THE DEVIOUS ANGELS
A place where homegrown sentiment meets dive bar attitude, country lyrics have a rock and roll edge and the Broadway beauty of “Steevie” Steeves juxtaposes the Gram Parson’s panache of Jon Decious, that is the place that The Devious Angels have created for world listeners to enjoy.
The two talents met in Wyoming at Skip Ewing’s Horse and Writer Seminar, and after realizing that they’d been kicking around the same few blocks back in Nashville for some time, they began writing together. It’s impossible to peg The Devious Angels’ sound and chemistry on stage as anything but ‘right’, but how exactly did self-proclaimed musical theater geek, Steeves, and former bassist for infamous pop-punk band the Pink Spiders (Geffen Records), Decious, end up making such beautiful country music together? In the words of Steeves, “I can’t exactly put together how and why it all works…but it did and it does. The stars finally aligned musically for me, and that’s why and how we continue to do what we do.”
Both Decious and Steeves grew up in small towns where hard work and boredom thrived more than front porch jam sessions. But both artists found refuge in the radio that was “always just on” as Steeves describes her home with a large Italian family in Pennsylvania farm country. There she learned to entertain for her supper, “To be heard amongst the crowd you had to be loud and funny.” Decious found the same love for music in the radio during his childhood in south-central Kentucky where his parents in their early twenties kept rock and country playing.
The move to Nashville, which Decious made with his parents at the age of 14, followed later by Steeves in 2007 has had a huge impact on The Devious Angels. The success stories that abound Music City, in the words of Decious, “make it easy to forget that making music for a living is a hard thing to do.” But with a drive that keeps Steeves busy in the studio demo singing and waitressing at night, and Decious at work as a farm hand on the weekends, it’s obvious that they do know how hard it is, but are willing to do all that’s required, and then some. Nashville’s small city, big town vibe also creates a close knit music community where most people know or know of each other, a sense that also influences The Devious Angels in that “if that asshole did it, so can we,” says Decious.
Having just finished recording their first album produced by RJ Stillwell and Chad Jeffers, The Devious Angels now have a finished product that conveys not only their passion for making everything they do better than most, but what happens when you put a performer’s performer, Steeves, and a songwriter’s songwriter, Decious, together to make music that is beautiful, rough, poignant and exciting all at once. Although Steeves and Decious have traveled two very different paths to get to this point, the rocks along the way leading to the ultimate serendipity of their meeting has provided them with the determination and focus of veterans and the joyous air of two people who have finally found what they’ve been waiting for. Steevie and Jon’s musical fate finally caught up to them, and the result is both magical and wicked; in the words of Decious, “You can outgrow your boots, but you can’t outrun your boots, or at least that’s what I think they say.”
- Chloe Marie Stillwell