As one-half of the beloved folk pop duo The Weepies, Deb Talan definitely knows her way around a performance stage, but here’s a chance to catch the melodically-gifted singer-songwriter in a rare solo appearance.
Most fans know Talan as the co-founder (along with husband Steve Tannen) of The Weepies, an acoustic folk pop group that formed in Cambridge in 2001. Before starting The Weepies, Talan had started a promising solo career, releasing three independent records and becoming one of the most in-demand folk artists in the Boston area (3 time Boston Music Award nominee). Her powerful and infectious songs spread beyond the New England region quickly, Talan winning the Troubadour Prize at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 2002. But it was with The Weepies that Talan’s talents found a truly global audience, the easy musical chemistry between the two proved an intoxicating combination. Their debut record, 2003’s Happiness (released independently), sold over 10,000 copies and convinced the influential roots label Nettwerk to sign the pair. Say I Am You, their major label debut, came out in 2006 and quickly shot up the charts becoming the most downloaded folk album on iTunes. They soon were being booked on the main stages of the country’s biggest folk festivals.
Talan continued recording and touring with The Weepies, releasing three more albums including 2015’s acclaimed Sirens. Amidst it all, she and Tannen have raised a family together and survived a frightening illness (Talan was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2013, and is now in remission). This year finds Talan returning to her roots, stepping out for a side solo turn (The Weepies are still together) and recording a new album on her own called Lucky Girl.
About her new record, Lucky Girl:
Make music with the love of your life. Sell a million records. Tour the world. Have 3 kids. Get Stage 3 breast cancer. Survive.
“I had to make this record, for me,” says Deb Talan, best known as the girl from the folk pop duo The Weepies. “Marriage, children, being in a band – if you do any of that, at some point you start to wonder what part is still you. And then I got cancer, with a brutal treatment and surgery, and then full recovery. And as lucky as I am with all of that, I just felt lost. This project has been a way to reclaim a part of myself.”
The 13 gorgeous songs that make up Deb Talan’s new record LUCKY GIRL, released this year on Nettwerk Records, are an exploration featuring Deb’s pop sensibility, her signature confessional writing, and of course her unmistakable voice.
“’Soulful Elf’ is how people have described my voice, and I’m happy with that assessment,” laughs Deb. “I think these are some of the best songs I’ve written in a long time. I feel each of them deeply and hope other people will connect and find comfort and joy and companionship in listening to them, as I’ve found in writing and recording them.”
Launched from a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign over the summer, in which thousands of supporters gave her twice her intended budget, Deb headed into the studio alone. Playing every instrument herself in the Weepies’ studio in Iowa, Deb worked each day for six months, finally bringing the tracks to her old label, Nettwerk, who offered to help her release it. Deb will also be taking to the road touring solo for the first time in 12 years to support the new record.
“I’m somewhere between excited and terrified,” says Deb. “Definitely grateful and alive. And I really can’t wait to see what happens next.”