D.B. Calla hails from Toms River, NJ and is probably best known as a vocalist in the Toms River band EOS. She also served time in Blondsense and Ninth Infantry, two other Tri-State bands that have done quite well in the current decade. D.B. Calla has a sound reminiscent of the wall of sound made famous by Phil Spector in the 1960s and 1970s. Produced by the legendary Joe (Ciid) Birardi (Dirty Rats, EOS, River Monsters), D.B. Calla brings an old-school feel back to rock and roll along the lines of Martha and the Vandellas, early Blondie, Kim Carnes and Tina Turner. Guitar work by Joe Birardi is also a focal point here, and he supports her natural vocal ability quite well. I also wanted to mention that the folks lending a hand on background vocals are Deny and Marnie Carmella, both longtime members of Ninth Infantry as well as other bands and combos throughout their professional careers.

Hot off her New York debut with the band and the new record, D.B. sent me the six-song EP for my take on the music she has been making. This is good old-fashioned three-minute pop rock. Some of it is heavily orchestrated, and some are stripped-down pop rock, but it’s all incredibly engaging.

The first song is called “P.S.” Drums thunder the intro along with keyboards, guitar, and bass. The studio musicians used on this disc weren’t listed so I can’t tell you who is playing everything but I know Birardi plays the keys and guitar in the studio and he revs things up very much like Spector would have done back in the day. Using a tried and true rock and roll progression, Birardi sets D.B. Calla up and lets her go her way. Her vocal style is very much like 1950s superstar Darlene Love or Ronnie Spector. She doesn’t just sing along to the song, she breathes and lives within it. D.B. doesn’t shy away from over-enunciation or dynamics, and she moves from a sultry whisper to full-throated wails within a verse and chorus. Instrumentation is thick and full, pounding out beats and hammering bass notes into the catchy chorus and beyond.

Up next is “Stronger.” Birardi’s piano work starts things off with the feel of Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home.” D.B. comes in with her toned vocal and changes everything immediately. She wraps up a sexual energy with a smooth knowledge of control, and when the band finally kicks in, she’s primed and ready to go. From her soft, almost falsetto Madonna-like passages to her all out raspy Bonnie Raitt-styled wails, D.B. doesn’t hold anything back when it comes to delivering real and honest music. Verses grind eloquently, and the choruses are pure Spector-like walls of vocals. Assisting D.B. here is Deny and Marnie Carmella who blend perfectly with D.B.’s powerful voice. Birardi lends a hand with a saxophone solo in the middle eight and the choruses. Guitars go from laid-back chord complexities to full-on distortion-laced power chords. The authority in the choruses is a motivating sound, and it makes me want to play my guitars.

There are two covers on the disc, and the first one is “Dangerous” by Roxette. This is the hit for me. Combining everything right about rock and roll delivery, D.B. digs deep here, tossing out her Kim Carnes vibe via raspy overtones and leading the band into possible gold record territory. Radio should love this song as it has everything. Drums smack hard; bass thumps the chest; and Birardi hunkers down as well, churning out Cars-styled guitar licks and power chords. The thing I love about Birardi’s production and playing is that it comes from years of experience. He never overplays or adds anything that would get in the way of a song. Guitars and keyboards move from clean phrases to tube-distorted goodness as he backs D.B. like a genuine and weathered pro. D.B. kills in the choruses. I love the sound of her vocals, and her effective delivery fluctuates as the song needs change. From a whisper, soft and seductive to full-on power-based wails, she knows what she’s doing and she does it quite well. The arrangement and composition of this song are perfect, and when that chorus hits, I’m a true believer.

The next song is a Bryan Adams cover. To be honest, I wasn’t sure where they were going with this, and at first, I thought, this is a strange choice, but once D.B. opened her mouth and started singing, I saw the validity immediately. The song is called “Heaven,” and it’s mainly dominated by vocals and keyboards arrangements, including pianos. Deny and Marnie are back on vocals here as well. The orchestration is simple but effective as Birardi makes sure to leave room for D.B. to summon everything she has for the song. Birardi lays into the piano like Tommy Mandel (Bryan Adams touring band) and studio strings are both tasteful and accurate. Once again, the “Wall of Sound” is back and the vocals are immense. Calla starts off with her signature smooth as honey vocals behind acoustic pianos until the chorus kicks in and the wall comes in. I’m a huge fan of her voice here as well. I love the way she switches from sweet soprano-toned smoothness to her raspy trademark within the body of the song.

