Debora Iyall from Romeo Void is back with ‘Stay Strong’ 

Thanks to lessons learned with her old combo Romeo Void, Debora Iyall is now a wise, lived-to-tell veteran of the ’70s/’80s San Francisco punk scene. So as the music business began to crumble around her in the new digital age, she had no trouble applying her past DIY knowledge to the iTunes times.

To release her new comeback set “Stay Strong,” she simply formed her own imprint, named it after her Australian shepherd Dottie, and used Dottie’s bright-eyed visage as the company logo. And she’ll be playing material from it — plus Romeo Void classics like “Never Say Never” and “A Girl In Trouble” — at the Make-Out Room in The City next Wednesday.

“Stay Strong” was co-written with (and produced by) Iyall’s longtime musical partner Peter Dunne. It also credits him with all tracks, guitars and background vocals — the punk rock ethic pared down to its barest two-member essentials.

Iyall has a great backstory, as well.

Born in Washington, the Cowlitz-tribe member wound up studying at the San Francisco Art Institute, where she met future Romeo Void bassist Frank Zincavage in 1979. After seeing the Avengers play, they decided to form their band, and signed with local impresario Howie Klein’s great 415 Records.

By 1985, after four records, the band had splintered, and Iyall began teaching art in 1995, and got her master’s degree in 2007. By 2009, she was ready to perform again. Which is great for us, because she’s sounding stronger than ever, like she never left the scene.

Listen to “Stay Strong” and see if you don’t agree at  www.deboraiyall.com.

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Tom Lanham

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