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5.7.11

Willy DeVille



Willy DeVille - Live In The Lowlands - 2006 - Eagle Vision

The late Willy DeVille was the chief songwriter of the great Mink DeVille band which was once billed as one of the most original groups on the New York punk scene after they appeared at the famed CBGB club in Greenwich Village, NY in the 1970s. Fundamentally, Mink DeVille was a soul band with roots in R&B, the blues and even Cajun music. In 1977, the band recorded "Cabretta," a Rock 'N' Roll/R&B album with producer Jack Nitzsche. "Spanish Stroll," taken from the album was a Top 20 hit in Britain. It was followed by the album "Return to Magenta." In 1980 Willy went solo with his "Le Chat Bleu" album, recorded in Paris and influenced by Willy's love of Edith Piaf's music. In 1987, Willy's great "Storybook Love," featured in the movie "The Princess Bride," and the song was nominated for an Academy Award. Willy also spent time in New Orleans and recorded his great "Victory Mixture" album with legends like Dr. John, Eddie Bo, and Allen Toussaint. Some of his other albums include "Coupe de Grace" and "Where Angels Fear to Tread." In 1980, critic Robert Palmer wrote "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 embodies (New York's) tangle of cultural contradictions while making music that's both idiomatic, in the broadest sense, and utterly original."

This album (192-320 Kbps) was recorded in Autumn 2005, at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and is also available on DVD which includes a bonus interview with Willy and his band. Check out Mink De Ville's "Live USA" album @ MdeV/USALIVE and search this blog for related releases

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Low Rider - Thomas Allen, Harold Brown, B.B. Dickerson, Jerry Goldstein, Lonnie Jordan, Howard Scott (aka War)
2 Chieva - Willy DeVille
3 Even While I Sleep - Willy DeVille
4 Come a Little Bit Closer - Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart, Wes Ferrell
5 Downside of Town - Willy DeVille
6 Muddy Waters Rose out of the Mississippi Mud - Willy DeVille
7 Steady Driving Man - Willy DeVille
8 Running Through the Jungle - Willy DeVille
9 Bacon Fat - Dorothy Brown, Andre Williams
10 Crow Jane Alley - Willy DeVille
11 Slave to Love - Bryan Ferry
12 Savoir Faire - Willy DeVille
13 Cadillac Walk - John David Martin
14 Demasiado Corazon - Willy DeVille
15 Just Your Friends - Willy DeVille, Jack Nitzsche
16 Change of Heart - Willy DeVille
17 Cry to Me - Bert Russell aka Bert Berns
18 Spanish Stroll - Willy DeVille
19 Can't Do Without It - Willy DeVille
20 Hey Joe - Billy Roberts
21 Let It Be Me - Gilbert Becaud, Mann Curtis, Pierre Delanoe

MUSICIANS

Willy DeVille - Guitar, Lead Vocals, Harmonica
Freddy Koella - Guitar, Mandolin, Violin
David J. Keyes - Guitar, Double Bass [Acoustic Contrabass],Vocals
Kenny Margolis - Keyboards, Accordion, Vocals
Boris Kinberg - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Hook Herrera - Harmonica
Dorene Wise, Yadonna Wise - Backing Vocals

