Debbie Davis & Josh Paxton

Introduced to each other by the legendary Leigh "Li'l Queenie" Harris, Josh and Debbie have spent the better part of 20 years exploring their shared musical interests ranging from Duke Ellington and Jellyroll Morton to Stevie Wonder and Randy Newman. Together, Josh and Debbie have performed in Switzerland, Italy and France as well as domestic performances across the country. 

Download Vices and Virtues

Vices and Virtues - a live record (includes 2 bonus tracks)

Debbie Davis and Josh Paxton

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  1. 1 On the Sunny Side of The Street 03:52
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  2. 2 Lulu's Back in Town 02:47
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  3. 3 Caravan 04:01
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  4. 4 Intro for It's Not The Years... 00:16 Free
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  5. 5 It's Not the Years, It's the Miles 07:01
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  6. 6 When I'm 64 04:07
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  7. 7 Intro for Lady Madonna 00:53 Free
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  8. 8 Lady Madonna 02:49
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  9. 9 Love is a Losing Game 04:52
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  10. 10 What'll I Do? 04:59
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  11. 11 Please Send Me Someone to Love 05:40
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  12. 12 Intro for Masochism Tango 00:18 Free
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  13. 13 Masochism Tango 03:54
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  14. 14 Jitterbug Waltz 05:00
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  15. 15 There Will Never Be Another You 06:44
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  16. 16 Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing 03:59
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  17. 17 Stardust *bonus track* 07:49
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  18. 18 Come Rain or Come Shine *bonus track* 08:00
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Reviews & Press

WWOZ 90.7 New Music Spotlight - Chris Saucier

Vocalist Debbie Davis and pianist Josh Paxton team up together to release their newest live album "Vices and Virtues – a live record". After nearly 20 years of collaboration, Vices and Virtues marks their solo debut as an actual duo. Recorded live on March 4 at the U.S. Mint, this live recording captures the "spontaneity, intimacy, and dynamic range" of the two musicians as they soar through a selection of standards mixed with the jazzy renditions of popular songs. Overall, this recording is successful in capturing the intimacy and proficiency of these musicians and is a great representation of their musical prowess. 

The performance begins with a solid version of 'On the Sunny Side of the Street,' which immediately provides the listener with something pleasant as the piano bounces along to Davis' rich, soulful voice. Paxton is just getting started with 'Lulu’s Back In Town,' a Fats Waller tune, and tears apart this piano solo after her powerful voice swells and artfully handles the high-paced lyrical phrasing. While some tracks are full of energy, the duo also is capable of intimate moments, particularly on the track 'It’s Not the Years, It’s the Miles.' Davis sings Alex McMurray’s song of introspection and looking back on life beautifully, and combined with Paxton’s piano, the placement in the set of this song is a good dynamic shift overall, before the duo jumps into some more energetic songs like 'When I’m 64' and 'Lady Madonna.' 

The live recording is an excellent representation of Debbie Davis’ powerful and developed vocal expertise along with Josh Paxton’s ability to glide around the piano. These artists breathe new life into these songs and highlight their own skill by the ease in which they shift through the different styles of these songs. Debbie Davis and Josh Paxton’s debut record as a duo will have you dancing and singing along for a well-spent 90 minutes. 

Vices and Virtues – a live record is available on CD and mp3 from their website, the Louisiana Music Factory, CDBaby, and Amazon. They'll be performing together at the Louisiana Music Factory on May 1 at 1:30p as part of the store's free in-store series during Jazz Fest.

 

Offbeat Magazine - Brett Milano

Debbie Davis has always been a musical polymath, with a wide-open definition of what qualifies as a jazz song: Material on this live disc ranges from Duke Ellington to the Beatles (twice) to Tom Lehrer to Alex McMurray, which covers 80 years and a few different worlds. What the songs all have in common is vivid characters in the middle of loving, sinning or both—just what a resourceful singer needs to get her voice around. 

Davis has usually worked in bigger groups, but here she’s joined by Josh Paxton, a pianist whose instincts are every bit as flexible as her voice. Give them a gorgeous tune (Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug Waltz”) and they’ll do some graceful variations; give them a lusty one (“Lulu’s Back in Town”) and they’ll cavort with it. Their version of “Lady Madonna” is one good example: Before the tune, Davis jokingly tries to rattle Paxton by noting that Fats Domino had covered it with James Booker on keys. And they wind up expanding on both familiar versions: During the first solo, Paxton plays it Paul McCartney–style while Davis sings the horn line; but for the second one, he takes off on some wild, Booker-esque invention. There is in fact no piano solo on the Domino/Booker version, so here Paxton shows what Booker might have played. 

Paxton can also match Davis’ sense of mischief: They approach Tom Lehrer’s “Masochism Tango” as a steamy torch song, which of course makes it funnier. But the best track here is also the biggest surprise, Amy Winehouse’s “Love Is a Losing Game.” The song was written to be a heartbreaker—and of course, the original singer was no slouch herself—and they get the mood and the atmosphere just right, making this a performance for sad romantics everywhere.

A musical holiday offering from Debbie and Josh

VIDEO - Davis/Paxton, d.b.a. New Orleans

Josh Paxton

At the age of five Joshua Paxton received a little yellow toy piano that he banged on for years, playing along with TV jingles and music on the radio by ear. At 11 his parents gave into his pleas for piano lessons and bought him his first piano. Josh moved from his native Ohio to New Orleans to study piano with Ellis Marsalis in the mid- 90s.By the time he earned his masters degree in Jazz Piano, he found that the city had gotten its teeth into him, so he stayed.  Since then he has served at the pleasure of notable acts as Maria Muldaur, Leigh “Li’l Queenie Harris, Cookie Gabriel, Bruce Hornsby, the Afghan Whigs, Papa Mali, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, The Wild Tchopitoulas, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes and the Pfister Sisters. His transcriptions of the music of James Booker (The James Booker Collection, Hal Leonard) and Professor Longhair have become standard reference tools for pianists the world over.

Debbie Davis

The daughter of two opera singers, Debbie Davis never had a chance. She was born a singer. She made her professional singing debut at the age of two and by her 5th birthday she was traveling with her parents, performing childrens' roles in opera companies all over America. A native of New Jersey, Debbie moved to New Orleans in 1997 and began making a name for herself in the local music community. Debbie has recorded and/or performed with Irma Thomas, Michael Cerveris, John Boutte, Soul Asylum, The Misfits, Dukes of Dixieland, Leigh "Lil Queenie" Harris, Paul Sanchez (Cowboy Mouth), Harry Shearer (Spinal Tap), Tony Clifton and Alex McMurray.  In 1999 she joined the world renowned vocal group,The Pfister Sisters, and spent the next 19 years performing locally and internationally with the group. Debbie was the jingle singer for the 2003-2009 Zatarains ad campaign and contributed to the Grammy and Emmy Award winning sound track to HBOs TREME.  She also made regular appearances as herself on TREME during it’s four season run.