On the cusp: Stars may be lining up for San Juan Island’s hardest-working rocker

Hey, Jimmy Kimmel, there's a storm coming. You could do this the easy way, or the hard way, although either way is going to be a lot of fun. Hurricane Devorah is on her way. The stars seem to be lining up for San Juan Island's hardest-working rocker, who's long been on the cusp of national attention.

Hey, Jimmy Kimmel, there’s a storm coming. You could do this the easy way, or the hard way, although either way is going to be a lot of fun.

Hurricane Devorah is on her way.

The stars seem to be lining up for San Juan Island’s hardest-working rocker, who’s long been on the cusp of national attention: Airtime in Morocco with “Speak,” a song she recorded with her then-husband, Tom Doenges. Another song almost picked up by Heart and Kenny G. Regular gigs with Albritton McClain & the Bridge of Souls. A performance at the International Peace Day concert in Manhattan.

And all the while, evolving. Maturing from the Debbie Sundog of Bonnie Raitt covers and Roche Harbor gigs to the Devorah who’s willing to take the time and draw music from the experiences of her life, from the deep recesses of her soul.

Songs like “No More Goodbyes”: “Two dreams, left behind, caught by winter’s scolding eyes / Never underestimate the soul to yearn for love in the bitter cold / I watched my whole world crumble, the storm rage through the night / We’ve been best friends and lovers, so why goodbye?”

Songs like “Who Are You?”: “You walked me through every piece of my life, like a heavenly sage / And I was taken by your dedication to my education / Got caught in your maze, then I fell from grace.”

Here’s the latest:

— Devorah won Artist of the Year from RockTheBlues.com, a concert promoter that produced the Rock the Stimulus Concert April 24 at the Columbia City Theater in Seattle. Devorah was on the concert lineup with tribute bands Anthem (Rush), Dirty Hollywood (Motley Crue), Heartless (Heart), and Painkiller (Judas Priest).

“We looked at who had the best album, who was the hardest working, who had the most talent and the best voice, and we agreed on Devorah,” RockTheBlues president Gary Draper said.

“She can sing just about anything. She has great range and a lot of styles. She’s definitely got some heavy influences, but on the other hand, she’s got her own style. It’s definitely Devorah.

“When I listened to her album (‘Irrepressible’) and found she’d written it, that was the deciding factor. There are not many albums I can listen to where I like most of the songs. This one, I like all of them.”

Draper said “Irrepressible” has three-generational appeal. “She’s nice to listen to and she’s got enough energy for younger listeners. She’s got the energy. You can’t help but not like the girl.”

— She’s being advised by Billy Terrell, who has produced, published or written 49 Billboard chart-makers in eight genres. Terrell gave “Irrepressible” to Paul McCartney’s camp. According to Draper, “Sir Paul, after listening to it, expressed interest in possibly using songs No. 1 and No. 3 from her CD for a project of his.”

— She’s filmed a commercial for the National Wrestling Alliance Showcase, which has 17 million subscribers on DISH Network and 200,000 online viewers. The commercial set was the Friday Harbor Youth Boxing Club, coached by Brock Hauck. The commercial was directed by Rob Simpson, and edited by Michael Harris and Joshua Wells at OutpostMedia.org in Seattle. Actors included Shane Bison and Kristian Fakstrup.

— She’s in discussions with Thrive by Five, an early education advocacy group led by Bill Gates Sr., for the use of her song, “Wake Up (For the Children).”

— Oh, and about Jimmy Kimmel. Terrell’s office is trying to get Devorah an appearance on the ABC late-night program. Devorah said if she doesn’t hear back from Kimmel, she’ll ride a bicycle from Friday Harbor to Kimmel’s studio in Hollywood, doing radio interviews along the way.

Devorah has been at this game a long time but her love for music — and her determination to take her artistry and her career to a higher level — have never diminished. Not even when there isn’t enough money for the mortgage and that day’s survival comes thanks to a friend who needs help on a landscape job. But the experience of living day by day has taught her something: That you can’t keep focusing on what might happen in the future if it means you lose sight of what’s in front of you. That you have to live for today and have faith that if you do the right thing, the right thing will happen down the road.

“I’ve always treated music like it was an endgame,” she said in a recent interview. “It’s not about the endgame at all. It’s about staying in the moment right now. I’ve got to take what’s right in front of me and give it all I’ve got.”

About that commercial for National Wrestling Alliance: It’s expected to give her a level of exposure she needs. “I’m not easy to market. I’ll be 55 on Aug. 5. But I have a young voice” — in her latest work, her voice has touches of Alanis Morissette and Avril Lavigne — “and a youthful stage energy.”

Terrell wants her to get more exposure via the Internet, which he sees as the new radio. “I think there’s a unique opportunity that exists today, more than ever, in the youth market,” he said. “Her stuff is so catchy, she’s a very youthful performer. The NWA reaches an 18-30 audience. If they’re surfing (the Internet) and stumble upon this, or they’re watching the wrestling sample of it, they’re going to go after the music. It’s all about the music. I want to put that together with as hard as she works.”

You can download songs from “Irrepressible” through Digstation.

This Weekend
Catch Devorah and guitarist Steve Trembley at Pazzo Vivo (formerly Bella Luna), 175 N. First St., Friday Harbor. When: Saturday and Sunday, 8-11 p.m.