Winner of the 2022 Capital District Listen Up Awards
Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and roots singer Deb Cavanaugh lives in the foothills of the Taconic Mountains, in upstate New York. She started making music as a toddler singing before she spoke and singing harmony and rounds by age 3. Her dad exposed her to Classical, Big Band and Jazz. As a teenager, while studying classical voice, she became enamored with blues, rock and Motown. While studying classical music, she was given the opportunity to sing Duke Ellington’s sacred music in a church choir directed by him. During the mid-70s, Deb met her future husband and hitchhiked with him across the country to San Francisco, jumping into the world of rock and roll. They formed the band General Eclectic. After moving back and forth from coast to coast, sometimes in a VW bus, they eventually found their way to upstate New York.
In the mid-nineties, Deb focused on traditional folk music such as Old Time, traditional ballads, Irish dance tunes and more. She now plays a variety of styles including blues, rock and traditional folk as well as a variety of instruments. Currently her favorite instrument is the mountain dulcimer. Early influences included The Beatles, Motown, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and The Grateful Dead. She has five CDs: “Returning” (Cavanaugh & Kavanaugh), original songs in the folk tradition, “General Eclectic,” live recordings from her rock and roll band, “Tunes for Tots,” a five-song EP for kids, “Highway In Your Eyes,” her first solo CD of original songs and tunes accompanied by a spoken work memoir for each song, and her latest release “Love Songs and Lullabies” (Deb Cavanaugh & Dandelion Wine) spans a variety of genres from reggae, calypso and spacy psychedelic rock to blues and country. She currently plays shows with Dandelion Wine, a collection of musicians that changes from show to show depending on the venue. Dandelion Wine can be a duo or a full band. She has played such notable venues as Caffe Lena, where she has had three CD release concerts. Don't forget to check out her podcast and memoir-based blog about those early adventures traveling around the US via thumb, VW bus and growing into the performer she is today.
“Deb is always in tune with the chromatic atmosphere."
Nicole Suto (Nikilee Music, Bleak Little World, Curious Comet)
My version of "Deep Ellum Blues" on the Love Songs & Lullabies CD, is featured in this compilation by Aldora Britain Records.
Check out this video from a recent appearance on AHA (A House for Arts),
a production of WMHT.
"Your vibrato is so well seasoned that it reaches inside the listener to places an unvibrato’ed note would not reach, thus exemplifying the raison d’etre of vibrato."
MacLeod Cushing (translator, freelance writer, musician) Vancouver, BC, Canada
Follow me and order the CD on bandcamp.
Be sure to check the calendar for upcoming live shows with more being added all the time.
Re:" Highway in Your Eyes"
"Wow, I love the song. The way your voice turns at the end to the wrenching, almost crying vocal is astonishing."
Anne Saunders (promoter, artist director Falcon
Ridge Folk Festival) - Sharon, CT
For as little as $3 a month, you can help support my music & art.