In the '90s, Amber deLaurentis became one the top female singer/songwriters in the Philadelphia area. She didn't become a huge national star in the '90s, but in and around Philly, the pop/rock/adult alternative storyteller received a lot of favorable reviews and acquired a small local following. DeLaurentis has been heavily influenced by Carole King and Bonnie Raitt, and there are hints of Aretha Franklin in some of her performances. While deLaurentis is a pop/rock artist first and foremost, those who listen closely can tell that she has also been affected by R&B (mainly classic soul from the '60s and '70s). No one will ever accuse the big-voiced deLaurentis of sounding like a fragile waif; she favors a robust, full-bodied style of singing, and her work tends to be very bluesy and gritty. What types of listeners have attended her Philly gigs? As a rule, Philadelphians who have been drawn to deLaurentis' performances are also drawn to artists like Natalie Merchant, Joan Osborne, Sheryl Crow, Patty Griffin, and Melissa Etheridge -- in other words, female singer/songwriters who are soulful and bring a lot of blues feeling to their work. DeLaurentis' bluesiness not only comes through in her singing; it also asserts itself when she is playing the acoustic piano. As a pianist, deLaurentis favors a very New Orleans-minded approach that brings to mind Professor Longhair and James Booker.
DeLaurentis (who also plays organ) didn't grow up right in the heart of Philly; she went to high school in Collingswood, NJ, which is where she met her partner/lyricist/manager, Sarah Blue. After high school, deLaurentis and Blue both moved to New England and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. DeLaurentis majored in music, while Blue was an English major -- and it was during their college years that they became musical partners. DeLaurentis and Blue moved to Philly after graduating from Hampshire; with Blue's help, deLaurentis became a fixture on the Philly club scene in the '90s. In 2001, deLaurentis recorded her EP, By George! Live at the Tin Angel, which was released on the Delayed Reaction label. ~ Alex Henderson