Singer/songwriter Willy DeVille has been gone for roughly two years now after battling pancreatic cancer and passing away at the young age of 58. The talented musician touched on many different genres and was known for his touching lyrics. Come A Little Bit Closer: The Best Of Willy DeVille Live was released in May.

The CD features 17 live tracks, with concerts from the Netherlands, Amsterdam, Berlin and others. “Venus Of Avenue D” starts out the disc and while it’s not the most upbeat song, it contains some impressive, smooth brass instruments to set the tone. “Love And Emotion” is one of the best tunes here and it sounds like something Bruce Springsteen would put out. Unfortunately, a few lackluster songs follow, such as “Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl,” “Slave To Love” and especially “Little Girl,” a romantic, blues-y track. “Demasiado Corazon (Too Much Heart)” has a Latin feeling to it, including remarkable saxophones. It is probably the busiest song on the disc.

“Can’t Do Without It” contains female vocals singing alongside DeVille, which winds up being quite decent. A mariachi version of “Hey Joe” is performed and it turns out to be a pleasant and interesting rendition of the classic. Harmonicas and percussions break out on “Steady Drivin’ Man,” a predominately instrumental six-minute track. The album closes out with one of his biggest hits, “Spanish Stroll.” The crowd really seemed to enjoy it, screaming throughout.

The disc isn’t a dud but it’s far from great. Perhaps a DVD release instead of a CD one would be more enjoyable. Maybe it’s just best reserved for the diehard Willy DeVille fans.

In A Word: Farther

 

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