Willy DeVille DVD
This two-hour 21-song evening was recorded in Amsterdam, Holland, at the infamous Paradiso Club, in the autumn of 2005 when DeVille was touring behind Crow Jane Alley (Eagle Records), his first all-new studio album in five years.
After coming out of the 1977 New York City punk explosion with his groundbreaking band Mink DeVille, Willy went on to solo stardom—his “Storybook Love” garnered an Oscar nomination when it was used in The Princess Bride—before settling in New Orleans to mastermind a string of albums that have since become collector’s items due to their gutbucket gumbo mix of Creole, blues, Cajun, Dixieland, swamp rock and all-out soul.
The set herein contains material from all facets of the man’s career (including “Savoir Faire,” “Cadillac Moon” and “Spanish Stroll” from the Mink days). Visually, DeVille has an imposing presence, which lends to the DVD format. A cultural icon to a fanatic international fan base, DeVille is a musicians’ musician. He has an ear for material that encompasses early rock’n’roll with almost a doo-wop aesthetic crossed with strange tribal jungle sounds. His voice is a haunting instrument that can convey worlds of meaning. Whether it be “Muddy Waters Rose Out Of The Mississippi Mud,” “Bacon Fat” or improving upon “Come A Little Bit Closer,” it’s his voice that grabs you and won’t let go. Like a mysterious witch doctor from the deepest of sleepy southern hamlets, his voice is on a par with such vocal stalwarts as Dr. John, John Hammond, Jr. or even Muddy Waters himself. As our blues heroes die off one by one, DeVille embodies their essence to become one with the music, thus transforming himself into that which originally inspired him.
The band—Freddy Koella, guitars, mandolin and violin; David J. Keyes, acoustic contrabass, guitar and vocals; Boris Kinberg, drums, percussion and vocals; Kenny “Lucky 7” Margolis, keyboards, accordion and vocals; Hook Herrera, harmonica; and The Wise Sisters, Sweetie & Lisa, doing oh-so-soulful background vocals— sticks to Willy’s lead vocals, guitars and harmonica like a tight glove, giving DeVille’s brew just the right flavoring.