Acclaimed musician John Roberts and singer Debra Cowan have teamed up for tours and performances throughout North America and the United Kingdom.
A video of a performance at Cecil Sharp House in London, February 23, 2013. Video by Peter Simmonds.
“Debra has a voice which beautifully combines Celtic and Appalachian sensibilities. She and Dave Mattacks have created a deeply satisfying, lyrical and musically elegant record.” Roseanne Cash, singer and songwriter “…a wonderful voice and the production is great – unobtrusive and yet full…” MikeHarding, host “Folk and Acoustic” BBC Radio 2 “A great selection of […]
“Cowan is a clear-voiced singer who presents songs with affection and feeling.” Dirty Linen Magazine. Read more American press and reviews…
“…searingly fine” Living Tradition Magazine, UK. See what they have to say about Debra outside the US!
It’s been quite a while since Boston-based Debra’s last record, the excellent Dad’s Dinner Pail, which presented songs from the Helen Hartness Flanders Collection. In the main, Debra’s been trawling quite different sources for her new CD, Fond Desire Farewell, although these still clearly represent the personal choice and artistic response of a lady of extreme good taste! Key contemporary songwriters figure large: for instance, the disc features compositions by Steve Tilston, Richard Thompson, Nic Jones and Bill Caddick (and not the usual selections, either!).
Californian in origin and now settled in Massachusetts, Debra told us she had stayed in Edinburgh for a while in 1997, when she had regularly hosted a session in Sandy Bell’s. She was obviously pleased to be back, and played a very relaxed and comfortable gig. She opened with an unaccompanied ballad from the singing of Frank Proffitt, a version of the Prickly Bush story (Hangman, stay thy hand…). This demonstrated immediately that she has a very attractive voice, clean and true, with just a little vibrato; and that she can get inside a traditional American ballad with conviction, and tell the story convincingly. To these ears, this is the material that suits her best, and she soars with it.