Debbie Davies,
Blues Blast
(Telarc, 2007)

How's this for a band? Tab Benoit, Coco Montoya, Charlie Musselwhite, Bruce Katz, Rod Carey and Per Hanson. That's who Debbie Davies brought in to support her on Blues Blast, and a blast it is. Both Davies and Montoya came out of Albert Collins' band, where they did their graduate work in the blues. The opening cut, "A.C. Strut," a tribute to Collins, shows what they learned.

Davies' tone is rich, her playing melodic, while Montoya has a sharper, edgier attack. Together, the two guitars blend beautifully and when you throw Benoit into the mix, on John Lee Hooker's "Crawling King Snake" or Howling Wolf's "Moaning for My Darling," you're in guitar paradise. The CD isn't all guitar heroics, though. Musselwhite gives a demonstration of just what a blues harp is capable of.

The vocals shift from artist to artist and the set features a few instrumentals, so the CD continues to take you by surprise as it moves from track to track.

Debbie Davies' Blues Blast lives up to its title. It is never less than a blast.

review by
Michael Scott Cain

8 March 2008

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