Born William Borsey (b. 1950), Willy DeVille has become much more of a celebrity in Europe than in his native America. Yet, it was there that he performed groundbreaking work and became influential in the rise of several new musical styles in the '70s and '80s. DeVille, of Pequot (native American), Basque and Irish descent, is a flamboyant stage presence.
THE WILLY DEVILLE ACOUSTIC TRIO
Spanish Harlem is the only live recording featured on this compilation.
Track: Spanish Harlem (R. Johnson)
Album: The Willy DeVille Acoustic Trio in Berlin (1960)
Label: Eagle Records
Appears on: DALI CD Vol. 2
Formed in 1974, Willy DeVille's band, Mink DeVille, became popular in the late '70s and early '80s. Then in 1987, DeVille began performing under his own name, changing his musical directions on the go.
Recording in New Orleans and Los Angeles, he added zydeco, Tex Mex, salsa and Spanish-Americana to his punk rock and even French chanson influences.
DeVille, a multi-talented artist, recorded and produced his most influential albums in Europe. These albums became hits in Europe first, with some being sold only as imports in America. For a long time, DeVille performed exclusively in Europe and had no record deal in America.
The track Spanish Harlem from The Willy DeVille Acoustic Trio in Berlin is the only live recording featured on this DALI compilation. Featuring a double bass and piano, the recording focuses on DeVille's warm and deep voice, full of typical DeVille details.