Monday, June 25, 2012

Debbie Davies Debut Picture This

Debbie Davies has a new release on M.C. Records I will be reviewing soon. It has been nearly 20 years since she had her first album, Picture This on Blind Pig. The following review appeared in the July/August 1993 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 183) although I have made a few minor stylistic changes. I received my review copy from Blind Pig Records.

Debbie Davies spent three years on the road as part of Albert Collins’ band before branching out into a solo career. Picture This (Blind Pig) is her debut album, and is more than a promising set of blues by a new female blues guitarist and vocalist. Obvious comparisons are to Joanna Connor and Sue Foley, however her music lacks the hard rock aspects of Joanna Connor and, unlike Sue Foley, she sings with authority on a program of modern blues, that include several tasty covers and a couple of solid originals.

The title track gets off to a rocking groove, as her dryly delivered vocal leads to a solid solo. Albert Collins guests on I Wonder Why with a typical solo from him. The following number, Livin’ on Lies, is her best original song with memorable lyrics, a New Orleans rhythm and a biting solo as she effectively plays off the groove. Another fine original, How Long Till I Win Your Love, has a Magic Sam flavor. Another influence is Freddie King and she plays relaxed versions of King’s instrumentals Sidetracked and San-Ho-Zay.

Admittedly there is nothing startlingly new here, just a set of modern blues that is well played and sung. Horns are added to several selections that help frame her playing and vocals as well as add variety. This reviewer was impressed when he saw her live, and this well-produced debut recording reinforces that impression. Recommended.

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