Debra Devi fell in love with electric guitar when she was seven years old and heard the feedback on Green River's "Suzie Q" -- "the most haunting, weirdest, coolest thing I'd ever heard." After that, she started singing along with guitar solos on the radio.
At 15, Devi got up her nerve to ask her mother if she could get an electric guitar. Her mom was so mortified that Devi tried to ignore her strong desire to play music...until she finally bought a guitar and moved to NYC. There, she joined punk bands, toured all over the US and Europe, and taught herself how to play.
Devi's self-produced debut album, Get Free, has received rave reviews for its big rock sound, her soulful voice and her powerful guitar playing. "Debra Devi's compelling voice reminds us of PJ Harvey and Sheryl Crow, while her guitar playing brings to mind the incomparable Jimi Hendrix," says Metal Hammer. Guitar International raves, “It’s rare that I listen to an album more than once, but after the fifth time through Get Free I was left with only one question: How have I never heard of this artist before?”
Get Free features soulful keys from Rob Clores (The Black Crowes, Joan Osborne), powerful drumming from Bonzo Bash favorite John Hummel and a clarinet cameo from free-jazz legend Perry Robinson. The 11-song album includes two covers -- a soulful rendition of "Runaway" and a dreamy, psychedelic jam version of "The Needle and the Damage Done."
Of the latter, Guitar International says, "There are so many ways covering a song of this magnitude could’ve gone wrong for any artist, but Debra Devi hits the nail on the head with this creative, yet respectful, interpretation. This is not just Devi playing Neil Young, this is Neil Young being played through Devi, and the end result is absolutely fantastic."
Since the album's release, Devi has become a Fender Girl Rock Nation artist and the first female guitarist to record for Guitar World’s “Lick of the Day” app.
Live, she leads a “ferocious guitar-driven band equally adept at sprawling psychedelic jams and terse, soulful rockers," says New York Music Daily, adding that Devi is "one of the great guitarists of our time--a master of touch, tone and shading."
Devi's love of the blues prompted her to write The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu, "one of the wittiest, bawdiest, most fascinating dictionaries ever" (Reuters), and winner of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for Outstanding Book on Music. It features a foreword by Dr. John and back-cover blurbs from Bonnie Raitt and Joe Bonamassa.