Oddly enough, not long ago, I'd been re-evaluating the music of a number of musicians, Mink DeVille among them, and found myself now more satisfied with their work than had previously been the case. I credit this to some of the production Dixon House has been doing of late with similar musics (and, uh, unfortunately, House's own old music didn't fare nearly as well as Mink's). Well, now along comes DeVille's son, and he's picked up more than a few of his dad's earmarks but turned them out under his own rather powerful imprint.
In fact, Shakey DeVille puts a good deal of authority back in the power trio format, a very large part of the credit going to Matt DeVille's excellent slide work as Johnny Foodstamp provides a gigantic bass sound and Todd Slocum keeps the beat on a steady burn. Much of this CD reminded me of a much swampier John Fogerty crossed with Guy Kyser (Thin White Rope), steamy, dark as a sweltering bayou night, ominous and visceral, insistent and primal.
Frankly, I see this release as what should've occurred when Waddy Wachtel and a line of the Hollywood session aces formed Ronin and various other bands promising much but delivering little. Shakey DeVille pulls up the famed Tinsel Town sidewalks and then burrows down into the loamy soil like an industrial-sized buzzsaw, yanking out skeletons, boulders, voodoo hexes, and the unquiet dead howling in their itchy graves. So when I tell you the difference is that these bad boys are East Coast and Nashville nasty, you'll see why the powerhouse ensemble can treat the West Coast luminaries that way and earn nothing but respect. Once these guys crank up—which is right away—they just don't stop. *Shakey DeVille* isn't metal, it's hard rock, but it has all the juggernaut elements, working its urgencies in the same way, succeeding as few can. Someone send Mink congratulations on his progeny—he done damn good—and while you're penning that missive, take yer shirt off, 'cause this disc's gonna make you sweat.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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