For her latest album, Blues Blast, 54-year-old blues guitarist Debbie Davies approached the project a bit differently from usual. With a band of all-star musicians, she went into the studio and cut the disc live, playing straight through to give off the feel of a concert rather than just an overproduced album. "Live playing is important, though some pop artists wouldn't do it," Davies said recently via phone from her home in Connecticut.
Joining her in the studio were harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite and fellow guitarists Coco Montoya and Tab Benoit, who together gave the music an added spark of energy, especially in moments like "A.C. Strut" and "Sonoma Sunset," which include a few hot duels. Davies began her professional career back in the 1980s, and after a number of gigs in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, she joined Albert Collins' outfit in 1988. "He was one of my guitar heroes, and when I got to play with him for the first time, it was an opportunity to really get into the blues," she recalls.
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For her South Florida stop, she will showcase material from the new disc alongside music from her back catalog, backed by longtime drummer and songwriting partner Don Castagno and New Orleans-born bassist Cass Faulkner. They're not the big-name cats who cut the record with Davies, but they can hold their own in a juke joint, so folks who show up at the Bamboo Room this weekend should feel right at home—as usual.