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Willy DeVille, Pistola

Label: Eagle

Willy DeVille appears more gaunt and haggard than ever here – he looks like Tommy Lee’s sleazier junkie brother – but he’s never been more artistically potent than on Pistola, confronting the demons of his past with an impressive lyrical honesty and unexpectedly diverse musical imagination.

DeVille’s beloved New Orleans provides the touchstone for most of the album: the ex-addiction anthem “Been There DoneThat”, for instance, is couched in infectious clavinet funk, while “You Got The World In Your Hands” sounds like Tom Waits covering Dr John’s “Gris-Gris”.

Elsewhere, there are echoes of the Stones, Springsteen and “Spanish Harlem” – all this, and a great version of Paul Siebel’s classic “Louise” too. Who would have thought it?

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