - drums


George Bonds - (doing a duet with Deb)
Mike Brenner"Slo-Mo" - dobro
Seth Holzman - harmonica


"Firmly in the tough but tender voiced category currently dominated by Susan Tedeschi, Philaelphia's Deb Callahan applies her powerful pipes to another diverse offering. ..starting with an album of original material where the songwriting is already above the ordinary, Callahan further elevates the songs through effortless control and dynamics. She simmers even speaks, when she needs to, saving the fire for the correct moment.... Listeners will recognize debts to Maggie Bell, Genya Raven, Lydia Pense, Tracy Nelson and Janis Joplin. These women had the potential to belt out every song but they all understood the importance of control and mood, tempering any impulse to oversing. Based on her two albums, Callahan has what it takes to join these icons". Blues Revue Magazine - April/May 2006

“Philadelphia’s Deb Callahan is a gifted singer.songwriter ..her voice is matchless in the ring of sultry blue-eyed blues singers” Living Blues

“Deb Callahan is a great writer and an even better new voice for the blues. It’s as if she’s an old soul, but with a sense of what’s new. She’s a must hear.” Blues Source

"this nearly flawless debut signals to the rest of the world what those in her home area know well: Deb Callahan is a major talent“ "Bonnie Raitt, Etta James, and Aretha Franklin...Callahan is very nearly in their league." Blues Revue Magazine

She sings with all the authority of Ma Rainey or Janis Joplin, but it’s her song-writing that sets her apart” Sing Out! Magazine

“A singer with sandpaper-laced, soulful pipes, displaying huge promise. Her 2002 debut, If the Blues had Wings, is a striking endeavor. An excerpt from Memphis Minnie’s “Moanin’ the Blues”—one of a few well-placed, ancient blues snippets—gives the album its title and opens it up, leading into “Mama’s Curse, Mama’s Blessing,” an eerie blues that lets loose spirits directly from the mud of the delta. “More Love” is dramatic, the piano and washes of organ giving it a churchy feel. “Burning Bridges,” meanwhile, is a catchy roots-rocking tune” Hittin The Note Magazine, Rensselaer, NY


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, 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 released her sophomore CD The Blue Pearl in November 2005 where 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 incorporates thoughtful and often funny lyrics to tell a modern day blues tale. In a review of The Blue Pearl, Living Blues described Deb as a “gifted song-writer whose voice is matchless in the ring of sultry blues singers” Her most recent effort Grace & Grit was released in September of 2008. Deb once again collaborated with producer Chris Arms and featured original music as well as a cover of one of her favorite Ray Charles songs “Hallelujah I love him so” and a few a capella snippets of songs sung by Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell and Aretha Franklin who have all been strong influences. One of the goals of this record was to go for a more live sound to capture the energy and spontaneity that live performance can bring. Thus all the vocal tracks were recorded with the band live in the studio. Grace & Grit has a strong blues base but brings in gospel, soul, rock and jazz elements and the material ranges from songs about being a single mother trying to make it in America in “Food on the Table” to the humorous No Taxi Driver about receiving to many wrong number calls from people who are looking for a taxi. 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." Since 2005, Deb Callahan and her band have become part of 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, The Boundary Water Blues Festival in Ely, MN Cookin at McCooks in Niantic, CT, 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, The Philadelphia Blues Festival at The World Cafe Live, The Berks Blues and Jazz Festival in Reading, PA, Lehigh Valley Blues Fest in Whitehall, PA, The Briggs Farm Festival in Nescopeck, PA, The Greater Eastern Blues Festival in Harrisonburg, VA, The Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival in Anapolis, MD, The Wilmington Blues Festival in Wilmington, DE, The Media Blues Stroll in Media., PA, The Shenandoah Valley Blues Bash, in Luray, VA, The Central Delaware Blues & Jazz Festival in Felton, DE, The Safeway BBQ & Blues Fest in Washington DC, The Belair BBQ & Blues Fest in Belair, MD, The Bucks County Blues Society R & B Picnic in Morrisville, PA and many more. She has toured the club circuit up and down the East Coast from Maine to Florida. Her top notch band consists of Philly greats Allen James on the guitar, Garry Lee on bass and Tom Walling on drums.Deb’s music has been played at radio stations around the United States and Europe. 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 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. © www.sonicbids.com


Deb was born and raised in the Boston area and can't remember a time when she didn't love to sing and dance to music. She always had her ear to the radio and stereo and was a regular participant in theater, choruses and choirs growing up. When she was eight years old, she had the unique opportunity to study at the Elma Lewis School for Black Cultural Arts in Roxbury, MA. She studied African American music and art and this opened her ears and heart to the sounds and rhythms of gospel and traditional spirituals. While attending college in Maine, she sang in musical theatre, with a swing band and a 4-part harmony acapella group. However it was at the age of 20 years old, when she sang with her first blues/rock band, that she really felt the most at home and able to express herself through singing. She fell in love with the raw, emotional and passionate power of the blues and has been performing and diversifying her sound ever since. In 1990, Deb moved to Philadelphia to study social work and experience the city of brotherly love. She took a few years off from performing then joined a newly formed group entitled The Blue Root in '95 where she discovered and performed a catalogue of early blues songs by such greats as Bessie Smith, Victoria Spivey, Mamie Smith, Robert Johnson, and Blind Blake to name a few. When this band dissolved, she decided to form her own blues band. She met Walter Runge, a keyboard player at a blues jam in early '97 and the Deb Callahan Band was born shortly thereafter. Some of her biggest influences as a singer have been 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. When she's not singing and performing, Deb loves to paint, run, read, travel to countries like India, Thailand, Poland and Russia and hear live music when possible. She's worked for many years in the field of sexual assault violence prevention and treatment and remains a strong advocate in the area of women's issues. © www.debcallahanband.com