The next song is called “Frozen.” Chirping rhythms and feedback-laden guitars send up the signal on this three-minute rocker. D.B. swings into her role like Joan Jett here. Vocals are full and raw as can be as she lays back under chugging guitars, 4/4 drums, and hypnotic bass. D.B. raises the roof as she tells her story of unrequited love. Backing vocals are seamless, and the harmonies gel quite well. Once again D.B.’s power and skill at dynamic vocal control make this song one not to forget.

The last song on the EP is called “Jaded.” Mixing things up with her tale of love gone wrong, D.B. wails into her expansive chorus as Birardi combines single-string trills, chords, and clean electric moxie into the piece. Once again the “Wall of Sound” is back in the choruses, blending D.B., Marnie and Deny in a tidal wave of vocal sound. Birardi’s middle-eight lead screams in the vein of Slash as he gets in and out in eight measures. This is another song that should do well in radio land as it has all the components of a strong rock hit.

D.B. Calla & The Forget-Me-Nots have done a great job on their self-titled debut disc, and as the band moves out into the world of the music business, they should do quite well as a whole. D.B.’s voice is the key here, and I love what she’s done with every song on this way too short CD. If she sings this way live, she’s going to win over every paying customer in the place.

She will be releasing a song a month, and it will be featured over on 2BTB radio. For more information on D.B. Calla & The Forget-Me-Nots, their brand new release and 2BTB radio, head over to 2BTBmusic.com and check out the radio station and the band. You can also find them on Facebook over at facebook.com/DB-Calla-The-Forget-Me-Nots.

96 Responses

  1. Bill

    Wow! I went to 2BTBmusic.com and I cannot believe how great DB Calla sings! This a great rock group! Great article John Pfeiffer. You definitely described this group perfectly.

    Reply
  2. BT

    Great songs DB Calla! I cannot wait to hear the whole album! Nicely done Mr. Pfeiffer!

    Reply
  3. Patti duke

    I am speechless one of the best articles I’ve ever read and not just because it’s all true the emotion he nailed it he really naile it!!

    Reply
  4. Heather

    Amazing article about an awesome band. DB Calla is amazing. This was one of the best articles I’ve read. I can’t wait to hear this entire album.

    Reply
  5. Teresa

    I love DB Calla & The Forget Me Nots! Great article! Can’t wait to hear more!

    Reply
  6. Bill Sr

    Another great band from 2BTB Music! DB Calla sings her heart out! Great article Mr Pfeiffer! You are right on with this band!

    Reply
  7. Brenda

    Absolutely amazing and spot on article! D.B. Calla’s voice coupled with Ciid’s music talent exhibits extraordinary music for the soul. I can’t wait to own this album!

    Reply
  8. Kate

    Amazing songs!! I absolutely love DB Calla. She has an amazing voice and brings singing to a hole new level. Can’t wait for the album to be released.

    Reply
  9. Jennifer

    I love hearing DB Calla on 2BTBmusic.com, looking forward to new songs and a live show!

    Reply
  10. Susan

    OMG! “Stronger” is so Amazing! DB Calla’s vocals are off the charts! Her voice resonates not only through my body but down to my soul. I cannot wait to hear the entire album! Wow, What A VOICE!!! We need a Video!!!

    Reply
  11. Rich R

    Love it! Great vocals,great band and a wonderful article by John Pfieffer! Will be looking out for the new CD!!!???

    Reply
  12. Melissa

    AMAZING!!! Do calla has such an amazing voice. I can not wait to hear more and say I knew her before she made it to a gold record!

    Reply
  13. Ella Masterson

    Great read John! Well done. ??Looking forward to hearing the DB Calla cd. She has a Unique voice and style.

    Reply
  14. Kara

    I am amazed by the talent of DB Calla and The Forget me Nots! Great article and can’t wait for the album!

    Reply
  15. Kim

    So refreshing to hear new music that is awesome! DB Calla mixes the old with the new to create a unique sound! Looking forward to more releases!

    Reply
  16. Kim

    So refreshing to hear new music that is awesome! Can’t wait for more releases! Great article!

    Reply
  17. John K

    Great Voice, DB Calla! 2B2T has really nailed it with this band. Can’t wait to hear more!!!

    Reply
  18. Jane

    DB Calla is more than amazing, she is absolutely fantastic! Looking forward to the new music!

