Review: Halley DeVestern Band – Fabbo! Boffo! Smasho!
Posted on: Friday, Feb 7, 2014
Halley DeVestern Band – Fabbo! Boffo! Smasho!
Even from her childhood days in her home on Long Island, a young pre-teen Halley showed that she had far more interest in learning to play the guitar that her parents bought had for her, than most of the other subjects in her young life. Halley went on to attend the Boston University School of Theatre Arts and although she primarily studied acting, her love of music never once abated in her time there.
After a brief career in the world of theatre and television, Halley couldn’t resist the lure of performing music and formed her first band in 1996, slowly but surely she built-up a solid fan base and over time became so significantly noticeable that she was invited to tour with the original members of Big Brother Holding Company.
Now, with Halley on lead vocals and musicians Tom Heinig; bass, David Patterson; guitar and Rich Kulsar; drums, together they have become a very tight and formidable musical combo.
The band is based in the tough and muscular Brooklyn area and their music displays a very similar attitude, force and feeling.
The most striking aspect of the eight original tunes here for your gratification is Halley’s formidable vocal talent; which contains a delectable and enticingly fruity huskiness which has in turn, inflections of Tina Turner, Maggie Bell, and of course Janis Joplin; Halley herself cites Janis as her biggest influence for as a child she often heard her sister playing the records of Janis; of course, you the listener will ultimately decide.
An undeniable fact is the strikingly muscular musical engine room of the band which is a wonderful combination of blues, funk, rock and Jazz; not just individually influenced or inflected numbers but, throughout all of the numbers there is an atmosphere of a tightly woven, pulsating, urban tapestry; floating harpsichord sounding guitars and keyboards that are underpinned with briskly impressive martial drum work, while brassy, billowy, puncturing horns fill the air.
The grinding slow burning “Money Ain’t Time” has a loping ringing guitar which is urged on by a slow driven organ sneaking in where Halley’s powerfully dominating vocals allow. The dizzying Stevie Wonder influenced stomping seventies urban bass and drum funker “Tore Up (From the Floor up)”, recalls tales of the heady times of being on the road and of the (before and after) effects of alcohol and other interesting activities and substances.
“Boil” is a building and rising hard rocking tirade against the insidious casual nature of racists? “The Jesus I Knew”, is a spirited organ and piano, surging gospel with Halley providing a burning vocal that decries and despises the blatant hypocrisy of some people who abuse and misuse religion today.
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