Well, one thing`s certain, Willy had been listening to a lot of Tom Waits. At least three tracks on this fine, eclectic album (which ones I`ll leave the interested to discover) show the obvious influence of the great growler, right down to a mention of alligator shoes. No suggestion of plagiarism, just respect from one maverick artist to another. Besides, if you`re going to be inspired by someone, be inspired by the best.
I have grown to love the late, lamented Willy DeVille over the years, and there`s enough of his trademark Spanish-tinged New York strut here to satisfy even the most discerning fan.
Highlights for me are the almost archetypal De Ville slow-burn romantic number Downside of Town, the equally excellent My Forever Came Today, the wonderful title track, and his tribute to legendary blues singer Muddy Waters, whom he says `rose out of the Mississippi mud`.
His unexpected version of Bryan Ferry`s Slave to love is refreshingly un-slavish, and the album closes with the fine and funky six-minute Trouble Comin` Everyday in a World Gone Wrong. On the way, he goes country with (Don`t Have a) Change of Heart, with memorable results.
This guy made the kind of music he loved - like me, he always appreciated the Drifters, which endears me to him no end - and that`s lucky for those of us who love the one-of-a-kind Willy DeVille, who died three weeks shy of his 59th birthday in 2009. Much, much too soon.
But he left behind glorious music like this.