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Sex, Romance and Passion. Anger, Lies And Deceit

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Here's one that you may have missed the first time around; the rhythmically, sensual music of Kip Hanrahan. Let's take a look at possible explanations as to why. Perhaps you're a newcomer to the site and you just haven't found the time to go back through the archives to discover this gem. Well, you'd be forgiven, I'll admit. There's a lot to wade through, but I'll accept no excuse for overlooking it today. Or maybe you've been dropping by here for a while now and actually did see this post back in 2012 and said to yourself like, "Oh... this is a jazz guy. I'm not really into that jazz stuff. I'll take a raincheck." Well here's that rainy day, amigo. Yeah, I know, it's mid-July, hotter than a pepper sprout, all that shit, but you owe it to yourself to hear this because Hanrahan is an artiste if ever there was one. He's a shaman, an alchemist, a sculptor of spells who casts a seductive and bewitching form of sorcery. Plus it's got Jack Bruce, Don Pullen, and George Adams in some some of their finest moments. Don't pass it by this time around.


The Anatomy Of Lovers...
Intertwined and Apart
Vignettes Of Love and Lust From Kip Hanrahan
Friday, July 25, 2014


The Composer's Storyboard

Impressionistic vignettes. That is the music of Kip Hanrahan. Once referred to as the "Jean-Luc Godard of contemporary music," Hanrahan's recordings themselves play like miniature films in music. Invariably they carry a discernible theme or storyline, one that nearly always involves the carnal pleasures. But even if the narratives aren't always linear in design, they (with the help of the music) at the very least convey some sort of overarching attitude. Or perhaps it's more so a mood that's implied; a flavor, a feel, a tone. In doing so, Hanrahan's songs then resemble suggestive, voyeuristic glimpses into the complex anatomy of lovers; interior dialogues of men and women intertwined in a delicate dance of 'sex, romance and passion, anger, lies and deceit,' not to mention the occasional regret that can arise in any libidinous dalliance. Take for instance his sweeping three volume masterpiece, 'A Thousand Nights and a Night,' a musical interpretation of 'Arabian Nights' (a.k.a. 'A Thousand and One Nights'), the epic tome of Islamic folk tales passed down through the ages. The richly textured chronicle of love stories, tragedies, comedies, poems, ancient history, burlesques and the erotic is a timeless and fascinating one. In Hanrahan's presentation however, he deftly positions the principle characters of Shahryār, the Persian king, and his bride, Shaharazade in a modern musical context. But of course, rather than incorporate the associated tales of adventure that also make up 'Arabian Nights,' fables such as 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves' or 'The Seven Voyages of Sinbad,' Hanrahan's suite dwells exclusively on the corporeal aspects of the story - infidelity, jealousy, rage and bitterness, peppered with several extractions from Shaharazade's thousand and one tales - her clever, open-ended and never-ending stories designed to forever entertain and distract the king, thus allowing her to stay her pending execution; a fate decreed by the king for her own extramarital indiscretions. 

The New York born and bred writer and producer does on occasion stray beyond the somatic however, as well as beyond the related conditions of the heart, whether they be uplifting, or rife with sorrow. Other notions in his work have included God and religion, war and peace, Israel and Palestine, commerce and greed, as well as justice and injustice as it applies to the working man. But primarily, the subject at hand is usually that of lust.* The selections in the mix that I've assembled below are far more democratic in their overview however, striving to reflect a balanced cross-section of his suggestive work.

Built on late night, after hours jazz, elliptical poetry and sultry, poly-rhythmic Latin percussion, those atmospheric vignettes that Hanrahan creates warrant any number of descriptive phrases - warm and intimate, evocative and sexy, voluptuous and sensual, powerful and revealing, elegant but earthy, fiery and turbulent, enchanting and seductive, acidic and contemptuous. But they're also about motion --- rhythm in motion, poetry in motion and sexuality in motion; the to and fro of the lovers waltz with its myriad of physical, emotional and spiritual negotiations.

