Dirty Linen - p.83
"She writes tearjerkers that make you want to move into Heartbreak Hotel, she sings like a gin-soaked barroom queen, and she can play a Stratocaster blues solo until you beg mercy..."
Personnel: Debbie Davies (vocals, guitar); Debbie Davies (guitars); Noel Neal (bass instrument); Arthur Neilson (guitar, slide guitar); Bruce Katz (piano, organ); Per Hanson (drums).
Audio Mixer: Lincoln Clapp.
Liner Note Author: Debbie Davies.
Recording information: The Studio, Mortland, ME (12/2004).
Debbie Davies doesn't play straight blues on All I Found, her eighth release as a bandleader and her first for Telarc Records, so much as a kind of blues-inflected country-pop somewhat reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt, only without Raitt's distinctive, drop-dead slide guitar technique. Make no mistake, Davies plays some solid guitar on this album (she got her start playing in Albert Collins' Icebreakers, after all), and she has Arthur Neilson on loan from Shemekia Copeland on second guitar to keep things sizzling on three cuts, but somehow under all that stellar guitar work, several of these songs seem a little tired, and "Troughin'," a humorous ditty about overeating, is downright irritating. The organ-dominated title tune (with Bruce Katz handling the keys) is a delight, though, and features the wonderfully wry vocal hook "I went looking for a good man and all I found was you," which Davies delivers with exactly the right amount of sly and bemused disgust. The feisty instrumental "So What" is another clear highlight, allowing Davies, Neilson, and the rhythm section of Per Hanson on drums and Noel Neal on bass to cut loose a little bit. In the end, All I Found feels like an album in a holding pattern, with enough guitar fireworks to keep it interesting but not enough standout songs to make it particularly memorable. ~ Steve Leggett