Davies' third album finds this artist moving in a much more "pop" direction, proving that she can both stretch her wings artistically and has far more to offer than merely recycled riffs and motifs filtered through a women's perspective. Her social consciousness raising quickly comes up for air on the opening track, "Howlin' At The Moon," one of only three Davies originals aboard this outing. But her interpretations of gospel pop ballad material like Lenny McDaniel's beautiful "Tired Angels," and duets with Coco Montoya on Albert Collins' title track and Tab Benoit on "Let The Heartaches Begin" are every bit as strong, her vocal skills showing more maturity and assuredness with each album. Her solo work is spot on, always paying homage to a wide variety of stylistic lessons well learned and solidly in the blues pocket with no added rock affectations to bog it down. But tracks like "Homework" (not the Otis Rush classic) make it clear that this is Debbie Davies being mainstreamed into Bonnie Raitt territory and she doesn't sound uncomfortable there at all, making this a most ambitious effort.
One of the toughest, most talented female singer-songwriter-guitar slingers on the contemporary blues scene today is Debbie Davies. On Love the Game the former sidewoman to John Mayall and Albert Collins spices up her collection of insightful, slice-of-life stories (some of which were penned by her longtime bandmate Don Castagno) with stinging licks and down-home soul. Produced by the wily blues vet Duke Robillard, Debbie’s seventh overall and third for Shanachie features special guest appearances from guitarist Jay Geils, pianist Bruce Katz, saxophonists Doug James and Gordon Beadle and longtime guitar colleague Coco Montoya, who lays out some ferocious licks alongside Davies and Robillard on the aptly named three-way shuffle jam “Fired Up.” Debbie’s autobiographical words on “Can’t Live Like This No More” hit home to anyone over “a certain age,” while the feelings of futility she sings about on her melancholy slow blues “Down in the Trenches” would register with anyone who has ever felt love slip away. Castango offers a sly sense of earthy humor on “Worst Kinda Man,” “Keep Your Sins to Yourself” and the album’s lone acoustic number, “Was Ya Blue”.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. A sweet 70s set from the ultra-hip rhythm duo of bassist John Lee and drummer Gerry Brown – working here in a European setting with loads of great reed work to support the "bamboo" vibe of the title! Flute player Chris Hinze blows both bamboo and regular flute – and the feel of the set is like some of his excellent fusion dates from the same time – but the record also has lots of great work from Gary Bartz on alto and soprano sax, plus some keyboards from Hubert Eaves and Jasper Van'T Hof – two very different players who balance out the mood nicely. Some tracks are full-on fusion, but they're offset by mellower, more introspective passages – of the sort that really let the reed players come out strongly – and titles include "Jua", "Rise On", "Who Can See The Shadow Of The Moon", "Infinite Jones", and "Deliverance".