Having been raised in Chicago and moving to Los Angeles at an early age with her family gave her an introduction to blues music. Bob “The Bear” Hite, lead singer of Canned Heat, was very influential in her blues education as he lived next door to the family. It also didn’t hurt that her step father owned the famous seventies rock and roll club, The Topanga Corral. This is were she opened for many blues legends such as Big Joe Turner, Charlie Musselwhite, Etta James,Taj Mahal and a long list of blues giants. Etta James also served as her mentor when she played the club. The years of hanging around these talented folks is reflected in the quality of her songwriting and vocal chops. Deb possesses a powerhouse voice and the capability of writing this record of high quality, original songs that hold up to repeated listening. Her beefy voice handles the blues, R&B, Zydeco, gospel or any combination with ease. Enlisting a solid string of musicians, including two “A-list” guitar players also helps.
Her take charge vocal backed by blues guitar ace Kirk Fletcher propels “reading off” of her man in no uncertain terms in “Get A Grip”…”Get a grip, get real or get gone”. British country guitar master Albert Lee lends his skills to “Blue Collar Blues”. “Really Gone” is another solid blues were Deb’s writing absorbs the best qualities of blues chestnuts without mimicking. She sure knows her way around a slow burning ballad as her romantic reading of the title song shows. The piano playing of Greg Hilfman adds to the sultry atmosphere.
The band digs in with a strong funk groove featuring sizzling guitar licks from Kirk Fletcher who makes it look easy. They achieve an authentic Zydeco feel to “Ce Soir Ce Soir”, which translates to “Tonight Tonight”. Albert Lee ignites some guitar sparks on this one. “The Angels Cried” is a heart felt eulogy to a man who is lost to drink. Dave Dills leads the boogie assault with his scorhing guitar on “Love Stealin Liar”, going “toe-to-toe” with Deb’s take-charge vocal. An acoustic gospel stomp closes things out as James Mcvay delivers Delta-style Dobro in “These Hands”.
Anyone who is able to write, sing and produce at such a quality and consistent level is definitely the real article. She surrounds her powerful voice with first call instrumentalists. Her vocal ability puts her among those great female blues singers that preceded her. There is no reason why she shouldn’t ascend to the higher ranks of the blues elite.