    Reply
  19. Kathy P.

    Wow a co worker asked me to check this out and I am glad I did….I am a huge Rock and Roll fan….cant wait for more to come from CIID and his bands! DB CALLA has sparked my interest and so glad to see Rock and Roll keeping it alive!

    Reply
  20. Larry the bass ace

    I’m looking for a strong female VOX for our wall of sound project if your available for recording that would be awesome! Love the earthy quality of your vocals.

    Reply
  21. Denise

    Please let me know when the cd is published. Love this new band. DB Calla is awesome.

    Reply
  22. Kathy

    Awesome job DB Calla!! Can’t wait to hear u on local radio stations. I so want your cd when published.

    Reply
  23. Sandra

    Great article about DB Calla. Love the new songs. Her voice is amazing ! Can’t wait to listen to the new album. A lot of hard work and love in the band.

    Reply
  24. Kevin

    Article sparked my interest so I checked out 2BTB Music.com and was not disappointed with what I found. DB Calla rocks! Sounded Awesome!

    Reply
  25. Heather B.

    Great article- lots of talent here. Always good to hear new music from talented people.

    Reply
  26. Birardi

    Spent over the last year diligently writing and producing the music for these 6 songs with my great talent DB Calla. I am humbled and honored to have such a experienced rock writer give me this in depth review. Hope everyone enjoys listening. Thanks for your support as always!please check out 2BTBmusic.com we will posting a new song each month along with our progress marketing this new project to the world!

    Reply
  27. DB Calla

    Thanks everybody for your support during the EOS years. I hope everyone enjoys my new solo project as much as I did making it!
    I want to thank my producer JBirardi for writing me great songs. Thank you 2BTBmusic.com for the journey we are about to embark on. And a big thank you to Shore World’s John Pfeiffer for the humbling review! Please check us out on facebook and 2BTBmusic.com for updates and progress of this project. Thanks and Rock on!:)

    Reply
  28. Rocco

    Loved EOS Florence Martis Trilogy. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the DB Calla music!

    Reply
  29. johnzelenak

    seen her live and agree with everything MR. PFEIFFER HAS TOO SAY! THE ARTICLE IS TOO THE POINT, I FOR ONE DON’T PLAY AN INSTRUMENT, BUT MAKES ME WANT TOO! I WANT TOO THANK D.B. CALLA AND HER PRODUCER&BAND MATES FOR FIRST CLASS MUSIC! AGAIN THANK YOU MR. PFEIFFER AND THIS GREAT PAPER AQUARIAN FOR YOUR REVIEWS THRU THE YEARS ON SOUTH JERSEY TALENT! WE HAVE MANY!

    Reply
  30. Susan K

    Super article, Mr. Pfeiffer, spot on!!! DB Calla is amazing! Such a beautiful voice and the musical composition is magnificent. Can’t wait to hear the rest! Please, hurry up & release the cd !

    Reply
  31. Bill Tuohy

    As partner and management director of 2BTB Music I am extremely excited of having DB Calla & The Forget Me Nots part of our music family! There has been a lot of work, time, and effort from producer and partner of 2BTB Music Joe Birardi and DB Calla herself. I have the utmost confidence for success for all of their great work. A special thank you to John Pfeiffer for such a great article! I know I can speak for all of us at 2BTB Music that we appreciate the great review you have written for DB Calla.

    Reply
  32. Marley

    If you haven’t experienced the sounds and
    Voice of DB Calla… your missing a new
    Sensation in the world of music!
    Brilliant !!!

    Reply
  33. Katie

    Great article covering a very talented lady with an amazing voice. Combine that voice with Ciid’s music…you get awesome! Love the songs! Can’t wait for the album!

    Reply
  34. Kristen

    Great band, great music. I can’t wait to hear the rest of their album! Definitely a group of extremely talented individuals!

    Reply
  35. Scott shan

    This is a great write up but it is only an article . You can not enjoy the artical unless expeiance the music and the show live . If you get a chance to see them .
    this is one you don’t want to miss .
    Good times great music and incredible show

    Reply
  36. Debbie McCord

    DB is a great singer and performer and a great mother. We have had the pleasure of going to shows in Asbury park. Big fan.

    Thanks
    Debbie

    Reply
  37. Manuela

    Amazing! I’ve had the pleasure of hearing her live and must agree with all the accolades. Can’t wait for the rest of the album!

