Artist picture of Willy DeVille

Willy DeVille

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Stand by Me Willy DeVille 06:14
Cadillac Walk Willy DeVille 07:19
Hey Joe Willy DeVille 04:13
Heaven Stood Still Willy DeVille 03:57
I Call Your Name Willy DeVille 04:32
Beating Like a Tom-Tom Willy DeVille 04:17
Slow Drain Willy DeVille 04:53
Demasiado Corazon (Too Much) Willy DeVille 04:50
Demasiado corazon Willy DeVille 04:26
Spanish Harlem Willy DeVille 04:36

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Empty Heart
All in the Name of Love
Lonely Hunter
Even While I Sleep

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Even as part of the 1970s CBGB's scene in New York which produced remarkable artists and characters like Talking Heads, Television, Patti Smith and The Ramones, Willy DeVille stood out as being unique. Leading his band Mink Deville, he was a flamboyant, rake-thin dandy with a quiffed mane of hair and snakeskin jackets who brought together rockabilly, blues, soul and Cajun sounds into a swaggering, vaudeville rock & roll act.

Born into a blue-collar family in the factory town of Stamford, Connecticut, he ran away from home as a teenager and landed in Greenwich Village in the late-60s in search of the bohemian world he had read about. He learned to play guitar and developed a bluesy style informed by Bo Diddley and Elmore James, but drifted to London and San Francisco before finally returning to New York in 1975 and forming Mink DeVille to be the house act at CBGBs. It led to the acclaimed albums 'Cabretta' and 'Le Chat Bleu' and the top 20 UK single 'Spanish Stroll', but Mink DeVille were always outcasts among outcasts and split in 1986. Willy then went solo and Mark Knopfler produced his debut solo album 'Miracle'. When lead track 'Storybook Love' was used in the film 'The Princess Bride', DeVille found himself nominated for an Academy Award and performed at the awards ceremony in 1988 alongside Little Richard.

He moved to New Orleans in the 1990s and celebrated the city's R&B roots with covers album 'Victory Mixture' featuring local legends Allen Toussaint and Dr John, and developed a colourful Mardi Gras-style revue show that toured Europe. He went on to work with mariachi musicians on follow-up 'Backstreets of Desire', styled himself as a crooning gypsy blues man on 'Horse of a Different Color' and worked with Chicano rock band Quetzal on 'Crow Jane Alley' in 2004. He died from pancreatic cancer aged 58 in 2009, but is remembered as one of rock's great cult heroes who had a wide ranging love of soul, blues, gospel and Latin music and pulled out all the stops to mix it all together.