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Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews

Mink Deville

Live At Montreux 1982

Review by Greg Olma

I first got a glimpse of Willy DeVille’s world when I reviewed a copy of his then new DVD Live In The Lowlands. I also got to interview him for a more personal look and at that point I realized that he was a living, breathing embodiment of the songs that he puts out. He didn’t just sing them, he lived them. When it was time to go back and reconnect with his music, I jumped at the chance to review this DVD. Even though it is older material by a band called Mink DeVille, the main focal point was still the man himself.

In 1982, Mink DeVille was promoting the Coup de Grace record (yeah, I’m talking good old vinyl) and a stop at the Montreux Jazz Festival was in the cards. It’s great that someone had the forethought to not only record these performances but also preserve them for 26 years so that we can enjoy them today. As with all the Montreux DVDs, the shows are expertly captured on film and audio. This show continues that pattern of releasing quality material.

The set list is culled from all 4 albums that were out at that time; giving you a healthy does of Coup de Grace but still touching on the previous long players. Although the look and style of the band is a bit dated (hey, the 80s weren’t such a good fashion decade i.e. the mullet) but the music is as alive today as it was when it they recorded this concert. DeVille and his band were tight but had just enough “loose-ness” to make them breathe. It is hard not to be reminded of Bruce Sprinsteen when watching this DVD. They both possess a similar sound and they were both story tellers in their music. Songs like “Cadillac Walk” and “Teardrops Must Fall” are just a couple of the standouts in this 16 song set. I highly recommend this DVD to anyone who is looking for a glimpse into Willy DeVille’s world.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 3 at
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