2015 – Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils
By Phillip Smith; Dec 5, 2015
I have nothing but good things to say about Detroit band, Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils. Their debut album Greetings From This Town is an intoxicating Memphis-meets-Nashville blend of rock, blues, and country. Lead vocalist Jennifer Westwood is joined by guitarist Dylan Dunbar, bassist Jeremy Mackinder, pianist/organist Jarrod Champion, and drummer Matt Stahl.
Westwood’s sultry yet powerful vocals instantly draw me in on “Bad Luck Charm” a rockin’ track sweetened by Dunbar with luscious guitar licks. I’m quite drawn to “Living on the Fringe”, a relatable country song about just getting through the day. Westwood has such a pretty voice; it reminds me a lot of Linda Ronstadt, especially on this track. “Nobody’s Business” is one cool as hell post-break-up song. Champion lays down some ominous chords on the organ while Dunbar serves up a funky dose of cowboy surf guitar.
Westwood and the Handsome Devils put their own spin on R.L. Burnside’s “Skinny Woman” with “Redneck Man”. Westwood and Dunbar nail this duet to the tree as they belt the song out with conviction and true grit. Dunbar dishes out a magnificent guitar performance on this one too. Other stand-out covers include Eddie Rabbit’s “Driving My Life Away” and the Stones bluesy classic from their Exile on Main Street album “Ventilator Blues”.
There’s something magical about Greetings From This Town. It is an absolutely wonderful listen and music for the rustic soul.