And then there are the percussionists, the wonderful drummers who supply the intricate undercurrent that flows through these pieces like a wellspring. The pulse that they collectively create is simply jaw-dropping, not to mention absolutely sublime.
*One exception here is the track, 'Wardrobe Master Of Paradise' which is taken from 'Conjure: Music For The Texts Of Ishmael Reed,' and features the vocals of Taj Mahal. Conjure is a Hanrahan side project.


The Impressive Cast Of Players

(although not necessarily all heard on the tracks below) 

ABBOTT, DIAHNNE/ADAMS, GEORGE/ADAMS, PEPPER/AGYAPON, AMMA OFORIWAA
 ALAIS, DON/ALCHOURRON, RUDOLFO/AMEEN, ROBBY/ARENAS, LYSANDRO/ARIAS, LYSANDRO  
ARMANTEROS, CHOCOLATE/AUGUSTIN, FRISNER/AWOLOWO, CAROLE/AWOLOWO, YOMIYOMI

  BAEDER, LARRY/BAILEY, DEREK/BANG, BILLY/BATHE, CLARE/BEASLEY, JOHN 
BENGOLEA, ALBERTO/BERRIOS, STEVE/BERROA, IGNACIO/BEYTELSMANN, GUSTAVO  
BLADES, RUBEN/BLAKE, RON/BLEY, CARLA/BLEY, PAUL/BLUIETT, HAMIET  
BORNEO DRUMS/BOURELLY, JEAN-PAUL/BOWIE, LESTER/BRANDAO, SERGIO  
BRATT, BENJAMIN/BRECKER, MICHAEL/BRUCE, JACK/BUCKLEY, PAULETTE 'NIRVANA'

CAIN, MIKE/CARDONA, MILTON/CARDONA, SERGIO/CARILLO, ANTHONY/CARROTT, BRYAN
CARTWRIGHT, GEORGE/CASALE, RALPH/CASTRO, WALTER/CHILTON, ALEX
CLEMSON, CLEM/COHN, AL/CONJURE/CONSOLE, HECTOR/CONTAT, MICHEL
COSTA, EDDIE/COX, ANTHONY/CYRILLE, ANDREW

D'RIVERA, PAQUITO/DARA, OLU/DAULNE, MARIE/DAWN, AMMA/DEEP RUMBA
DEJEAN, DENISE OLA/DELUIGI, SILVANA/DIAZ, ROMAN/Di GIROLAMO, ORLANDO
DNA/DYSON, DK


ENGELHARDT, CECILIA/ESSIET, ESSIETT/EVANS, BILL/EVANS, LINDA/EVELEV, YALE

FARLEY, MOLLY/FARMER, ART/FARMER, ADDISON/FAUSTY, JON/FERNANDEZ, ENRIQUE
FERNANDEZ, JOSE/FIER, ANTON/FLORES, RICHIE/FLORES, CHARLIE/FORD, RICKY
FRANCESCHINI, BOBBY/FRANCK, Ti PLUME RICARDO/FREEMAN, CHICO/FRIEBERG, DANIEL
FRITH, FRED

GARCIA-FONS, RENAUD/GARY, BRUCE/GEORGE, VINCENTE/GIBBS, MELVIN/GOINES, LINCOLN
GOLDEN, GENE/GOMEZ, EDSEL/GOMEZ, TERESA/GONZALEZ, CARLOS ALBERTO
GONZALEZ, ANDY/GONZALEZ, FERNANDO/GONZALEZ, JERRY/GOODWIN, BILL
GREEN, WILLIE

 
HAINES, PAUL/HAINES, TIM/HAINES, AVERY/HANRAHAN, KIP/HANRAHAN, LEIJIA
HANRAHAN, NANCY WEISS/HARRIS, EDDIE/HARRIS, JODY/HARRIS, SHAUNICE
HART, ALVIN YOUNGBLOOD/HART, BILLY/HERMAN, LISA
HERNANDEZ, HORACIO EL NEGRO/HERNANDEZ, FRANK/HERNANDEZ, HECTOR 'FLACO'
HIDALGO, GIOVANNI/HOFSTRA, DAVID/HOLLIDAY, THEODORE 'WOOGGIE'/HOLLIDAY, ABI
HUGHES, GRAYSON/HORVITZ, WAYNE

