Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Savage Beauty reviewed by Mark Thompson

Savage Beauty
Perry Weber and the Devilles
11 tracks/39:28
This is the first release for Weber and the Devilles, who got together a little more than a year ago. Weber is the vocalist, wrote eight of the tracks and handles the guitar. The Devilles are Dave Kasik on bass, Benny Rickun on harmonica and Victor Span on drums.The individual members have played with many of the greats, including Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Luther Allison, Reverend Raven and Nick Moss. In other words, these musicians have the experience and chops to play on any bandstand in the country.
The opening instrumental, "Gimme Back What I Bought Ya' ", percolates along with some stinging guitar parts from Weber and a tight solo from Rickun. The track gets an added boost from Bill LeClair on his Hammond organ. Next the band settles into a Slim Harpo-syle groove on "I Started Up Again". Rickun blows plenty of tight fills to support Weber's rough-around-the-edges vocal. The rocking "Do Your Duty, Judy" is one of the disc's highlights. On this Weber orginal, Rickun amply demonstrates his creativity on the harp over a big beat from Span. Weber contributes some taut guitar licks.
Another highlight is the slow blues song from the pen of Freddy King, "Lonesome Whistle Blues". LeClair makes another appearance on the organ and helps create the late-night feel on this track. Perry shouts out his tale of love gone bad before adding a superb solo that dominates the proceedings. . "Hot Tongue & Cold Shoulder" features more of Weber's inventive six string work. LeClair gets the opportunity to display his prowess on the Hammond before the track fade away.
The band's version of Hank William's
for me, despite some nice pedal steel classic "Your Cheatin' Heart" fell flat
guitar work from Jim Lombard. Perhaps it is due to the cut being stylistically out of left field compared to the rest of the
Two cuts serve notice that Weber can write with creativity and humor. His ode to his "Big Fat Woman" describes her "..big booty, two axe-handles wide!" Rickun whoops and hollers on his harp to punctuate this tale. On "International Man", Weber tells his baby he doesn't buy off the rack, he's too cosmopolitan for that.
All in all, this is a very strong release for a relatively new band. The quality of the writing and musicianship found throughout the recording testifies to how good these guys are - and bodes well for their future releases. But for now, get yourself a copy, turn it up loud - and let Weber & the DeVilles start the party at your house !!!
Perry Weber & the DeVilles will be appearing at Big Cities Lounge on Friday, Sept. 14.

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