Debbie Davies sounds like a man. Her blues-guitar playing and inventive fretwork are so strong and forceful that, albeit ignorantly, some people are surprised that those notes are coming from the fingertips of a woman. Most aren't surprised at her gender, though; it's her blazing talent that blows them away. One such person was the great bluesman Albert Collins, who saw Davies play with the all-woman Maggie Mayall (John Mayall's wife) and the Cadillacs in 1988. Collins asked Davies to join his band, the Icebreakers. She toured with Collins for four years before leaving to join up with Jimmy Buffett's harp player, Finger Taylor. Before his death of cancer in 1993, Collins played with Davies one last time on her debut record, Picture This. Collins' profound influence can be heard throughout Davies latest album, Tales From the Austin Motel.
The recording features bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton, the rhythm section for the late Stevie Ray Vaughn's band Double Trouble. The combination of these accomplished players and Davies' explosive, right-on guitar playing is incendiary. The 12 tracks, including three Willie Dixon classics, were recorded in Austin. The location and the company give the album a rough Texas blues feel, without straying too far from Davies' main influences of Collins, Albert King and Eric Clapton.
Debbie Davies will be performing three shows only in Colorado on this tour. Get your ass up the pass, and catch the one at Tres Hombres in Woodland Park on Friday night. Tickets are $10. Call 687-0625 to reserve.[p]