ICHASO, LEON/INNERSOUL
 
JACKSON, DD/JASON, ROBERT/JAY, DON
 
KIRKLAND, KENNY/KONDAS, DICK/KONITZ, LEE

LaBELLA, LOU/LANCASTER, BYARD/LARSEN, ERICA/LASWELL, BILL/LAUGART, XIOMARA
LEWIS, JT/LIEBMAN, DAVE/LINDSAY, ARTO/LUCAS, GARY/LUNDY, CARMEN/LYNCH, BRIAN


MACERO, TEO/MAHAL, TAJ/MALVICINO, HORACIO/MANGUAL JR., JOSE/MANTLER, MIKE
MARCUS, LINDSAY/MARRERO, NICKY/MARSHALL, WENDELL/MARTINEZ, PEDRO
MEJIAS, PAOLI/MESTRE, CARLOS/MINGUS, CHARLES/MIRANDA, EDGARDO
MITCHELL, OLUFEMI CLAUDETTE/MONPIE, HAILA/MOORE, CARMAN/MORI, IKUE
MURCIANO JR, RAÚL/MURRAY, DAVID

NEVILLE, CHARLES/NIKOLIC, ZLATAN/NOCENTELLI, LEO/NORTON, BRENDA

O’CONNELL, BILL/O'HARA, MARY MARGARET/OSBORNE, JOHN

PARKER, EVAN/PEDEVSKI, VELIBOR/PENABAZ, LUCY/PEOPLE FROM NORTHERN BURMA
PERDOMO, LUIS/PETERSON JR., RALPH/PIAZZOLLA, ASTOR/PICKETT, LENNY
PONCE, DANIEL/PREVETTE, BOBBY/PRIETO, DAFNIS/PUCHNIK, WOLFGANG
PUGLIESI, OSWALDO/PULLEN, DON/PYRONNEAU, ELYSEE


REBILLOT, PATRICK/REED, ISHMAEL/REED, TENNESSEE/REHAK, FRANK
REISLER, MICHAEL/RIOS, PUNTILLA ORLANDO/RIVERA, MARIO/ROBINSON, CAROL
ROBINSON, JOHN (YOMI)/ROBINSON-FALU, IMANI/RODRIGUEZ, ABRAHAM
RODRIGUEZ, RUBEN/RODRIGUEZ, FRANKIE/ROMAO, DOM UM/ROMERO, JORGE
ROSS, BRANDON/ROSS, KEN/ROY, BADAL/RUIZ, HILTON

SAE, KELLEY/SALUZZI, DINO/SANABRIA, FELIX/SANCHEZ, DAVID/SANTIAGO, JOE
SAUNDERS, FERNANDO/SAVARKUS, RUSSELL/SCHENKMAN, ERIC/SCHERER, PETER
SCOFIELD, JOHN/SHAUGHNESSY, ED/SMITH, MARVIN 'SMITTY'/SMITH, MAURICIO
SNOW, MICHAEL/SOLOFF, LEW/STING/STUBBLEFIELD, JOHN/SUAREZ PAZ, FERNANDO
SWALLOW, STEVE


TACUMA, JAMAALADEEN/TATE, GREG 'IRON MAN'/TCHICAI, JOHN/TERRY, YOSVANY CABRERA
THOMAS, PIRI/THREADGIL, HENRY/TORO, YOMO/TORRES 'PROF', JOE/TORRES, CHARLIE
TOUSSAINT, ALLEN/TRACEY, EJAYE/TRIFF, ALFREDO/TURRE, STEVE

