Get this crazy baby off my head!


Willy DeVille

Willy DeVille - Victory Mixture - 1990 - Sky Ranch Records

[ NEW YORK -- Willy DeVille, who founded the punk group Mink DeVille and was known for his blend of R&B, blues, Dixieland and traditional French Cajun ballads, has died, his publicist said Friday. He was 58. The Oscar-nominated songwriter died at New York's Cabrini Hospital on Thursday of pancreatic cancer, said Carol Kaye at Kayos Productions. "The rock world has lost another one of its influential pioneers," Kaye said. Mink DeVille, for which DeVille was the principal songwriter, was billed as one of the most original groups on the New York punk scene after an appearance at the legendary CBGB club in Greenwich Village in the 1970s. In 1977, the band recorded "Cabretta," a rock and roll/rhythm and blues album with renowned producer Jack Nitzsche. Its featured song, "Spanish Stroll," was a Top 20 hit in Britain. It was followed by the album "Return to Magenta." Better known in Europe than in the U.S., DeVille went solo in 1980 with "Le Chat Bleu." Recorded in Paris and influenced by his admiration for siren Edith Piaf, the album featured "This Must Be the Night" and "Just to Walk That Little Girl Home." His "Storybook Love," featured in the 1987 movie "The Princess Bride," was nominated for an Academy Award. "Throughout his career, his musical gumbo was always layered with his deliciously gravelly soul-drenched vocals," Kaye said. DeVille also spent time in New Orleans and recorded his "Victory Mixture" album with Dr. John, Eddie Bo, Allen Toussaint and others. His other albums include the soulful "Coupe de Grace" and "Where Angels Fear to Tread." In 1985, "Sportin' Life" featured the European hit song "Italian Shoes." Born in Stamford, Conn., he is survived by his wife, Nina, and a son, Sean Borsey. - Associated Press, Aug 7, 2009, 01:50 PM ET, www.hollywoodreporter.com ]

Critic Robert Palmer wrote about him in 1980, "Mr. DeVille is a magnetic performer, but his macho stage prescence camouflages an acute musical intelligence; his songs and arrangements are rich in ethnic rhythms and blues echoes, the most disparate stylistic references, yet they flow seamslessly and hang together solidly. He emobdies (New York's) tangle of cultural contradictions while making music that's both idiomatic, in the broadest sense, and utterly original."

Suitably recorded in New Orleans in 1990, where he had settled, this was Willy's second album. The sound of New Orleans is written all over this recording. Willy's wonderful blues, R&B, and Cajun sound is strong and spicy on this great album. Willy goes back to his roots, and covers many rhythm'n'blues standards by artists who had a major influence on his musical style. Helping out on this album are the truly legendary Dr. John, Eddie Bo, Allen Toussaint and two members of the Meters. The man had an unmistakable sound, and "Victory Mixture" is only part of the great musical legacy of the great musician. This album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy the man's great "Backstreets of Desire" album, and there is info on "Cadillac Walk The Mink DeVille Collection" @ WDV/CADWAL His superb "Crow Jane Alley" album can be found @ WDV/CJA and his "Best Of" album is @ BESTOF/WDV


1.“Hello My Lover” (Clarence Toussaint) - 3:33
2.“It Do Me Good” (Huey Smith, Brenda Brandon) - 3:06
3.”Key to My Heart” (Edwin Bocage) - 3:38
4.”Beating Like a Tom-Tom” (Ernest Kador) - 4:21
5.”Every Dog Has Its Day” (Edwin Bocage) - 2:38
6.”Big Blue Diamonds” (Earl "Kit" Carson) - 2:51
7.”Teasin' You” (Earl King) - 3:07
8.”Ruler of My Heart” (Naomi Neville) - 2:42
9.”Who Shot the La-La” (D. Burmak, Edwin Bocage, T. Terry) - 2:57
10.”Junker's Blues” (Willie Hall) - 3:19


Willy DeVille R.I.P - guitar, vocals
Wayne Bennet, Bill Gregory, Frèdèrick Koella, Leo Nocentelli - guitar
George Porter, Jr. - bass guitar
Rene Coman – bass guitar, upright bass
Allen Toussaint, Mac Rebennack (Dr. John), Isaac Bolden, Eddie Bo – piano
Samuel Berfect – Hammond organ
Johnny Vidacovich, Kerry Brown – drums
Brian "Breeze" Coyolle - tenor sax, baritone sax
Porgy Jones - trumpet
Keith Fazarde – vibraphone
Barbara George, Ross Brady, Allison Miner, Dorene Wise, YaDonna Wise – background vocals


Victory Mixture is a 1990 album by Willy DeVille. The album consists of cover versions of New Orleans R&B and soul classics by DeVille’s musical idols. Trouser Press said about the album, “A rootsy covers collection, Victory Mixture provides a welcome antidote to Miracle's misguided modernity, making the most of the singer's relocation to New Orleans with backup from such local legends as Allen Toussaint, Eddie Bo and Dr. John.” Victory Mixture is unusual in that it was recorded without the use of overdubbing or sound editing, the idea being to record the songs in the same manner as they were recorded originally in the 1950s and early 1960s — without soundboard technology. The album was released in Europe on the French Sky Ranch label; it was released a year later in the United States on the Orleans Records label, that label's second offering. The success of Victory Mixture in Europe ensured the label's continuing operation.



The roots of American music, including the blues, R&B, and Cajun music, gave Willy DeVille's (born William Borsey) late-'70s punk band, Mink DeVille, its unique flavor. A quarter of a century later, DeVille continued to blend musical traditions and postmodern intensity. A self-taught guitarist, DeVille found his early inspiration in the blues of John Hammond Jr., Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker. Determined to become a musician, he moved to London in 1971, hoping to latch on with a British band. Frustrated by his lack of success, he returned to the United States. Temporarily settling in San Francisco, he spent most of 1972 developing his stage persona in Bay Area clubs. Returning to New York, DeVille was in the right place at the right time. Forming a band, Dilly DeSade & the Marquis, later renamed Mink DeVille, with bassist Ruben Siguenza and drummer T.R. "Manfred" Allen Jr., he found his roots-oriented rock welcome in the city's burgeoning punk scene. When the independent Omfug label included three of their songs on the multi-artist compilation Live at CBGB's, recorded at the influential New York punk club, their punk connection was assured. With Atlantic acquiring national distribution rights to the album, Mink DeVille became one of the country's top punk bands. Willy DeVille has remained active since the breakup of Mink DeVille in the mid-'80s. His debut solo album, Miracle, was produced in 1987 by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, and included such guests as guitarist Chet Atkins. One tune, "Storybook Love," used in Knopfler's score for the film The Princess Bride, was nominated for an Academy Award. Residing in New Orleans since the early '90s, DeVille featured the city's leading musicians, including Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, and Eddie Bo, on his 1990 album, Victory Mixture. New Orleans-style rhythms remained essential on his 1996 albums, Big Easy Fantasy and Loup Garou. Subsequent releases have focused on DeVille's live shows. Released in 2001, Live combined performances from the Bottom Line in New York and the Olympia Club in Paris. Live in Berlin, released two years later, featured the accompaniment of Seth Farber (piano, background vocals), Boris Kinberg (percussion), Freddy Koella (guitar, mandolin, vocals), David Keyes (bass, background vocals), and YaDonna Wise (background vocals). © Craig Harris, allmusic.com [ N.B: since this bio was written, the great man passed away: R.I.P]