Blues On Stage Logo

Debbie Davies
w/Ross William Perry Band
@ Blues Saloon, St. Paul, Oct. 23, 1998
by Ann Wickstrom

Ross William Perry
The Blues Saloon, 10/23/98
Photo 1998 by Tom Asp. All rights reserved
I'm not sure which was more fun: watching the incredible Ms. Davies or discovering that Minnesota has sprung another fine young blues guitarist, Ross William Perry-only this one is actually FROM Minnesota. Perry is from St. Louis Park and is just eighteen.. This was his first gig with his new band, bassist Damon Lee and drummer Lee-jay Lira. Hats off to the Blues Saloon for giving Ross the opening slot here. There was a lot of competition that night, with James Cotton in town as well as Bill "the Sauce Boss" Wharton. But the group of 70 or so assembled at the Blues Saloon, including Debbie Davies herself, was absolutely charmed by Ross and his band as they warmed up Debbie with a short but powerful set. Ross wears a big ol' floppy hat on stage and something tells me he intends to wear it always, making it his trademark. The band played the Stevie Wonder/SRV classic, "Superstition", an original called "In the Shadows", and a handful of blues classics including "Hideaway", "Going Down", and "San Ho Zay", which was delivered with a unique, rockin' groove. Ross has a definite Stevie Ray influence but there's plenty more there. He got his first guitar at the age of four and made his first stage appearance at seven. You may not have heard of him yet, but you will. The Ross William Perry Band - check 'em out!


Debbie Davies
The Blues Saloon, 10/23/98
Photo 1998 by Tom Asp. All rights reserved
When it comes to Little Debbies, this one takes the cake. Debbie Davies is a small woman with a huge talent. She, too, had just a three-piece band. After her opening song she thanked Ross and said, "You guys must be doing something right up here!" She played most of the songs on her new CD, 'Round Every Corner. "Such a Fine Man" is, in Debbie's own words, a Memphis kinda thang. "Sitting' Here Cryin'" is basically a western swing tune, something you might associate with a band like Asleep at the Wheel. Debbie sings it with a great country flair, right down to the break in her voice. We also heard "Little Sister", "Backseat Driver", "Time Work Your Magic", "Homework", and "A.C. Strut", an instrumental for her mentor, Albert Collins. It was obvious by the way she pops the notes that she has spent a lot of time with A.C. It was Little Walter's "Blue and Lonesome" that really got to me. Her guitar solos are just impeccable - never a wasted note and SO tasty. And it's not only HOW she plays, but WHAT she plays. In addition to great originals by Debbie and especially by her drummer Don Costagno, she does choice covers like the B.B. King shuffle "Buzz Me" and Magic Sam's "You Belong to Me". During the middle of Freddie King's "Sidetracked", she stopped dead in her tracks, and in the ensuing silence a woman yelled, "Go girl!". It was perfect. She went from "Sidetracked" into a swing tune.


Ross William Perry & Debbie Davies
The Blues Saloon, 10/23/98
Photo 1998 by Tom Asp. All rights reserved
At the end of the night Debbie called Ross back up on stage for a kickin' guitar jam that included "The Sky is Crying". They traded licks back and forth and both were grinning as big as the Grinch. Ross later told me that he "went to blues school that night" and learned a lot by watching Debbie. Debbie Davies is so good, I think just about any guitar player-regardless of age or experience-could learn something from her. She is woman, hear her roar!

This review is copyright 1998 by Ann Wickstrom, all rights reserved.




Mailbox E-mail Ray Stiles at: mnblues@aol.com

Blues On Stage Table of Contents:
Home Page | Calendar | Spotlight | Features | Photo Gallery
Live Reviews | New Reviews | CD Reviews | New CD Releases | Blues Profiles
Blues Musicians | Blues Clubs | Blues Jams | Memorial | Blues Links
New Links | Website Updates | Website Description | eRICK's Blues Dates | Delta Snake

Copyright 1998 by Ray M. Stiles. All rights reserved.