VALDES, AMADITO/VASQUEZ, PAPO ANGEL/VERTOV, DZIGA/VIEUX, PHILLIPE

WARD, CARLOS/WATANABE, TAKUMA/WATKINS, JOHNNY/WILES, SANDRA 'FELA'
WOMACK, BOBBY/WOODS, PHIL/WRIGHT, TIM/WYATT, ROBERT

ZIEGLER, PABLO/ZINGER, PABLO/ZOLLAR, JAMES

While many of these names may be unrecognizable to you, the drummers listed within, rank as among the finest of Afro-Cuban percussionists working today, drawn largely from the decades old and still thriving New York music community of Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Latin American rhythm keepers. One must take into consideration that although these players are more than capable of creating the hot, fiery propulsion normally associated with percussion based music, under Hanrahan's guidance they instead create a lush and complex canopy of tropical undergrowth that serve to supply a steamy, erotic rhythmic mantle for Hanrahan's carnal vignettes to play themselves out.


The Music Itself 
(in three parts)


1) Shaharazade Watches Birds Through An Alabaster Ceiling
2) The Jinniya Sleeps On The Alabaster Ceiling, The Coolness Of The Stone
3) You Can Tell Someone Who'll Never Fulfill Their Potential
By The Way They Measure The Evening
4) Exterior New York 1988, Night
5) You Can Tell A Guy By His Anger
6) The Blonde Woman Escapes
7) Shaharazade Shifts Angles, Introducing
8) Parole Hearing
9) The First And Last To Love Me (4 September)
10) Shadow Song (Mario's In)
11) The Yemeni Merchant And The Three Different Colored Women
12) The Jinniya Who Envied Human Suffering
13) Carravagio, A Quick Balance
14) The Wardrobe Master Of Paradise (Conjure)


1) Suenos Da Vida Colonial
2) Blue Shalimah's Tale (Opening)
3) A Woman's Tale
4) Clean Charm Amongst Evil
5) As In Angola (Red Star In The Morning Sky)
6) Shaharazade And The Opening Of The First Shadow Night
7) Two Heartedly To The Other Side
8) Chances Are Good (Baden's Distance)
9) Desire Develops An Edge
10) Gift
11) Another Autumn Forms


1) You Play With The Night With Your Fingertips
2) The Last Song
3) The Brown Eyed Woman Escapes
4) The Red Headed Woman Remains With The Merchant
5) A Lover Divides Time: Past, Present And Tense (To Hear How It Sounds)
6) Velasquez
7) Princess Dunya's Nocturnal Realization
8) One Summer Afternoon (For Gil Evans)
9) Manenquito's Magic Afternoon
10) Hollywood In Harlem
11) God Is Great
12) Love Is Like A Cigarette
13) The First And Last To Love Me (2 December)
14) Her Boyfriend Assesses His Value And Pleads His Case



Source material for 'Sex, Romance And Passion. Anger, Lies And Deceit, Pts.1-3' come from the following:

Coup de Tête (1982)/Desire Develops An Edge (1982)
Vertical's Currency (1985)/A Few Notes From The End Run (1985)
Conjure: Music For The Texts Of Ishmael Reed (1985) 
Days And Nights Of Blue Luck Inverted (1988)/Exotica (1992)
A Thousand Nights And A Night (Red Nights) (1997)
Shadow Nights, Vol.1 (1998)/Shadow Nights, Vol.2 (1999)
Pinero (2002)/Beautiful Scars (2007)
At Home In Anger (2011)



Willy DeVille: When The Saints Come Marching In

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Bourbon St., Vieux Carré & Crescent City Soul
Remembering Willy DeVille (1950-2009), Part 3 of 3
Friday, July 18, 2014


"Few people could write a love song quite like DeVille. He was the embodiment of rock & roll’s romance - its theater, its style, its drama, camp, and danger."Thom Jurek

As the 20th century became the 21st, Willy DeVille had finally kicked his longtime addiction to heroin, moved to New Mexico and immersed himself even deeper into his music. The previous year saw him recording in Memphis with the Dickerson brothers (Jim and Luther) at the helm, working in the studio alongside Spooner Oldham, Jimmy Johnson, Roger Hawkins and David Hood to produce 'Horse of a Different Color.' Coinciding with his 25th anniversary in the music business, the musician then assembled an acoustic trio that resulted in one of the most unique recordings in his extensive catalog, the excellent 'Live in Berlin,' a two-disc set that covered blues, soul, country, r&b, and rock, all in a stripped down setting that highlighted his masterful interpretation of song. One reviewer said this of the Berlin dates:

