Rocco DeLuca and the Burden is a California-based indie rock band that originally formed as a four-piece band in late 2005. The band no longer plays together, though DeLuca remains a solo artist and sometimes plays with close friends in concert.
Rocco DeLuca (born December 27, 1975 in Torrance, California) is half Italian, half German. He grew up in Lake Elsinore, California and Long Beach, California. 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, he had taught himself to play listening to these records and, by the time he was a teenager, Rocco 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. DeLuca began his career as a solo artist opening for artists including Taj Mahal, John Mayer and John Lee Hooker, and has had the opportunity to play with Johnny Cash. 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 in 2009, 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 John Lee Hooker, Johnny 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."
The majority of the band's material is written by Rocco DeLuca himself. 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 in the album "Mercy". For live performances of 2007 tours, the band featured Brett Bixby and Patrick Terlizzi on keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals.
I Trust You to Kill Me album and documentary:
Rocco DeLuca and the Burden'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. Coinciding with the release of the album, the band released a behind-the-scenes documentary titled I Trust You to Kill Me. Public screenings of the film were held in New York City, West Hollywood, and San Francisco in September 2006.
Kiefer Sutherland, along with Ironworks co-owner Jude Cole, offered such support as being the band's tour promoter and manager and helping produce the documentary, and general promotion of the band in 2005. 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, and Top of the Pops in the UK on May 22, 2006.
On March 10, 2009, Deluca released his second full-length album, entitled Mercy. This time, working with U2 producer Daniel Lanois on the album. For Mercy, Deluca decided to strip down the setup to make the live experience "more personal." Shortly thereafter, Deluca and drummer Ryan Carman toured as a duo without bassist Dave Beste and percussionist Greg Velasquez who were both featured in the studio recordings for the album. Celebrity promoter Kiefer Sutherland directed the music video for the album's most-promoted single, "Save Yourself", which was used as the promo for the television movie 24: Redemption. Deluca has cited Lanois as a hero of his and Lanois has many times made guest appearances with him on stage.
Other works and appearances:
After Mercy, DeLuca appeared on Slash's self-titled solo album singing on "Saint is a Sinner Too".
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.