    Reply
  38. Lisa O

    So excited about this! So much talent! Looking forward to seeing you perform!!

    Reply
  39. Kelly M

    What a great article! Very talented group! Can’t wait to hear the album!

    Reply
  40. Tom Furey

    She’s ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS! The article nails the sound. Songs you’ve never heard before “feel” familia.

    Reply
  41. Jenn

    D.B. Calla is awesome can’t wait to hear what else they have in store…..great article

    Reply
  42. Emilio

    DB Calla are Bad azz! Great songs looking to hear more songs and the article is spot on!

    Reply
  43. Trish

    Great article on a great band !! Looking forward to hearing more. D.B. Calla you have an amazing voice!!!

    Reply
  44. Kaylie

    Such an amazing read and powerful band!! Can’t wait for the album!!! This band is amazing!!

    Reply
  45. SHERRY

    Finally some recognition where do!! Simply the best that I’ve herd in a LONG time! Can’t wAit to hear more! Love you guys!

    Reply
  46. Liese

    Another great article John! Nicely done!
    DB sounds amazing – cannot wait to hear the full album and see the group live!

    Reply
  47. Lisa Baszak Ryfa

    Amazing article…. your an amazing person and I am so very proud of you. I know mom is looking down and saying “you go girl rock on.” Your music is great always reach for the stars love ya

    Reply
  48. Jean Boyle

    Read the article and was impressed by the awesome review, so impressed that I had to go listen to DB Calla because even though I have known her a long time I have never had the privilege of hearing her sing and it was indeed a privilege! Thank you Mr. Pfeiffer for such an amazing review that made me go check out my friends band. I am now a new fan and can’t wait to hear more from this very talented musician! All I can say is wow I love it! Rock on DB Calls! PS when do I get to hear more?

    Reply
  49. Gerard

    Great ? article. Can’t wait to see and hear you all again. Much ❤️ love and success.

    Reply
  50. Laura

    Congrats DB Calla and J Birardi on such a glowing review! You guys deserve it!! I wish you continued success ❤

    Reply
  51. Rene

    Wow D.B Calla can really sing !! What a great voice. Great article too.

    Reply
  52. daria

    great voice, great song, great article, great talent!! can’t wait to hear more!!!

    Reply
  53. Bernie

    DB Calla has such a natural beautiful voice that it keeps you wanting to hear more! One of those rare voices you can’t seem to get enough of. Add that to some of the finest musicianship by none other than Mr Joe Birardi himself and you have a masterpiece gnawing at your senses like an opiate addiction–you keep wanting more. Can’t wait for the new release!!

    Reply
  54. Marley

    If you haven’t experienced the Sound
    And Voice of DB Calla.. Then you are
    Missing out on a New Sensation in today’s
    Music World !!…. Simply Brilliant !!!

    Reply
  55. Janine

    The best article I have read in a long time. Can’t wait to hear more…DB voice is absolutely amazing! Looking forward to the album! All the best!!!

    Reply
  56. Gene

    Article is on the mark. Just heard a few songs and can’t wait to hear more. A fantastic voice and great music. Keep on Rockin

    Reply
  57. Steve Hershey

    I love when great talent collides with truthful production. This is what I look for in music in my playlist. It’s real, and it evokes a groovy feeling.

    Reply
  58. Tykie Koury

    I have known DANI since she was a little girl not only does she have an amazing voice and talert she is also an amazing person.Wishing you all the success and stardom you deserve. I love you

    Reply
  59. Danielle

    What a great review. Amazing band. Their music is so sensual and her voice really takes it to another level.

    Reply
  60. Stacey Lange

    Great article! Shout out to Joe Birardi and his beautiful family, Daniele Zelenak-Birardi and Little Joey…best of luck guys!

    Reply
  61. Cody Harrill

    Amazing music!! I can’t wait for the album. Such a great article by John & showing just how GREAT these musicians are! I’m off to listen to more….

    Reply
  62. Phil

    Having played in and seen Blondsense, 9th Infantry, Heat and EOS live I can tell you that you will see a great Rock n Roll show. A lot of time and effort goes into the rehearsal, sound check and production of the show. Having had CIID produce one of my songs for Pathway I can also tell you he knows exactly what he’s doing in the studio. A pure pleasure to work with and a consummate Professional. Can’t wait to hear the new album and most of all see them LIVE!

    Reply

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