"Willy DeVille is a one of a kind in a world of carbon copies and that in itself would be more than enough to recommend him. But he is also one of the most honest, heartfelt interpreters of songs and gifted songwriters that I've ever heard. Listening to DeVille is to be reminded of how rock & roll should be played, and the true meaning of the word passion. The intangible quality of having looked into the darker part of your soul and come out on the other side with your spirit intact can't be taught, it can only be experienced, and it's always present when DeVille performs."

 

Richard Marcus addresses his interpretive skills further saying:
 

"There are those performers who through strength of personality and distinctiveness of sound have carved out their own niche in the business. Unfortunately the very uniqueness that makes them such invaluable artists makes them a poor fit for the music industry and they end up as cult figures with small but loyal followings around the world. One of those who was far more deserving of attention then the small amount he received was the incomparable Willy DeVille. From the Latino inflections, to the voice made of gravel, he made the songs he sang come alive like no else had ever managed. But that was the beauty of Willy DeVille, he put the songs ahead of himself. It's not that he's irrelevant, it's just that he offers up his interpretations of the songs without putting his ego in the way."



Despite his renewed health after 20 years of addiction, not everything had turned around in DeVille's world. His move to the Southwest was prompted by a defeat. In a losing battle with the I.R.S., he and his second wife (who was also his business manager) were forced to surrender their home in Mississippi to back taxes, as well as forfeit a good deal of the savings they had fortunately been able to amass from his strong record sales abroad. Despondent over the lost, his wife committed suicide by hanging with DeVille being the first to discover her swinging body. Distraught, he climbed behind the wheel of his car and drove off into the New Mexico night only to severely injure himself when he veered off the road and crashed head on into a truck, breaking his arms, knee, and hip. DeVille was lucky to survive, but he did require surgery for a hip replacement and subsequently walked with crutches for the next three years, frequently performing while seated. During his recovery from the accident, the musician was then delivered yet another troublesome blow. It was discovered that DeVille had contracted Hepatitis C.

The series of tragic events that had transpired over just a short window of time sent the musician into a spiritual tailspin. Surrounded by a landscape that was rich in Native American culture, DeVille immersed himself in their customs to embrace the Indian blood that coursed through his veins, a byproduct of his mother's lineage. Shedding the razor sharp image of his previous years, DeVille dispensed with the hair products, the tailor-made clothes, and even the ever present well-groomed facial hair that suited his chiseled face so well. Instead, he took to painting his face, allowing his long hair to flow free, and adorning himself with feathered breastplates and turquoise jewelry. American critics as usual dismissed DeVille's turnabout simply as posturing, casting him as their whipping boy, intent on rejecting him for his chameleon-like image while overlooking his superior command of music. Our loss again. What they failed to realize was that DeVille approached his public persona much like a method actor, losing himself in the character until he eventually emerged as that person. While many a rock n' roll star have employed characterizations as a mere theatrical ploy, Bowie wasn't derided for transforming himself from ragamuffin, to, to the Thin White Duke. Likewise, neither did Kiss for their comic book character stage make-up, nor Madonna for her many transfigurations. And don't forget, even the rootsy John Mellencamp once called himself 'Cougar.' As it's been said, "It's all in the showbiz game," except as far as DeVille was concerned, this wasn't contrivance. So, did I find him pretentious? Not in the least. I like flamboyant people if there's substance to back them up, and DeVille certainly walked the talk. His theatrics may have occasionally been a bit over-the-top, but his music was always true and very, very honest, and that's the yardstick by which he should be measured and remembered.


