Review: Jennifer Westwood And The Handsome Devils – Greetings From this Town


Review: Jennifer Westwood And The Handsome Devils – Greetings From this Town

Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils (2015)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils hail from Detroit, a city which let’s face it has a superb reputation for great music. So I was already anticipating something rather good, and boy I was not disappointed.

Kicking off with the bluesy ‘Bad Luck Charm‘ I’m instantly grabbed by Jennifer’s vocal style. I’ve said time and time again, if the singer doesn’t do it for me then I’m going to struggle with an album. I’m certainly not struggling here, with a rich smokey voice which has just the right amount of roughness to the edge. The production on this recording is excellent with a deep, but not overblown bass, tight drums and a nicely rounded guitar.

This quality recording takes us onward to ‘Living On The Fringe‘ which takes things more towards a Patti Smith vibe, an artist whom they happened to support in concert, and I can see why.

Just when your getting to grips with that change in direction we veer towards country rock with ‘Driving My Life Away‘. This is an area I don’t often visit, however if your tastes like me include the likes of the Eagles and Joe Walsh then you’ll be thoroughly entertained.

Round And Round‘ continues in the same vein, and just helps to highlight what a superb singer Jennifer is.

Following on is  ‘Cow Girl Blues‘ which is reminiscent of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers with hints of Pat Benatar. I’ve come back to this track several times, very enjoyable.

The album now goes back to a solid slice of blues rock with ‘Ventilator Blues‘ the band remaining rock solid with Dylan Dunbar delivering sterling work on guitar and with what I always call the engine room of a band, namely the bass and drums, deftly handled by Jeremy Mackinder (bass) and Matt Stahl (drums)

Divorcee‘ takes back to that country rock vibe which I defy anyone not to tap their feet too. If that tires you out then don’t worry as things are taken down a pace for the slow ‘Sinner Park Time‘ which has a hint of Bonnie Raitt about it.

Wade In The Water‘ sees Jennifer and the boys visiting Eva Cassidy territory with a delicious dose of warm feeling blues, filled with soul and feeling.

Nobody’s Business‘ could be seen by some as a country song, but there’s much more to it then that. Here we have a heady mix of blues, country, gospel & rock with some Dwayne Eddie style guitar to give the track just the right amount of twang!

The start of ‘Redneck Man‘ wouldn’t be out of place on one of the last couple of ZZ Top album releases, continuing in that vein with Jennifer’s vocals taking on a rougher edge which is certainty in keeping with the track. Dylan Dunbar joins her on vocal duties and the pair of them gel together rather well.

And so we reach the last track on the album, ‘This Town‘. Yet again this highlights a band who collectively have many years of experience gained in and around the clubs and bars of Detroit and beyond.

If your looking for an album that demands your attention rather then musical wallpaper then I suggest you go buy a copy right away get immersed.

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