This newest release for Debbie Davies is an all-instrumental disc that both pays homage to those who's tone and styles she attempted to learn from and also some of the tunes she has written. She burst into public notice as the lead guitarist with Albert Collins and the Icebreakers for several years, 1988 to 1981. She also played with John Mayall's wife in, Maggie Mayall and the Cadillac's. Since 1993 she went out and formed her own groups and has been a band leader ever since. This is a foray into her roots in some ways, as she explores the electric guitar players of the 60s who had an influence on her—Otis Rush, Kenny Burrell, Gatemouth Brown and of course Albert Collins. Many of the tunes are her own compositions but she also includes a few that reflect her background, tunes by some such as Duke Robillard and John Lee Hooker. Her father worked in the recording studios with Frank Sinatra and Pearl Bailey and wrote arrangements for Ray Charles, so she has that musical background to draw upon, as well.
Holdin' Court owes more to the smoothness of Kenny Burrell and the jazz and swing of Gatemouth, than to the slide work or single note of either Otis Rush or Albert Collins. There are passages that are filled with the single note blues of either, however there is a glide and ease that goes more to the jazzier side of the blues even going towards surf guitar. Debbie Davies is a guitar player who can sit in with anyone and go head to head with any of the 'monsters' of the rock/blues guitar world but on this disc she pulls out all stops and shows a side which is only hinted at on some of her previous discs. It is a refreshing change to have an all-instrumental disc; I don't think it has been done very much since the 60s and maybe early 70s in the blues and/or rock fields. Hopefully we will see more players sit down and give some serious thought to this showcase, and play what is in their hearts.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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