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Jeff DeVillez / Blog

Hopping!

Things are moving along quickly.I am now the #39 artist in Americana on RN in the USA,and #40 WORLDWIDE! I am surprised and amazed.Thank you all from the heart.Sincerely!-Jeff

Videos

Today,I have added some videos to my page.Two in English and two in Spanish.I hope you like them.

AWOL

I know I have not been here much lately.There have been issues I have had to deal with that have taken me away too much.I want to STRESS that I do appreciate every visitor,listener and fan from all corners of the earth.You come from everywhere-every continent and nearly 100 nations.Thanks for the support from the heart.I sincerely mean that.Peace!

Annika Horne

A young 15 year old singer by the name of Annika Horne is currently recording some of my songs at Martina McBride's Blackbird Studios, and a few other studios in Nashville. She performs to large crowds often in Texas.In fact,on Nov 9th,she will perform live at Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington,Texas,She won the award for Best New Talent in Hollywood for her performance on the series Army Wives on the Lifetime Network in 2012.She has a lot going for her,and I am excited.Go Annika!

Austin and SXSW

Well,I had a great time in Austin and played two shows.One was at the G & S Lounge which was webcast live worldwide,and the other was at the Local Flavor reunion at the Russian House on 5th St.Great reception from the "all musician"crowd in both places. I will return next year for a prime spot at the G & S.Stay tuned!

Joe Zawinul and Weather Report.

I was at the Exit Inn in Nashville in 1973 with my former brother-in-law to see Weather Report.The only available table was at the right end of the grand piano.My seat was right next to the end of the piano-about a foot away.Miraslav Vitous played bass and Wayne Shorter on Soprano sax.I'm pretty sure Dom Um Ramao played percussion.I watched the whole show looking straight down that keyboard.Miraslav won the Vienna International Jazz competition when he was 11 or 12. They set up a stool so he could play the upright.He won the competition -hands down.It was a great show and a great night.Zawinul was incredible.To watch him play right next to you..well,there was no greater thrill.At least to me,at that place and time,was spectacular.The club was very small,the setting intimate,and the music phenomenal.RIP Joe Zawinul

Meeting and conversing with Fleetwood Mac

Back around the winter of 70-71,my friend Dave Franklin and I read a story about Fleetwood Mac playing in Owensboro at the Sportscenter.We decided to take his old 53 Chevy over and check it out.We arrived and there were-maybe-500 people there when the show started because the weather was really bad..This was back in the "Oh Well"days and before Stevie Nicks joined. They played about 90 minutes and most of the crowd left right away.David and I walked up on stage and started talking to Christine McVie still sitting at her keyboard.Less than a minute later,Mick Fleetwood came over and we chatted for quite awhile.Just me ,David,Mick and Christine.When we finally left around 11 pm,we were the only car left in the lot and it was very cold outside.David started the car and a radiator hose started leaking immediately.We finally found a gas station and small store open.The guy told us to shake a whole bottle of black pepper in the radiator. He said that could stop a leak.We used it and it worked.We got home to Evansville after hearing Fleetwood Mac and meeting the band.Overall,it was a great night.David Franklin now works for Vanderburgh County and can verify every word of this story.Thanks for participating!

Last time with Jimi Hendrix

On June 10th of 1970(my son Jeremy was born on June 6th-14 years later),Mike Rudolph and me were returning from the Ohio River beach in Newburgh-we were "shrooming it"and were headed down Division St passing Roberts Stadium in Evansville when we saw "Tonight Only-Jimi Hendrix Experience",or something like that.We looked at each other,and,decided to buy a ticket for the show that began in one hour.I had seen Jimi play in 1969 in Indianapolis,where the opening act was a new group called Chicago Transit Authority,who changed their name to simply "Chicago"after their first album.. There were maybe 600 people there when Jimi's show started.We stood right on the edge of the stage-maybe about three feet,at most.from Jimi. As we passed a "cigarette"between us,Mike yelled "Go Jimi"and we had to look almost straight up to see Jimi's face.He looked to be pretty "out of it"at the time,but played very well.He was so close,we could have grabbed his huge bell bottom pants,but we just stayed and listened..Little did did we know that in four months,Jimi would be gone forever.Little did I know that in five months,I would be singing in a band(Fat Alice from Dallas)with Jimi's last drummer,Gregg Diamond,in New York City.That "fate"thing is unpredictable as it gets! RIP Jimi.I was glad to share those shows with you in another place and time.

