Deborah McColl had an established career as a solo singer/songwriter on the East Coast before relocating to the Los Angeles area nearly two decades ago. In some circles, however, she is still best known as the original “Reeferette” in Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band. From 1978 to 1982 - the period that harmonica player Fingers Taylor refers to as the “heavy artillery days” - she toured with Buffett, recording six albums and co-writing two songs.
But McColl’s solo work is not about Margaritas or wasting away. Her songs are fresh and inspiring - some are country/folk with a twist of bluegrass, others poetic and moody, but all have a modern edge. Her concerts, as well as her CD, feature her exquisitely pure vocals and the super-sweet acoustic guitar playing of Patrick Lubow.
Interestingly, McColl’s ‘day job’ provides both contrast and complement to her musical endeavors. In the mid-80’s, to counterbalance the brain-draining rigors of ‘the road’, she returned to school and earned her graduate degree in clinical psychology. A licensed psychotherapist since 1992, she specializes in working with artists and musicians deborahmccollmfcc.com. Her weekly Creative Process Group, held at her office in South Pasadena, supports and inspires participants’ creative integrity in a hectic, profit-oriented world.
Deborah McColl Naked in the Garden Produced by Joe Turano
After listening to this solo debut from L.A.-based songwriter Deborah McColl, one’s reaction is likely to be, “Why did she wait so long?” A 20-year-plus veteran in the music industry, McColl has shared the stage with the likes of Tom Waits, Cat Stevens, and Hoyt Axton. Moreover, between 1978 and 1982 she sang backup and recorded with Jimmy Buffett (with whom she continues to maintain a strong connection). Naked in the Garden marks McColl’s return to music following a long sabbatical during which she earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology. And what a return it is! Accompanied by roots-oriented instrumentation (played by several of her musician friends), and her own acoustic guitar, McColl excels at creating textured balladry and mid-tempo folk-pop centered on sturdy melodies and beautifully crafted arrangements. A gifted singer as well, McColl often brings to mind such songbirds as Patty Larkin and Margo Timmins, albeit with a hint of twang. Perhaps best of all, Naked in the Garden demonstrates the way in which “subtle” can translate into “substantial.” - RUSSELL HALL, Music Editor for Performing Songwriter magazine
"Deborah McColl is a really hard lady to pin down. I'm of the opinion that's a good thing. A right thing. She does every genre of music I've heard from her equally as well and just as much from the heart, whether it be country, folk or what I call "spiritually uplifting". Not gospel. Not really. Music that's more about inner peace and hope than it is about God (or rather, another way of talking about it, if you prefer). She has a voice that can go anywhere from sweet innocence to smokey bar seduction. She's also a fantastic songwriter. By that, I mean that she takes these songs in directions, both lyrically and musically, that I never would have expected. She surprises me - and in this world of radio "sameness", makes herself stand out as an original. Jodi Krangle, The Muses Muse, December, 2000J
"Deborah McColl's songs flow straight from her heart -- sweet and strong,gentle and bold. Her righteous singing and passionate playing serve themwell. This is a new voice with plenty of promise." Doug Adrianson, Los Angeles Times, June 2000
"It's tempting to compare Deborah McColl to icon Joni Mitchell or folk-era balladeers. But ultimately this singer-songwriter's ability to connect touches listeners with a musical intimacy that's purely original - and very satisfying". Peter Day, Applause!, June, 2000
This web site is dedicated to the memory of my soul mate, life partner of 15 years, and guitarist Patrick Robert Lubow, 1955-2007.