Photo by Monica Baer
An unrepentant baby boomer, Debra was strongly influenced by the music of her youth.
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My career began in a way I believe is similar to most artists’ beginnings; that is, with the experience of being moved by someone else’s creation.

This awakening then becomes the source of inspiration to tell others something of one’s own heart. As enormously satisfying as it is to write and sing pure expressions of emotion; as one matures, there is a growing urgency to use the intensity of those feelings for some greater good. I guess that is why I think of my musical genre as “Songs for Cause & Just Because.”

My musical orientation was shaped largely by the singer-songwriters of the 1960s and 70s. Over the decades, I have performed folk, rock, jazz, and even disco. I’ve sung to classrooms and Hospice patients. The common denominator has always been a desire to connect so that others could feel music as I do; and from that experience, be able to make it their own.

 

My songwriting has turned towards making people more aware of social concerns. That is why my portfolio now includes songs about autism, drunk driving, cancer, child abuse, adoption, and a post-9/11 song of hope entitled, “One Heart at a Time.” Yet songs about love, children, even pets, are always appreciated as universal expressions of what we love and long for.

There is no vehicle quite like music to reach others. At the core, my message to my audience is to have hope: things can get better, and it is always worth the effort to try. I take much pride in continuing to create new avenues to reach those that wish to be entertained, encouraged, enlightened.

My first album, “A Spirited Mother” was born out of my experience of motherhood and my efforts to be a model of authenticity for my daughter.

The songs are meant to inspire, soothe and celebrate the fact that the best interests of our children are served only by being true to ourselves. In the few years between my first album and the second, “In Broad Daylight,” I was commissioned to write a song for a friend’s adopted daughter and was asked to write for charitable causes as well. She found that it fit her drive to express herself while simultaneously delivering a message. The second album reflects this discovery, while describing a personal journey that has aimed for the higher ground, but which sometimes has run her through the weeds. Yet as a songwriter she’s struggled to be faithful to what is true, even when the light of consciousness flashes painfully bright. “In Broad Daylight” connotes the place where we see most vividly and the finest hues brilliantly mirror the deepest truths, expressed through the beauty of music.