Welcome to my island. Come take a trip with me listening to my original songs which recall a slower, more simple life and time on some of the waterways on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, mainly on the Patuxent River in my hometown, Broomes Island, Maryland. My original songs are stories about my life and love on these waterways, beginning with my deeply rooted history as a young crabber and boating enthusiast. My songwriting will stir up plenty of your own memories of being on the water, as I pull you into one of my heart pumping one-woman shows. My rock, gospel, blues, country-soul, and R&B influence my strong and versatile voice that will make your soul's connection. Come on out to one of my shows and get your island on, or stay right here and enjoy your adventure while you watch some of my videos and finish browsing my site. Thank you very kindly for visiting.
~Island Girl

Chesapeake Album 20th Year Anniversary 

May 17, 2023, marked the beginning of what became a very successful Chesapeake Bay classic album. Just today, I bundled all four of my CDs off to an address in West Virginia. God gives us all many different talents and gifts and Chesapeake was certainly one of mine.

Vic’s Italia was where I first introduced the freshly written title track. After the overwhelming  response and positive feedback, I decided it was time to press on with the writing for an entire album. On May 17, 2003, 1,000 copies of Chesapeake was delivered on my doorstep.

Deanna’s Upcoming Shows


City Sliders at Westlawn Inn

Thursday, July 13, 2023, 6-9 PM

9200 Chesapeake Avenue, North Beach, MD

Founders Row Concert Series

Saturday, July 15, 2023, 5-7 PM

110 Founders Avenue, Falls Church, VA 22046




The year was 1980, the year John Lennon died. Christmas was coming on and I knew what I was gifting myself. I proceeded to Chuck Levin’s Music Store, and four hours later, in Chuck’s sound room, after singing through two different microphones and then singing while listening between two brands of speakers, the purchases were made.

No, I did not select the infamous Shure SM58 that every vocalist used, I picked the Electro Voice microphone, can’t remember what the model number was, but it’s still somewhere in my paperwork. But it doesn’t matter. I loved that mic and had it repaired after 28 years and then it finally died. I was very disappointed to have to test drive another EV mic because that model was discontinued. I still use an EV mic today and the same Whirlwind mic cable that I purchased in 1980. It’s still getting the job done. Thank you Whirlwind! I also purchased a Peavy 6-channel PA along with humongous SP3 speakers. That system served me well for about 26 years until I felt the need to upgrade.

Once I dialed in my sound, it was time to select my band members one by one. My first choice was the bass player, Chip Michael. Chip was a great musician and would serve to teach me a lot more about music. We pulled a set list together and from there it was on to finding a guitar player and drummer. This would up the noise decibel's, so the selections had to be strategic because I also needed a rehearsal space. I worked in DC, living in my first apartment, so that loud noise just wasn’t going to be tolerated.

After exhausting all of the local choices of musicians, I chose to make the drive back down to the county to build my band with my sister and her husband, Denise and Boe Hilton. I got the opportunity to sing with my sister once again, just like when we were growing up singing beautiful songs and harmonies. The difference this time around was that I was the lead singer and she sang back up. Boe was a budding musician and wanted to learn the same rock songs that were being added to our repertoire. From there it took a while to find a drummer and eventually another guitar player, Geoff Ward. Geoff was a good lead guitar player and Johnny Wilding had the dynamics on drums and the contacts! We were all set and settled on the name, Steel Claw.

Steel Claw performing at our first house party (with the birthday hosts).

Boe Hilton, Kay Dove (Yes, my middle name that I am stilled referred to today by family and mostly school friends) and Denise Hilton.

Center Boe Hilton and right, Chip Michael. Sorry Geoff and Johnny didn’t make this photo.

And me with my band mascot, Ben Jamin’, my pet Gorilla!



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