Two more musical outings were to follow after his accident and personal upheaval, 'Crow Jane Alley' and 'Pistola.' Although DeVille had since returned to New York after a long absence, he carried the romance and feeling of the Southwest with him in these two stellar recordings that featured such established sidemen as Davey Faragher and Pete Thomas from Elvis Costello's band, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, jazz drummer, Alex Acuña, and the group, Quetzal. Bold and blazoned, the two LPs showed no sign of DeVille letting up in his creativity. The recordings featured several left turns including a few forays into country music, as well as evocative spoken word pieces like nothing the artist had ever done before. Richard Marcus again says: "(These are) not the type of albums you'd expect from as established a performer as Willy DeVille. Most people at his stage in their careers wouldn't be taking the risk of including unconventional pieces, but Willy has always marched to the beat of his own drummer. It's that willingness to take risks that keeps his music fresh and alive."

However, the hand of fate was not yet done with DeVille. While undergoing treatment for his hepatitis, it was also discovered that he had pancreatic cancer. That was in May of 2009. A short three months later on a sultry New York City summer night, Willy DeVille slipped away from this mortal coil just a few weeks shy of his 59th birthday. The date was August 06, and whether we here in the United States knew it or not, we had truly lost an American treasure.

The articulate Thom Jurek once again:


"Willy DeVille is America’s loss even if America doesn’t know it yet. The reason is simple: Like the very best rock & roll writers and performers in our history, he’s one of the very few who got it right. He understood what made a three-minute song great, and why it mattered — because it mattered to him. He lived and died with the audience in his shows, and he gave them something to remember when they left the theater, because he meant every single word of every song as he performed it. Europeans like that. In this jingoistic age of American pride, perhaps we can now revisit our own true love of rock & roll by discovering Willy DeVille for the first time — or, at the very least, remember him for what he really was: an American original. The mythos and pathos in his songs, his voice, and his performances were born in these streets and cities and then given to the world who appreciated him much more than we ever did."




1) Hello, My Lover
2) It Do Me Good
3) Key To My Heart
4) Beating Like A Tom-Tom
5) Every Dog Has Its Day
6) Big Blue Diamonds
7) Teasin' You
8) Ruler Of My Heart
9) Who Shot The La-La
10) Junker's Blues
11) Downside Of Town
12) Crow Jane Alley (For Jack)
13) The Band Played On
14) Louise
15) Come A Little Bit Closer
16) (Don't Have A) Change Of Heart
17) When I Get Home
18) St. Peter's Street
19) Betty And Dupree
20) It's Too Late, She's Gone
21) Spanish Harlem
22) Trouble In Mind
23) The Mountains Of Manhattan

 


'Heaven Stood Still,' a song of breathtaking beauty from Willy DeVille


Source material for 'Bourbon St., Vieux Carré, and Crescent City Soul' come from the following:
Victory Mixture (1990)/Acoustic Trio Live In Berlin (2002)
Crow Jane Alley (2004)/Pistola (2008)


Willie DeVille: Crescent City Jump

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Gypsy Rhythm, Cajun Spice, Heart And Soul
Remembering Willy DeVille, Part 2 of 3

Friday, July 11, 2014

(1950-2009)
"I've been an admirer of Willy's since hearing his stunning voice on the radio for the first time. He has an enormous range, with influences from all corners of the country --- Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and New Orleans music to Latin, folk-rock, doo-wop, Ben E. King style soul and R&B --- all part of the New York mix. The songs he writes are original, often romantic and always straight from the heart. He can paint a character with just a few words." --- Mark Knopfler

After Willy Deville dropped the moniker of Mink Deville, he also shed his Puerto Rican pimp look for something closer to that of a Caribbean pirate (see above), long before Johnny Depp copped the style for his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in a series of successful Disney films. But mostly, Deville opted for the nuanced flare of a Mississippi plantation owner (which he in fact eventually became), replete with ruffled shirts under velvet waistcoats, his collar adored with resplendent and flowing neckware, the obligatory Rhett Butler moustache, ornately carved, ivory handled walking sticks, and of course his beloved Italian shoes. A late 20th century Beau Brummel, a walking paradox, a master showman, an absolute presence, a bona fide rock n' roll star, if only audiences in the United States had bothered to have taken notice of it. Europeans on the other hand understood and recognized his talent immediately, but then other cultures have always embraced our melting pot roots, while we ourselves seem to go out of our way to bury our past as deeply as we can.


