Debbie Davies/Tab Benoit/Kenny Neal: Homesick for the Road

Three accomplished guitarists and songwriters join forces on Homesick for the Road (Telarc 83454; 54:25). Debbie Davies, Tab Benoit and Kenny Neal mix it up in sympatico fashion on this bluesy set, reminiscent in concept of 1987’s Showdown! (Alligator) featuring Albert Collins, Robert Cray, and Johnny Copeland. Benoit and Neal, both natives of Louisiana, pair off on Benoit’s “Down in the Swamp” as well as on covers of Willie Nelson’s “Night Life” and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You.”

Neal is singled out on a rendition of his father Raful’s “I’ve Been Mistreated.” Davies pairs off with Neal on a rousing “Still Called the Blues” and weaves an alluring spell with her sultry, soulful vocal delivery on the acoustic “So Cold.” But the most sparks here are generated when all three get together and trade licks, as on the organ-fueled shuffle “Bop ‘Til I Drop” and the bouncy title track.