Harry Connick Jr

In 1996,we were recording horns one night at Flashpoint Recording for "Tropicowboy"when Freddy Mendoza and Elias Haslanger were packing up to leave the session.Freddy said"Hey Jeff,every Tuesday we play at Cedar Street(on 4th St in Austin),and we have had a guy temporarily sitting in on piano every Tuesday too.Why don't you come and see us?About two hours later I made my way to Cedar Street.They were playing on the patio area rear stage.The piano player was on the far stage right facing the right wall.I couldn't see who it was.Freddy noticed me and said"Come up to the stage on the break".After a few more songs they finished and I went to the stage.The piano player was Harry Connick Jr.Freddy introduced us and we sat on the edge of the stage talking for maybe 10-15 minutes. I asked Harry what he was doing for so many months in Austin.He said"I am filming a movie with Sandra Bullock "Hope Floats".We continued to talk awhile about music and the band once again took the stage.Harry Connick Jr was congenial and friendly,and played a mean piano too.Thanks!

Meeting Curtis Knight

Curtis Knight(Curtis McNear)was a singer,promotor and close friend of Jimi Hendrix in NYC.When I joined Gregg Diamond's band "Fat Alice from Dallas"in 1970 as lead singer,our manager Mel Weiss rented a hotel ballroom near Times Square as our rehearsal space. Our band had Harvey Vinson on guitars,Gregg Diamond on Drums and Jimmy"Gums"Gregory on bass.All had met while attending Julliard.Gregg and Jimmy played on a lot of hit records.Gregg played on Melanie's records,Cubie and the Five Stairsteps("Ooh Ooh Child,things are gonna get easier") ,all of Tony Orlando's hits,etc..through his connection with Dave Appel. I spent some time with Dave at the Brill Bldg(where Carole King wrote "Twist & Shout"and Neil Sedaka wrote "Oh Carol"about her).In fact,Neils first band was The Linctones(named for Lincoln High School in Brooklyn where they attended school)There were many hits written there-Gene Pitney wrote"Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini"and many other hits there...anyway,Dave Appel had a group called the Tokens and recorded a song in 1961 called "The Lion Sleeps Tonight",which was a huge hit based on a folk song from South Africa.Curtis Knight used to come to our rehearsals in the hotel ballroom with a girl on each arm.If we wanted coffee,he would take us in his white Cadillac convertible-with the top down in the winter snow-full of his girls and wearing his pinto pony skin coat.I have a pic of him in that coat that I have posted in my Reverbnation pics.. At any rate,around 1966 or so,Curtis,according to Jimmy Gregory,put up the money for Jimi to go to England and form the Jimi Hendrix Experience.Curtis and Jimi were also studio business partners in Greenwich Village.They had two studios"Electric Ladyland"and "PPX" in one space.They had a divider and could use either studio alone,of could open the whole mess and put an orchestra in there. When I first got to NYC,Gregg picked me up at Kennedy Airport in his Chevy Impala.We were headed to his Central Park West apartment at 120 W 70th St,when He asked where I was from.I said Evansville,Indiana".He responded"Isn't there a lot of corn and hogs there?".I said yes-staring up at the skyscrapers as I answered.He then asked"How many people live there?" I answered"Oh,about 100,000 or so".He then replied"Well,that's close to the population of my block".It was then I knew that I was in a "whole nother place".He gave me a spare room in his apartment full of reels and reels of recording tape.I asked"What is all of this?".He responded"Oh,those are reels of me and Jimi(Hendrix)jamming.Gregg was the last drummer-though he was trained at Julliard as a pianist-to play with Hendrix.I also met producer Pete Schkeryk(Melanie's husband)and Melanie through Gregg-along with Kevin Eggers at Poppy(later became Tomato div of RCA)Records who discussed releasing me as a solo artist.He had just recently signed a young folkie named Townes Van Zandt.There is a lot more to say about my time in NYC-I am working on a book that I hope I can finish,but I thought the Curtis Knight story was a good one.Thank you all for bearing with me.