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WILLY DeVILLE Come A Little Bit Closer: The Best Of Live Eagle Rock (2011)

Willy DeVille

This new live retrospective of Willy DeVille covers some of his best loved songs from a career spanning 35 years. Having fronted Mink Deville between 1974 and 1986- who in that time spent a while as the house band at New York's famous CBGB club - before forming his own band, DeVille's style encompassed many genres including early soul, French cabaret, jazz, blues, Latin and Cajun.

Whether playing as a full live band, an almost acoustic set up or as the 'Willy DeVille Acoustic Trio', DeVille always put as much enthusiasm into each performance and that is evident throughout the 17 tracks on offer here. The performances were recorded between 1977 and 2005 and include recordings from Berlin, Amsterdam and Montreux, amongst others.

Highlights include 'Love and Emotion', 'Savoir Faire', the Latin dance feel of 'Demasiado Corazon', 'Storybook Love' which was originally a collaboration with Dire Strait's Mark Knopfler, 'Steady Drivin'Man' (complete with some great harmonica/guitar interplay) and Mink Deville's best known track 'Spanish Stroll'.

However, it is on covers such as Bryan Ferry's 'Slave To Love' - sung here in a style similar to fellow New York veteran David Johansen's bluesier moments - and a lively, Mexicana infused version of 'Hey Joe' that really steal the show.

Willy DeVille passed away in 2009 and this collection will no doubt be embraced by long time fans - however, it may also open up to a new generation of fans eager to sample what is on offer.


Review by Nikk Gunns

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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