Rocco DeLuca is a California-based musician who came to prominence as the lead singer of the four-piece band Rocco DeLuca and the Burden. Since 2009, Rocco has toured and recorded as a solo artist. He is known for his use of the resonator guitar and his custom baritone lap steel built by Pavel Maslowiec.
Rocco's early years were spent studying the likes of Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, and the darker and raw Delta Blues heroes of the 1920s. By an early age, he had taught himself to play. Initially only playing instrumentally, he later began singing as well. Since then, Rocco has performed around the world, as his authentic and unusual lyrics and voice have garnered him international attention and acclaim. Rocco has aappeared on several TV shows including 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.
Rocco began his career as a solo artist, supporting such acts as Taj Mahal and John Lee Hooker. In 2005, he was signed by independent record label Ironworks, and he led the band Rocco DeLuca and the Burden until 2009. The band's debut album, I Trust You to Kill Me, was released on March 21, 2006. In the summer of 2007, the band supported Keane's Under the Iron Sea Tour in North America. On March 10, 2009, Rocco DeLuca and the Burden released their second full-length album, Mercy. To produce the album, Rocco chose to work with legendary producer Daniel Lanois.
In 2011, 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. On March 6, 2012, 429 Records released Rocco'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.
On August 19, 2014, Rocco released his self-titled fourth album, his second for 429 Records. Once again produced by Daniel Lanois, the album found Rocco building further upon the stripped down sound of Drugs 'N Hymns. To craft the album, Rocco invited a number of local California musicians to his home to record sessions in his bedroom. He toured the United States until November of that year.
Rocco joined forced with Lanois once again to create Goodbye To Language, released September 9, 2016. Constructed entirely from the sounds of steel guitars, Rocco and Lanois created a compositional rigor that recalls the 20th century dreamscapes of Ravel and Debussy, with a sense of sonic futurism and yet also with the naturalness that can only come from artists rooted in centuries of grassroots music. Uncut Magazine featured Goodbye To Language as one of the best albums of 2016. Robert Plant selected Satie as one of his favorite pieces from Goodbye To Language for his Golden Gods compilation.
Rocco and Lanois continued their collaboration in 2018 to create the soundtrack for Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption 2. Featuring artists D'Angelo, Willie Nelson and Rhiannon Giddens, Rocco and Lanois' music won Best Soundtrack/Score at the 2018 Game Awards.
Finally, the project Heavy Sun, the most recent collaboration with Lanois, was birthed after a performance with The Hallelujah Train in New York. Rocco fell in love with the stylings of Johnny Shepherd, Choir Master and house organist at the Zion Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana. DeLuca and Lanois went on to invite Shepherd to Los Angeles, completing the Heavy Sun quartet with singer and bassist Jim Wilson. After 2 residencies and many live performances, the group solidified their harmonies and sound. Unfortunately, the Heavy Sun tour was cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic. Lanois went onto release the album Heavy Sun. DeLuca and Shepherd would continue their creative collaboration, forming their latest project, Mighty Glad.
Rocco has scored numerous films, and his music is regularly featured in commercial campaigns and television shows. He also collaborates often with other artists, appearing on such albums as Slash's self-titled solo album singing on Saint is a Sinner Too.