Joey Cortelezzi - sax; Willy DeVille - lead vocals, guitar; Louis X Erlanger - guitar; Kenny Margolis - keyboards; Tommy Price - drums; Joey Vasta - bass, vocals; Guest background vocals - The Exhilarations (Ray Goodwin, Alan Morgan, Andy Deweese, Joe Mendez, Al Floyd)
Recorded four years after Willie DeVille had launched his acclaimed group, Mink DeVille, this recording once again finds the acclaimed singer/songwriter and his band in his native New York City surroundings. Recorded at the legendary Savoy Ballroom, at the time of this show DeVille had completely revamped the band (only guitarist Erlanger remained from the classic '77 line-up), and moved to Atlantic Records, his new label.
DeVille was promoting Coup De Grace, which, although released under the name of Mink DeVille, was really Willie DeVille's coming out as a solo artist. The new musical direction is reflected in this show, which differs considerably from the 1977 Bottom Line shows, also taped for the King Biscuit Flower Hour. By 1981, when this show was recorded, DeVille had deeply embraced Latin rhythms, which can be heard on a number of songs. Among the highlights are "Harlem Nocturne," "Slow Drain," "Cadillac Walk," "Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl," "Spanish Stroll," "Love Me Like You Did Before" and "Teardrops Must Fall," from Coup De Grace.
Born William Borsay on August 27, 1950, he took his surname from his favorite car, a Cadillac Coupe DeVille. Growing up in the heart of Greenwich Village, Willy DeVille absorbed the influences of the already established folk movement (Bob Dylan, Odetta, Phil Ochs) and the growing rock movement (the Blues Project, Jimi Hendrix, and others), which used the Village as its launch pad.
By the late-1970s, he had formed his own band, entitled Mink DeVille, which operated as a group and as a musical foundation for the songs which DeVille was writing and singing. They quickly gained acceptance by the punk and alternative music scene, which revolved around New York's legendary CBGB club. In 1977, Mink DeVille was signed to Capitol Records, and produced by legendary Phil Spector/Wall-Of-Sound arranger, Jack Nitzsche. DeVille had an affinity with the classic Spector recordings and the music of the Brill Building. He also had a deep love of Latin, blues, and folk music. Therefore, his own music style was one of great diversity.
He never saw much commercial success in America, but he was loved by critics and had a core cult following that remains loyal to this day. In Europe, however, he became a superstar and he has been able to sustain a successful career across the Atlantic for nearly 30 years.