Rocco Deluca

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Rocco DeLuca
Rocco DeLuca Commodore Ballroom.jpg
Rocco DeLuca at the Commodore Ballroom, February 2011
Background information
Born (1975-12-27) December 27, 1975 (age 41)
Origin Long Beach, California, United States
Years active 2005–present
Labels 429 Records (USA)
Associated acts

Rocco DeLuca (born December 27, 1975) is a California-based indie rock musician who came to prominence as the lead singer of the four-piece band Rocco DeLuca and the Burden. Since 2009, DeLuca has toured and recorded as a solo artist.

Early life[edit]

DeLuca, half Italian and half German, was born in Torrance, California and grew up in Lake Elsinore and Long Beach.[1] Like other Angelenos, he was surrounded by local literature, Latino art, motorcycles, film, and music. His early years were spent studying the likes of Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, and the darker and raw Delta Blues heroes of the 1920s. By the age of seven, DeLuca had taught himself to play listening to these records and, by the time he was a teenager, he had developed his skills and confidence to perform for others. Initially only playing instrumentally, he later began singing as well. Since, he has performed around the world as his authentic and unusual lyric and voice have garnered him international attention and acclaim.


DeLuca is known for his use of the Dobro, a particular design of resonator guitar. He began his career as a solo artist, opening for acts including Taj Mahal, John Mayer and John Lee Hooker, and has had the opportunity to play with Johnny Cash.[2] From 2003 to 2006, he regularly played at Gypsy Lounge in Lake Forest, California. Starting in 2005, when DeLuca was signed by the independent record label Ironworks, he led the band Rocco DeLuca and the Burden until 2009. After the band's last performances, DeLuca continued as a solo artist as well as working on projects with Slash and Robbie Robertson. During his career, he has played with various legends such as Hooker, Cash, June Carter, and Daniel Lanois.

Upon meeting DeLuca, Lanois described him as follows: "My initial meeting with Rocco [...] was pure and centered and seemed to have a sense of purpose, and I felt that there was something burning in his heart that I could be helpful to. It had that kind of truth in it that I decided to run with. I like the street corner aspect of working with Rocco, it woke up a certain part of my renegade ways I'm trying to keep alive these days. I fully believe in DeLuca. I think that he's got the power to be a contemporary troubadour, as I see it, and I hope I can be his friend for a long time, whether I am operating in the same limelight, ahead of him, behind him, in his shadow, whatever it takes, I'll be there. The one thing that I love about Rocco DeLuca is he is driven by his own heart."

Rocco DeLuca and the Burden[edit]

From 2005 to 2009, DeLuca was lead singer and guitarist for the band Rocco DeLuca and the Burden, as well as writer of the majority of the band's material. On top of his resonator guitar, he also played glockenspiel, piano, organ, and banjo in the studio recordings. Long-time friend Ryan Carman played the drums, glockenspiel, cajón, and bells among other percussion instruments. Original percussionist Greg Velasquez has also been credited for keyboards, and original bassist David Beste has been credited for glockenspiel, piano and organ. Producer Daniel Lanois was credited for electric piano, electric guitar, strings, percussion, pedal steel, lowery, and piano on the album Mercy. For live performances of 2007 tours, the band featured Brett Bixby on keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals.

2005-07: I Trust You to Kill Me album and documentary[edit]

The band's debut album, I Trust You to Kill Me, was released on CD on March 21, 2006 on the Ironworks label. The album was produced by Jude Cole, mixed by Florian Ammon (except for tracks 2, 7 and 10 which were mixed by Dave Reed), and engineered by Florian Ammon and Dave Reed.[citation needed] Coinciding with the release of the album, the band released a behind-the-scenes documentary under the same title.[3] Public screenings of the film were held in New York City, West Hollywood, and San Francisco in September 2006.

Actor Kiefer Sutherland, co-owner of Ironworks with Jude Cole, offered support as the band's tour promoter and manager, as well as helping to produce the documentary. Sutherland is also featured in the film, most famously for an incident in which he dove full-body into a decorated Christmas tree. In May 2006, the band and Sutherland traveled to the United Kingdom to promote their new release by playing some live shows. In the summer of 2007, the band also opened for English band Keane's Under the Iron Sea Tour in North America.

