Deborah Vial and her band are back with a vengeance!

In her first single since 2011, Deborah's inner giant has been awoken and she is rising up. I can take an educated guess on what has her on fire, but I will let you decide for yourself. Be The Giant!

Deborah Vial Band put out their first album in seven years. "Giant" contains 14 new songs. This record is released on the band's own label, North Shore Record Company - Maui! We are so excited about this release, and invite you to give it a listen!

Fresh from winning a 2019 Na Hoku Award, Hawaii’s equivalent of a Grammy, for Rock Album of the Year, the Deborah Vial Band has been electrifying audiences across the state and beyond.  

Led by dynamic, powerhouse singer Deborah Vial and her partner, ace guitarist Caron Barrett, the Maui based group has been lauded for their potent, vital sound unleashed on the award-winning album, “Giant”.  

Imagine a sultry, soulful Annie Lennox powering through a stirring anthem for the women’s rights movement on the title song and pouring her heart out on the extraordinary, soaring ballad “Hard Time”. With “Not Takin’ Your S#!t” she shifts into roaring bluesy rock mode and then delivers the passionately rocking “Panic” tribute to a lost friend.  

Other memorable standouts include the charming “Maui Dream” and the Middle Eastern-flavored “Racing to the Sun” highlighted by Barrett’s fiery guitar that recalls Led Zeppelin’s compelling fusion.  

“We’re so proud of it” Vial enthuses about the album.  

All original songs were artfully shaped by Grammy award-winning producer/engineer Eric Helmkamp. A long-time Maui resident Helmkamp has worked with an array of leading artists from Metallica and Motley Crue, to Michael Buble and Sarah McLachlan.  

“When you see someone play live and really kick ass, you know there’s something special there,” says Helmkamp, who shared composing credits on most of the album’s 14 songs.  

Defying easy categorization, Vial is an openly and unabashedly gay artist who crafts songs with universal themes that transcend genres. A confident and remarkably versatile style gives her a unique presence.  

Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Vial first sang in church and was influenced by legends like the soul queen Irma Thomas. She spent years performing overseas for the U.S. troops and then years performing in Dallas in every manner of venue from outdoor cafes, to giant arenas, to prisons.  

The striking lead guitar work on “Giant” is all handled by Barrett, who has been playing guitar since forming the all-girl band “Boycott” at the age of 17 in Lubbock, Texas. After settling in Dallas, she opened up a Record Store peddling vinyl records and punk rock paraphernalia, a Record Label and a world-class recording studio “Last Beat”.  

Vial had released two albums as a solo artist but Barrett had an intriguing project shaping with her band “Astrogin”. The music Barrett had created for their release of “Dynamic Trash” is described as “Pink Floyd meets Fleetwood Mac on acid”. Vial joined the band. “Dynamic Trash” was produced by industry legends-Nick Griffiths and Mike Wanchic. Griffith’s producing credits include Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, and seminal English alternative bands Joy Division and New Order. Wanchic has worked with such notable talents as John Mellencamp and the Black Crowes.  

Relocating to Maui in 2004, the duo formed the Deborah Vial Band, attracting some of Maui’s top players. Besides Helmkamp on guitar, the group includes Mick Fleetwood Blues Band bassist, and Grammy nominee, Lenny Castellanos. Drummer, James Bowersox, once voted Maui’s Best Drummer and keyboardist, Michael Elam, of Soul Kitchen fame.  

A glowing review in The Maui News raved that the Deborah Vial Band is “helping to keep rock healthy, alive and relevant”.  

“Giant’ is available on CD Baby, iTunes, and other digital formats.

– Written by Jon Woodhouse


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