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Debbie Davis | It's Not the Years, It's the Miles

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Pop: Quirky Jazz: Jazz Vocals Moods: Solo Female Artist
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It's Not the Years, It's the Miles

by Debbie Davis

Debbie Davis is generally recognized as possessing one of the most beautiful voices in a city filled with talented singers. - Offbeat Magazine
Genre: Pop: Quirky
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. It's Not the Years, It's the Miles
Debbie Davis
4:44 album only
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2. Mama Goes Where Papa Goes
Debbie Davis
2:50 album only
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3. Things We Said Today
Debbie Davis
5:21 album only
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4. Don't Be Sure
Debbie Davis
3:34 album only
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5. Mexico
Debbie Davis
4:07 album only
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6. You Can't Say I Didn't Try
Debbie Davis
2:53 album only
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7. You'd Be Surprised
Debbie Davis
3:11 album only
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8. Everything Right Is Wrong Again
Debbie Davis
5:15 album only
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9. You Know I'm No Good
Debbie Davis
4:12 album only
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10. Trouble in Mind
Debbie Davis With Bobby Lounge
5:00 album only
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11. Two Crested Caracaras
Debbie Davis
7:08 album only
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12. I'm Looking At You
Debbie Davis
2:38 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
" Vocalist Debbie Davis offers a comprehensive sampling of the music she’s lent her voice to in New Orleans outside of her gig with the Pfister Sisters. This wide variety of concepts—which includes standards, an Amy Winehouse cover and originals from her collaborators—combines well in large part because of Matt Perrine’s hand in their arrangements. Davis also has a deeply rooted working relationship with each of guests, which lends a unifying zeal to the project.

Davis, who also plays a mean ukulele, sings with a big, bluesy voice that soars over tunes like Paul Sanchez’s “Mexico” as if it might ascend into the stratosphere, alighting onto the extended ends of each line she interprets. On “Mama Goes Where Papa Goes,” she performs with a dollop of theatricality and a sense that if nobody were listening, she might breathe twice the power into her voice, like a driver testing the upper limits of the speedometer on an open road." —Jennifer O'dell, Downbeat Magazine

"Debbie Davis is generally recognized as possessing one of the most beautiful voices in a city filled with talented singers. Her work with thePfister Sisters, on her own and with Paul Sanchez has demonstrated her wide-ranging taste and an ability to comfortably inhabit just about any musical environment. Her first solo effort, It’s Not the Years, It’s the Miles, showcases that voice over a dozen tracks exquisitely crafted at Piety Street with a supporting cast of New Orleans musical greats who clearly pulled out all the stops to make this debut by someone they love and respect something special. Her warm, full voice illuminates the nooks and crannies of these songs with an emotional resonance that reminds listeners of such mistresses of restrained passion as Astrud Gilberto and Betty Carter. She’s also capable of letting that big voice carry her into mainstream pop territory, where her saucy delivery is more reminiscent of numerous big band vocalists and the great Cass Elliot. Every gesture is priceless.


Alex McMurray contributed three witty songs that frame the project. The languid title song is McMurray in his dreamy Hoagy Carmichael mode, and Davis delivers exquisite lines such as “dropped acid with the Eskimos” with superb aplomb. Perhaps the nicest thing about the track is Matt Perrine’s gorgeous string arrangement. Perrine put together another great string arrangement on McMurray’s sad and troubled love song, “Everything Right is Wrong Again.” By contrast, McMurray’s lighthearted love song “I’m Looking at You” ends the album on a sparse note, with Davis playing ukulele accompanied by McMurray’s acoustic guitar, while Zack Smith adds a carefree whistling part that makes it sound like Davis is riding off into the sunset.

Davis has a genius for revealing hidden nuances of well-known songs. In her hands, Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good” is transformed into a sexy tango propelled by Perrine’s sousaphone lines. Her Brazilian-accented reading of the Lennon/McCartney ballad “Things We Said Today” benefits from the presence of Beatleologist Tom McDermott on keys and a great guitar solo from McMurray. McDermott frames Davis’ vocals on the easy swinging “You Can’t Say I Didn’t Try” and joins a traditional New Orleans jazz lineup (along with Perrine, McMurray, Gerald French, Aurora Nealand, Evan Christopher, Matt Rhoady and Duke Heitger) for Irving Berlin’s “You’d Be Surprised.” Jon Cleary adds the proper honky tonk piano feel to the sassy “Mama Goes Where Papa Goes.” The only one of these exercises that falls flat is a bizarre reading of “Trouble in Mind,” in which Bobby Lounge steals the spotlight from Davis with his wheezing vocal and inept piano playing.

