Debbie DAVIES – All I Found 2004

Debbie DAVIES – All I Found 2004

Blues

Debbie Davies doesn’t play straight blues on All I Found, her eighth release as a bandleader and her first for Telarc Records, so much as a kind of blues-inflected country-pop somewhat reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt, only without Raitt’s distinctive, drop-dead slide guitar technique. Make no mistake, Davies plays some solid guitar on this album (she got her start playing in Albert Collins’ Icebreakers, after all), and she has Arthur Neilson on loan from Shemekia Copeland on second guitar to keep things sizzling on three cuts, but somehow under all that stellar guitar work, several of these songs seem a little tired, and “Troughin’,” a humorous ditty about overeating, is downright irritating. The organ-dominated title tune (with Bruce Katz handling the keys) is a delight, though, and features the wonderfully wry vocal hook “I went looking for a good man and all I found was you,” which Davies delivers with exactly the right amount of sly and bemused disgust. The feisty instrumental “So What” is another clear highlight, allowing Davies, Neilson, and the rhythm section of Per Hanson on drums and Noel Neal on bass to cut loose a little bit. In the end, All I Found feels like an album in a holding pattern, with enough guitar fireworks to keep it interesting but not enough standout songs to make it particularly memorable.
By Steve Leggett.
**
All I Found, Debbie Davies’ debut Telarc release, is a gutsy, guitar-driven blues tour de force. Honing her chops in the legendary Albert Collins’ band, the Icebreakers, the guitarist/singer/songwriter has been fronting her own powerful blues units over the course of seven critically-acclaimed releases. All I Found, her eighth outing as frontwoman, finds Davies at the top of her game on an album of eleven all-original tracks co-written with longtime songwriting partner Don Costagno.
The backing unit, featuring an all-star cast of Arthur Neilson (second guitar), Bruce Katz (keyboards) and the quintessential blues rhythm section of Noel Neal (bass) and Per Hanson (drums), provides the perfect foundation for Davies’ distinctive and articulate guitar playing and the most emotive vocals of her career.
“Fortunately for me, Shemekia Copeland and her band were taking some down time, and I was able to borrow Arthur Neilson for the project,” Davies says in her liner notes. “Arthur is a guitar player’s guitar player. He can do it all, from down and dirty Delta blues to uptown funky R&B. But most important of all, he’s a great guy with a great attitude and he loves to jam.”
One of only a few female guitar players with a Fender endorsement, Davies has been nominated seven times for W. C. Handy Awards and won the Handy Award for Best Contemporary Female Blues Artist in 1997.
Davies’ parents were musicians–her father was an arranger and session leader for Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and Pearl Bailey–and she grew up playing blues and rock on the West Coast. Attending jam sessions in Los Angeles put her in touch with players such as blues guitarist Coco Montoya. Montoya introduced her to Maggie Mayall–wife of British blues great John Mayall–which led to Davies joining Maggie’s all-woman blues and R&B band, Maggie Mayall & the Cadillacs in 1985.
Montoya also facilitated Davies’ next major career break. Montoya had, at one time, been Albert Collins’ drummer, and he introduced Davies to Collins. Collins asked her to join the Icebreakers in 1988. She toured with Collins for four years, leaving to play lead guitar for Jimmy Buffett’s harmonica man, Fingers Taylor, in 1991. Collins and Davies played together again in 1993 on Debbie’s solo debut for Blind Pig Records, Picture This. Later that year, Collins died of cancer at age 61.
“There will never be another Albert,” Davies says of her mentor. “He had such a specific style. What I learned from him is that everything that comes out has to be totally wired to your soul–no matter what. I saw how much Albert could go through on the road–the headaches, the setbacks, the breakdowns–and still reach inside his soul each night and just give.”
Davies, one of the top contemporary blues artists on the scene today, injects that same kind of deep, soulful resonance into All I Found. Whether performing live or in the studio, Davies takes Albert Collins’ legacy into a new century. She’s giving the blues everything she’s got.
**
Debbie Davies- (Vocals, Guitars);
Arthur Neilson- (Guitar, Slide Guitar);
Bruce Katz- (Piano, Organ);
Noel Neal (Bass);
Per Hanson- (Drums).
**
01. Made Right In The USA (4:10)
02. One More Time (3:29)
03. Evidence (5:10)
04. All I Found (6:08)
05. Troughin’ (5:19)
06. I Won’t Be Your Baby Too Long (3:47)
07. So What (4:08)
08. Comfort Zone (4:44)
09. Every Breath I Take (5:01)
10. Trying To Keep It Real (5:54)
11. What Do You See In That Girl (4:08)
**


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