Love the Game

This is Debbie Davies' sixth album—her third for Shanachie—and at this juncture, Love the Game can be taken as a rÉsumÉ of not only what Davies has to offer as a blues play

This is Debbie Davies' sixth album—her third for Shanachie—and at this juncture, Love the Game can be taken as a résumé of not only what Davies has to offer as a blues player but what lies beyond her abilities (and those of many contemporary blues artists). She is, first and last, a guitarist. Everything else she does—singing, writing tunes—is the byproduct of having to front a band. The slow blues "Down in the Trenches" is a prime example of the problems here: The groove is there, but the song, an original number, is a string of clichés; the lead guitar is both tasteful and articulate, but Davies' vocal is ordinary; she would come off better behind a strong singer. "Can't Find the Blues," another Davies original, offers the same upside and downside. Her best material usually comes from other writers, such as "Was Ya Blue," written by Don Castagno, her drummer, or when she collaborates on tunes with Castagno, as on "I'm Just Your Fool."—PVV