The most interesting and challenging song on the record, “Two Crested Caracaras,” is an exotic vision from the fervid pen of Mark Bingham that Davis sings with the wide-eyed fascination of a parent telling an adventure tale to a child. Bingham’s zen sense of the interconnectedness of beauty and mortality charges this hypnogogic travelogue ostensibly about a pair of carrion feeding raptors with numinous power. It’s a musical and narrative sleight of hand that sums up the effort that went into making Davis’ debut a memorable experience for all concerned."
- John Swenson, Offbeat Magazine


"After years of singing with everyone from All That to the Pfister Sisters, Debbie Davis has partnered with Threadhead Records to release her first solo album. The project offers great diversity in song choices and contributions from local musicians. Davis' background is in opera and musical theater, but she can belt out brassy blues like "Mama Goes Where Papa Goes" and slink to low-register coyness on the Beatles' "Things We Said Today." But she excels when she sings tunes composed by local songwriters. She delivers deadpan ruefulness in the humorous couplets of Alex McMurray's title track and quiet longing in the '60s pop of Paul Sanchez's "Don't Be Sure." Mark Bingham's "Two Crested Caracaras" features an emotional tone with subtle restraint in an atmospheric arrangement. Just as the tracks veer toward the too tasteful, Davis takes on the self-loathing regret of Amy Winehouse's "You Know I'm No Good," complete with sousaphone, Latin percussion and acid-tinged guitar. She stashes that tune near the end where it segues into a piano duet with Bobby Lounge on the old blues/gospel standard "Trouble In Mind." Lounge's over-the-top stylings push Davis, which raises the energy level and results in a stirring rendition. Bassist Matt Perrine, drummer Carlo Nuccio and percussionist Anthony Cuccia lay down a variety of supple grooves and swinging rhythms. Violinist Matt Rhody, trumpeters Duke Heitger and David Boswell, and pianists Jon Cleary and Tom McDermott also add polished and passionate support. This is undoubtedly Debbie Davis' show, however, and her wide stylistic range and fine vocals make it a good show indeed." — David Kunian, Gambit Weekly


" It’s Not the Years, It’s the Miles is a perfect blend of Jazz and folk-like americana. The album displays a type of jazz that is tough, yet ironically sexy.

Davis’ voice is beyond appealing. she belts out lyrics of a tattered woman with the voice of a flirty seductress. The daughter of two opera singers and a renowned ukulelist, Debbie was destined to make great music and have noLa stardom." - Kim Timbre, Where Y'at Magazine


1. It's Not the Years, It's the Miles - Alex McMurray
Debbie Davis - vocal
Matt Rhody - violin
Richard Scott  - accordion and piano
Alex McMurray - guitar
Matt Perrine - bass

2. Mama Goes Where Papa Goes - Jack Yellen / Milton Ager
Debbie Davis - vocal
Jon Cleary - piano
Alex McMurray - guitar
Matt Perrine - bass
Carlo Nuccio - drums

3. Things We Said Today - John Lennon / Paul McCartney
Debbie Davis - vocal and ukulele
Tom McDermott - piano
Alex McMurray - guitar
Matt Perrine - bass
Anthony Cuccia - percussion

4. Don't Be Sure - Paul Sanchez
Debbie Davis - vocal
David Boswell - trumpet
Paul David Longstreth - piano
Alex McMurray - guitar
Paul Sanchez - guitar
Matt Perrine - bass
Anthony Cuccia - percussion

5. Mexico -Paul Sanchez
Debbie Davis - vocal 
Alex McMurray - electric guitars
Paul Sanchez - acoustic guitar
Jesse Moore, Jon Cleary and Eric Pollard - background vocals
Matt Perrine - bass
Carlo Nuccio - drums

6. You Can't Say I Didn't Try - ASCAP 
Debbie Davis - vocal
Tom McDermott - piano
Todd Duke - guitar
Matt Perrine - bass

7. You'd Be Surprised - Irving Berlin
Debbie Davis - vocal and ukulele
Duke Heitger - trumpet
Evan Christopher - clarinet
Aurora Nealand - alto saxophone
Matt Rhody - violin
Alex McMurray - banjo
Tom McDermott - piano
Matt Perrine - sousaphone and trombone
Gerald French - drums

8. Everything Right is Wrong Again - Alex McMurray
Debbie Davis
Matt Rhody - violin
Sam Craft - violin
David Rebeck - viola
Jack Craft - cello
Alex McMurray - guitar
Matt Perrine - bass and trombones
Carlo Nuccio - drums

9. You Know I'm No Good - Amy Winehouse
Debbie Davis - vocal and ukulele
Alex McMurray - guitars
Matt Perrine - sousaphone
Anthony Cuccia - percussion

10. Trouble in Mind - Richard M. Jones
Debbie Davis - vocal
Bobby Lounge - vocal and piano

11. Two Crested Caracaras - Mark Bingham
Debbie Davis - vocal
Alex McMurray - guitars
Mark Bingham - guitar
Matt Perrine - bass
Anthony Cuccia- percussion

12. I'm Looking at You - Alex McMurray
Debbie Davis - vocal and ukulele
Alex McMurray - guitars
Zack Smith - whistle

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