For Crow Jane Alley (2004), Willy DeVille was joined by members of the Chicano Rock band Quetzal, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, and Peruvian Afro-Cuban jazz drummer Alex AcuÃ±a, among other prominent musicians. The album was produced by John Philip Shenale, the third album Shenale produced for DeVille.
Crow Jane Alley is a very respectable collection from this journeyman, starting off with the single "Chieva" and continuing with DeVille's novel exploration of sound and clever merging of styles. This is the work of an artist who, after thirty plus years in the business still has the ability to surprise and delight his listeners. Uncut said, "DeVille continues to excel at conjuring new tricks from old genres â€” Drifters-scented barrio pop, booming melodrama and accordion-laced trysts are rendered with verve and sensitivity [â€¦] a welcome slice of swamp-pop heaven."
DeVille begins Crow Jane Alley on a dubious note with "Chieva", an ambivalent song about recovering from heroin addiction, but then turns his attention to romance and gets it all right. His renditions of Bryan Ferry's "Slave To Love" and Jay and the Americans' "Come A Little Bit Closer" bring their own drama and gravity to the material, while such homemade numbers as the convincingly authentic mojo-wielding "Muddy Waters Rose Out of the Mississippi Mud," the surging "Right There, Right Then" and the rustic waltztime "(Don't Have a) Change of Heart" are small strokes of heartfelt majesty.
- 180 gram audiophile vinyl
- Available on vinyl for the first time!