DVD REVIEW

There's an urban legend that circulates about Willy DeVille’s choice of “Mink DeVille” as the name of his first band. The story goes that when a reporter asked him why that name in particular for his band, DeVille is said to have replied that he'd always thought the ultimate in cool would be a mink-lined Cadillac Coup de Ville. DeVille is the type of musician whose persona makes you want that story to be true, even if it isn't. Back in Mink DeVille's heyday, you could visualise him tooling around Spanish Harlem in a convertible, mink-lined Coup de Ville with the top down. One hand on the steering wheel, the other tapping out a Latin beat against the side of the car that's capturing the sounds of the barrio wafting around him: the energy, the life, and the undercurrent of ever present danger of the inevitable result of mixing drugs, poverty, and desperation. That's the sharp edge you hear in all his music: the subtle sounds of the street interwoven into the silky rhythms and salsa grooves. Tom Wait's trashcan drunk persona seems to be almost a caricature of itself on occasion. Others who have strived for any sort of street authenticity (with the exception of certain rappers whose gangsta roots are never too far off stage) just look silly because you know about their mansions and their lifestyle. Even when DeVille is singing a song like "Storybook Love" (his Oscar nominated hit from the movie The Princess Bride), the whiff of danger is always there and always real. You'd have thought, given all DeVille can bring to a stage, someone would have brought out a DVD of one of his concerts by now, but Live In The Lowland, recorded in Amsterdam's Club Paradiso, is the first ever digitalised recording of Willy. All praise for this venture must be given to the folk over at Eagle Rock Entertainment for going where no one has dared to tread before in capturing the mercurial DeVille on camera. Perhaps it's a good thing that there hasn't been anything up until now, that the fates decreed the world wait until technology had advanced sufficiently to do the job properly. Anything short of the handheld minicam and impeccable sound equipment wouldn't have been able to capture the subtleties of either the man or the music, which would have made the experience a disappointment. There is something so highly personal about DeVille and his music that not being able to pick up the sweat on his brow and the look in his eye would have made it a waste of resources. Being able to have the cameras on stage with Willy and the band, following the interplay of music and players, makes Live In The Lowlands almost as rewarding as seeing Willy in person. The director of the film, Perry Joseph, has done a remarkable job of editing the footage from the multiple cameras. He managed to capture not only the power of the music but also the underlying currents and character of DeVille that are so much a part of each song. Part New Orleans honky-tonk, Mississippi Blues, Spain, and just old-fashioned Rock and Roll, DeVille and his band would be lost in a static camera shoot. Sometimes you have to be in motion to capture all the activity of a band that stays relatively still. These aren't players that are jumping around on stage. It looks like, at the time of the concert, Willy was recovering from an accident or something because he was walking with a cane. He also seemed to have moments when he was in obvious pain. It didn't show up in his performance. But by the encores, his face is starting to show the strain of dealing with pain. In fact, his lead guitar player Freddy Koella stayed seated for the whole show. Much more like a jazz band than a rock band in their performance style, they are more than willing to let the music speak for itself, without any physical histrionics. Director Joseph manages to find a balance of cutting between individual players to break up the monotony of flat shooting and never getting to spend enough time with each individual. He never allows his desire to create movement become a distraction, only an enhancement. Prior to the concert starting, you hear a voiceover of Willy talking about why he does what he does. He says that he never got into it for money, or fame, or the chicks, but for the love of performing the music. In one of the special feature interviews, Boris Kinberg, his drummer of some twenty years, says that there is no difference between Willy on stage and Willy off stage. He doesn't leave the street or the day behind him when he comes on stage because everything affects him and, by extension, his music. When you listen to him sing anything from his bluesy tribute to Muddy Waters, "Muddy Waters rose Out Of The Mississippi Mud", to the very Spanish "Come A Little Bit Closer", or the classics "Cadillac Walk" and "Savoir Faire," you have no doubt in your mind that he's right where he should be and doing what he is supposed to be doing. He can lift your spirits high with his lust for life, exuberance, and sense of humour. His cover of the Hendrix classic "Hey Joe" is truly inspired. But he can break your heart with the emotional truths on songs like "Crow Jane Alley" and "Cry To Me". That's part of DeVille's brilliance, emotional truth. There's nothing artificial about that voice, those eyes, or that laugh. You know he's been to the places and felt the feelings he sings about, if not physically, at least emotionally. As this was part of his tour to promote his 2005 release of the disc Crow Jane Alley, don't come looking to this for a collection of only older material. Sure there are some from the days of Mink DeVille, but this is no old-artist “look at what I've done in the past” tour. This is a man who is not willing to stay still and stagnate in his past but wants to keep moving forward, constantly doing different material and exploring their emotional depths. A jazz musician will take a theme and run with it for a song, improvising while he's playing. In some ways, DeVille's career has been like Jazz, a long series of improvisations around a theme. As it ages, it continues to expand with each individual nuance in the score that is discovered and explored. Aside from being able to witness Willy in concert, there is a nice long interview session with Willy and the different band members that were obviously carried out at various points during the tour. The band talks about Willy and Willy talks about music. You come away with a much clearer picture of the man. Whether it's because of a casual aside made by his bassist David J. Keyes or an observation by Kenny Margolis, who has played keyboards with him since the time of Mink DeVille, a picture of a man who lives for his music develops. But unlike so many other driven people, he doesn't come across as a dictator. In fact, according to his backup vocalists, Sweetie and Lisa Wise, he could afford to be a little more demanding. When I hear a comment like that, I think here's a man who wouldn't understand the need for that. How anyone could not understand the importance of what they were doing and not be willing to put everything they have into it, wouldn't even be comprehendible to him. The term soul applies to a certain genre of music. Willy DeVille may not be a soul singer, but he is the most literally full of soul singer I've ever heard. Live In The Lowlands is amazingly successful in capturing that essence. If you love the work of Willy DeVille, you will regret not owning this DVD. © Richard Marcus © Technorati, Inc / Technorati Media / Technorati.com / Blogcritics http://blogcritics.org/music/article/dvd-review-live-in-the-lowlands/

SHORT BIO [Written before Willy DeVille's death] : Read a detailed bio about the man @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willy_DeVille

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

5 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK Pt 1
LINK Pt 2

p/w aoofc

guinea pig said...

He is very good. in my coll there is FLAC from 2007 live - perfect. Lets hope it will be same.
Thanks!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,gp! The sound quality would not be as good as your flac version, but it's the best I could do! Thanks, & TTU later

George Caldera said...

Thanks for sharing!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,George! You're welcome. Thanks a million!...P