Despite his popularity abroad, here in his homeland, the musician's personal life along with his career were in complete disarray. DeVille was wrestling with a heroin addition that had hounded him for years, and due to his lack of success domestically, he found his finances to be nearly in ruin. Undaunted, DeVille continued to focus on making his music, digging even deeper into the foundations of the American canon, incorporating additional Latin accents into his already Spanish infused Gris-Gris bag, adding doses of Delta Blues, mixing it up with Cajun Zydeco, and sprinkling it with Gypsy rhythms. His voice and delivery matured as well, turning husky, well weathered, and even more soulful. Ripe for reinvention, DeVille moved from his longtime home of New York City and relocated to another American city rich in history. In New Orleans, the musician set out to capture the flavor and feeling he was now aiming to achieve in his growing musical palette. In doing so, DeVille remarkably found restored vigor, as well as a new spiritual home. Ensconced in the living history of one of our nation's greatest and most musical of cities, the songwriter was able to shift into overdrive, collaborating with such Crescent City legends as Eddie Bo, the Wild Magnolias, Allen Toussaint, the Meters, Johnny Adams, and his old friend, Mac Rebennack. There in the city that care forgot, he producing some of the best music of his career. The experience proved to be a highly prolific period for DeVille, spawning such outstanding recordings as 'Victory Mixture,' 'Big Easy Fantasy,' 'Loup Garou,' and his tour-de-force, 'Backstreets Of Desire,' all exemplary recordings within his discography. Not surprisingly, these titles sold poorly here in America, if even at all, mirroring his earlier experiences with Mink DeVille. In Europe however, they were considered golden, the apex of one man's artistic career. Their gain was our loss.


The eventual catalyst and saving grace for DeVille came from the unexpected, left field success of his song, 'Storybook Love' (taken from 'Miracle'), a number that was produced by Mark Knopfler for inclusion in the wildly popular film, 'The Princess Bride.' The infusion of much needed money from the royalties that he collected from this contribution allowed DeVille to refocus once again on doing what he did best, making music. 'Victory Mixture' (a cover set of Crescent City classics) sported an authentic New Orleans sound, recorded live in the studio with no overdubs, editing, or tampering. According to DeVille, his intent was not only to pay tribute to the often overlooked master musicians of New Orleans, but also to generate additional royalty income for them as well by covering their material. A noble act. DeVille himself considered 'Victory...,' to be "one of the albums that I'm proudest of. I think it's one of the best records I've ever done." 'Backstreets...' meanwhile is simply exquisite in my own estimation. Loosely quoted, All Music's, Thom Jurek says of the latter,
 "Despite the chaos in his life, 'Backstreets Of Desire' demonstrates that Deville had become a songwriter and performer in a league of his own. The wasted rock & roll junkie sounds like a man resurrected, digging as deep as the cavernous recesses of the human heart will allow. (In doing so) he reveals more about where he'd had been than perhaps he would like listeners to know, but the darkness that informed that soul graces this music with a ragged elegance and tough grace."
 Poetic sentiments there, and never have words rung so true.





Gypsy Rhythm, Cajun Spice, Heart And Soul

1) All In The Name Of Love
2) Even While I Sleep
3) Voodoo Charm
4) Hey Joe
5) Loup Garou
6) I Can Only Give You Everything
7) Still (I Love You Still)
8) White Trash Girl
9) No Such Pain As Love
10) Runnin' Through The Jungle (Shootin' The Blues)
11) When You're Away From Me
12) Jump City
13) Heart Of A Fool
14) Time Has Come Today
15) Come To Poppa
16) Assassin Of Love
17) Heart And Soul
18) Southern Politician





Source material for 'Gypsy Rhythm, Cajun Spice, Heart & Soul' comes from the following:

Miracle (1987)/Backstreets Of Desire (1994)/Loup Garou (1996)