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The Return Of Willy
on October 4, 2004
Willy Deville is undeniably the most underrated performer to come out of the CBGB punk scene in the late '70s. While other performers such as the Ramones, Talking Heads and Blondie went on to success (critically if not commercially), Willy DeVille sunk into what seems like permanent career purgatory. And that's a shame because over the last 25 years, Willy and his band, Mink DeVille, created some of the most varied and creative music to ever come out of New York City.
Although it may seem as DeVille had disappeared, he has never stopped releasing records. An extremely popular act in Europe, DeVille concentrated on that market for the last decade or so but now returns stateside with the release of Crow Jane Alley.
Like most of his albums, Crow Jane Alley is a smorgasbord of DeVille delights. From the opening Mexicali rhythms and haunting lyrics of "Chieva" (about DeVille's drug abuse) to the wonderful Drifter's-like ballad "My Forever Came Today" to the incredible cover of Bryan Ferry's "Slave To Love," Willy hits on all cylinders here. He even returns to the down and dirty rock of "Cadillac Walk" with the timely "Trouble Comin' Everyday In A World Gone Wrong."
If for no other reason then years of dedicated (and talented) service to a almost-forgotten past, give Crow Jane Alley a listen.