Rating: Live Album
Label: Eagle Records 2011
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
I'm not going to pretend to know everything about Willy Deville. In fact, the only previous record in my collection is the "Cadillac Walk - The Mink Deville Collection" (check out the impressive liner notes in the booklet by the way). I bought it merely a couple of months prior to his death in 2009 (R.I.P.) and to be perfectly honest, I had absolutely no idea that 'Mink Deville' was a "band" and not just a solo project and nick for the man with "Italian Shoes" (yes, I can recall the MTV video). Go figure, the Minks' were also one of the first original house bands at CBGB, the classic New York nightclub (R.I.P.). But... you wouldn't call it 'punk rock' though.
Why haven't I got any old Deville records in my collection? Well, I've always been kind of afraid of the seventies music in the past, especially since I'm brought up with the utterly flashy and catchy eighties, early nineties music, Not any longer though as I'm actually proud to report that I now have in my collection, among many other artists of course: Bob Dylan, Todd Rundgren, Lou Reed, Jackson Browne, Van Morrison, Billy Joel, Roxy Music, and obviously, Bruce Springsteen. Why do I name these artists? Well, to r-e-a-l-l-y simplify things, you could put Willy Deville's name next to them and he'll fit right in (simply add the latin touch of Santana?).
"Live - Come A Little Bit Closer" - as the title suggest, a live album or rather a compilation of live tracks as the selection covers his whole career, with songs recorded in the years 1977, 1982, 1984, 1994, 2002 and 2006. The tracks were all recorded in Europe, Amsterdam, Montreaux, Nijmegen and Berlin. Unfortunately, "Italian Shoes", are missing, but the back catalog is more diverse than most modern performers. The genre span from early rock and rhythm and blues styles, to Delta-styled blues, from Cajun music to New Orleans second line, from Latin-tinged folk to punky salseros, to the Bruce Springsteen rock of "This Must Be The Night", "Love and Emotion", or "Just To Walk That Little Girl Home". The latter are complete with saxophone and typical "Bruce" arrangements. You'll notice how alike some of his songs were to Dire Straits, not that strange considering that he co-worked with Mark Knopfler. You'll get the usual live favorites such as "Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl", Savoir Faire", "Spanish Stroll". But also his excellent version of Bryan Ferry's "Slave To Love". It's a nice 'compilation' live album and the liner notes are the work by the ex-President of Willy Deville's fan club. It's merely a shame that I didn't discover his music earlier on... then again, I wouldn't have enjoyed this as a kid...