Sat July 13, 2013
marc on the blues

Debbie Davies Powerfully Proves Blueswomen Aren't Just Songbirds

Women have proven time and again that the male dominated music establishment was dead wrong back in the day when they considered women only as 'songbirds' in the Blues.

American Blues guitarist Debbie Davies has thoroughly justified her place in the pantheon of super Blues guitar slingers.

But don’t take my word for it.

"She [Debbie Davies] wields an electric guitar as if it were a wand." — LOS ANGELES TIMES

"She pulls out all the stops. She can play it all: seductive, soulful material, down-home delta blues, or humorous tales of life on the road." – BLUES REVIEW MAGAZINE

Born in Los Angeles, Davies is well-known for her membership in Albert Collins’ band from 1988 until 1991. She also played with John Mayall’s wife in Maggie Mayall and the Cadillacs, opened for Jimmy Buffett’s 1991 tour with Fingers Taylor and the Ladyfinger Revue, and collaborated with Double Trouble, Coco Montoya, J. Geils, Duke Robillard and many more top Blues artists.

Debbie’s music education started in the home with both of her parents being professional musicians who spent a lot of time at the piano or listening to big band Jazz, vocal harmony groups and pop icons’ records. It was her father’s collection of Ray Charles albums that influenced her the most. By the time Debbie was 12 she had decided the guitar was for her.

Growing up in the 1960s, girls were expected to play only acoustic, but the British Blues/Rock bands of the day captured Davies and she wished to emulate Eric Clapton. So she rebelled against the norms of the day. Thank heaven. It was Clapton’s work with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers that first grabbed Debbie and so it is appropriate that she went on to play with Maggie Mayall.

Debbie considers her time with Albert Collins as her most important formative time. She has said “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 guitar playing combines West Coast Blues-Rock with a touch of Texas, a dash of Chicago and just a slight overtone of Clapton. She also is a very fine vocalist, smooth yet powerful.

Debbie Davies has been nominated for ten Blues Music Awards and has won the 1997 W. C. Handy Award for Best Contemporary Female Artist and the 2010 Blues Music Award for Best Traditional Female Artist.

Find out why the Los Angeles Times and Blues Review Magazine said what they did about Debbie Davies this week on The Nine O’clock Blues.


Related Program