The band appeared on several TV shows, such as Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Kastljós in Iceland,[4] and Top of the Pops in the UK on May 22, 2006.[5]

2008-09: Mercy and break-up[edit]

On March 10, 2009, Rocco DeLuca and the Burden released their second full-length album, entitled Mercy. To produce the album, DeLuca chose to work with Lanois, who had produced a number of albums for rock band U2, including The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, and All That You Can't Leave Behind, as well as other artists like Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, and Bob Dylan.[6] DeLuca has cited Lanois as a hero of his and Lanois has many times made guest appearances with him on stage. For Mercy, DeLuca decided to strip down the setup to make the live experience "more personal." Shortly thereafter, DeLuca and Carman toured as a duo without Beste and Velasquez, who were both featured in the studio recordings for the album. Kiefer Sutherland directed the music video for the album's most-promoted single, "Save Yourself", which was used as the promo for Sutherland's television movie 24: Redemption.[citation needed] Following touring for the album, DeLuca and Carman also split ways.

Solo career[edit]

2010-13: Solo touring and Drugs 'N Hymns[edit]

He participated as a guest artist on the 13 cut of the album Slash, interpreting the theme Saint Is A Sinner Too.
DeLuca began touring as a solo artist, continuing to hone a raw, confessional, bluesy sound. No longer with the band, he parted ways with Ironworks and signed with 429 Records in December 2011.[7] On March 6, 2012, 429 Records released DeLuca's third full-length and first solo album, Drugs 'N Hymns. The album was a decidedly different sound from his first two albums, featuring sparse production and a brooding, ethereal tone.

2014-present: Rocco DeLuca[edit]

On August 19, 2014, DeLuca released his self-titled fourth album, his second for 429 Records. Once again produced by Daniel Lanois, the album found DeLuca returning to the more stripped down sound of Drugs 'N Hymns and building upon it. To craft the album, DeLuca invited a number of local California musicians to his home to record sessions in his bedroom.[8] He toured the United States until November of that year culminating in a series of "Living Room" residency shows.

Other works and appearances[edit]

After Mercy, DeLuca appeared on Slash's self-titled solo album singing on "Saint is a Sinner Too".

Popular culture[edit]

The song "Swing Low" featured in episode 9 of season 4 of Rescue Me.

The song "When You Learn To Sing" featured in episode 4 of season 1 of Parenthood.

The song "Congregate" featured in episode 3 of season 10 of Criminal Minds.




  • "Colorful"
  • "Save Yourself"
  • "Open Pages"
  • "Saint is a Sinner too" - Slash ft. Rocco DeLuca


Chart information[edit]

Year Album / Single Peak Chart Position
Billboard 200 Top Heatseekers Independent Albums Folk Albums
2006 I Trust You to Kill Me 177 [9] 5 [9] 12 [9] -
2009 Mercy 123 [9] 2 [9] - -
2012 Drugs 'N Hymns - - - 22 [9]
2014 Rocco DeLuca - - - -


  1. ^ Beers, Joel (2006). "Dream On". Retrieved 2006-05-16.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ I Trust You To Kill Me official site (2006). "about the band- Rocco Deluca". MRB Productions. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  3. ^ unknown (2006). "Jack Bauer Says "I Trust You To Kill Me!"". Retrieved 2006-05-15.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ Kastljos (2006). "Iceland's Kastljos interviews Kiefer and DeLuca". Retrieved 2006-05-15.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ BBC (2006). "BBC's Top of the Pops "coming soon"". Retrieved 2006-05-15.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ Mercy (CD liner). Rocco DeLuca and the Burden. CA: Ironworks Music. 2009. p. 10. 
  8. ^ "429 Records Artist: Rocco DeLuca". 429 Records. 2014. Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Billboard Chart Listing". Retrieved 2015-08-20. 

External links[edit]