A happy Monday, friends! It’s time for this month’s edition of Any Woman’s Blues.
Today’s featured artist, Debbie Davies, has an impressive resume & the chops to back it up. Davies grew up in Los Angeles in the 1950s & 60s, & was introduced to music at the earliest age by her two professional musician parents. On her website, Davies notes that she found herself attracted to the blues sound when still quite young, being drawn to Ray Charles’ music. Later, she came under the spell of the electric blues thru the music of the British Invasion, & specifically thru Clapton’s work with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers.
Drawn to the sound of the electric blues, Davies settled on electric guitar as her instrument early on, despite the fact that in those days, the electric guitar was seen as very much a “male instrument.” After some time playing in the San Francisco blues scene, Davies headed back to Los Angeles in the early 80s & played with Maggie Mayall & the Cadillacs, the all-woman band fronted by John Mayall’s wife. Then a big break came in 1988, when she began touring & recording with Albert Collins. Davies says,
“I stepped through a door into the real blues world when I joined Albert’s band. It’s one thing to listen to the records and pull off the licks, or sit in the audience watching these artists play. But actually going out and touring with one, turned the blues into something completely three-dimensional for me.”
Davies also had a stint with Fingers Taylor & the Ladyfinger Revue, but also began a solo career in the 1990s, signing a contract with the great blues label, Blind Pig. She has released a dozen albums, starting with Picture This in 1993, with the most recent being Holdin’ Court from Little Dipper in 2009.
Davies won the coveted W. C. Handy Award for Best Contemporary Female Artist in 1997, & followed that up with the 2010 Blues Music Award for Best Traditional Female Artist. Her guitar playing has won kudos from critics & her fellow musicians alike, & she plays a fierce, hard-edged style on a Fender Stratocaster.
We have two videos as usual to enjoy Davies’ playing; the second is an instrumental number that’s a tribute to the great Otis Rush!