Music + Concert Reviews, Press & More...
"DeVoe's music is truly original and unique to her. She's honest, insightful, quirky, passionate, heart-felt and angst ridden...all the emotions that make her music and life so great!"
-Krista Reuter, Program Director, Saugatuck Center for the
Arts, Saugatuck, MI
"Jennie DeVoe is my area's most talented singer-songwriter and a passionate, dedicated artist whose talents far exceed her exposure so far. It's only a matter of time before everyone knows what we here at WTTS have known for a long time - Jennie's got the "it" factor. All it takes is one listen to know it!"
-Brad Holtz, Program Director, WTTS Radio,
"...an endearing soul-blues singer who radiates the vibe of a 21st century flower child. Her potent gospel-blues voice tames any crowd she encounters. She now inhabits the dangerous, iconic space of Janis Joplin. It is always a thrill to see a new audience discover her talents."
-David Lindquist, The Indianapolis Star
"DeVoe has a big, expansive voice that can go from a Joplin-esque, throaty raspyness in one note to explosive heights with the next. That range and power brings to mind a bluesy, funky rocker who could be considered a DeVoe contemporary - Alice Smith. Like Smith, DeVoe is a singer who is not content to be bound by the limits of genre. Strange Sunshine is a record for listeners who love good lyrics. DeVoe's songwriting captures the wittiness, world weariness, hope and simple brilliance that is blues music at its best. Simply stated, the musicianship on this record is excellent. That should go without saying…except it doesn't. The star of this show is DeVoe's vocal instrument. It's not just her range and power that impresses. DeVoe sings with an honesty that makes the listener believe she is baring her soul on every track. Highly Recommended."
-Howard Dukes, Soultracks Magazine, Strange Sunshine Review
"On the list of my favorite CD titles of the year so far, Indiana native Jennie DeVoe's 4th self-released CD [Fireworks & Karate Supplies] should be the one that puts her on the map. People tend to like homogenous CDs...not me; I want diversity; something to prove that the artist is no one-trick pony. Rest assured - Jennie's got a lot of tricks up her sleeve."
"Jennie DeVoe never fails to deliver intense, deeply personal songs that draw you into her impassioned world. One part power with two parts raw emotion, Jennie is the perfect blend of spirit, style and originality.”
--Paul Jacobs, President of
"On her latest CD, DeVoe sings her
predominantly acoustic blues-flavored style over mournful slideguitar. .. This love used to taste like a piece of cake now it just makes the sound that a wrecking ball makes ... DeVoe's voice is the star of the show worn like a pair of old blue jeans, soft and beautiful, patches and all."
-Mare Wakefield, Performing Songwriter Magazine, Fireworks & Karate Supplies Review
"After 20+ years of experience operating a 175 seat ‘listening house’ venue, we feel we have a very keen sense of what artists are most successful in our environment. Jennie DeVoe would be our shinning exemplar. Beyond her awesome talent as a blues singer-songwriter, she has the stage presence and personality that captures and captivates the intimacy of our venue. Her ability to quickly read her audience and make a personal connection is a talent possessed by few. Her willingness to share her deepest insights with an audience endears her to them, and them to her, immediately. Jennie’s talent deserves to be seen in an environment where people can fully appreciate her talents. I’m sure she is fabulous at festival and in bar settings, but to really appreciate her, see her in a listening house where you can fully realize the magnitude of her talents.”
-Bill and Maxine Aten, Proprietors of Aten Place – Concerts in the Barn, Boyne
Falls, MI (www.atenplace.com)
"Jennie DeVoe has one of the best voices in music today. She's one of those rare artists who writes all her own stuff, humble and kind (no Diva complex here) ... her bluesy powerhouse voice will literally knock your socks off. "
-- Michelle Kinsey, The Muncie Star Press
"She knocks you flat with her amazing voice, and you forget where you are entirely. Jennie DeVoe is the kind of singer who makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand at attention. To watch her work is to fall in love with someone who is in love with what they do."
-Rob Nichols from NUVO Newsweekly
"One of the best albums of the year by any artist, Fireworks & Karate Supplies is a career-defining record for Jennie DeVoe, a remarkable talent. Having been privileged enough to experience Jennie's live shows and witness her audible evolution over the last six years, I am floored by this effort. Jennie is a truly unique vocal talent. I sit dumbfounded at the artistic actualization she's managed to get down on record. The brevity she possesses within her languid, raspy performance is risky, but all the while it seems a natural progression in all its sexy, bluesy, truthful bliss. Her powerhouse voice can stop you in your tracks but it also possesses a sweetness that surges and sears the soul."
-Heidi Drockelman, Indie-Music.com
"She has a peroxide 'fro and blue eyes and a ring in her nose. Produced and mixed and played on by John Parish, which I take to mean PJ Harvey's collaborator. She sings with a husky, laconic, beanik beat that reminds me of Thao Nguyen, who I've been thinking about since we came through Williamsburg, though Ms. DeVoe enunciates a little clearer, and seems a little less serious. I wish the title track had a little more...something. Oh. Ricky Lee Jones, that's what "Map of the World" reminds me of. Of course it does. (Thao never reminds me of Jones.) Ah! There it is. A blues, on which she lets her restraint go. "No Damn Man." OK. Yeah, that's the good stuff. Tense and slow and filled with anguish and resolve, a little gospel, a little blues, a little jazz, and a first-rate song, even if it blazes no new territory. Doesn't have to, stands on its own. As does the next one, "Exit 229," now that the volume's way up. See, this is why I go through these stacks, this blind hope."
--Grant Alden, No Depression, Strange Sunshine Review
If potential were measured by the size of your PR pack, then Midwest based blues / gospel singer songwriter Jennie Devoe would be destined for greatness. And she may well be.
Recorded in Bath and produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey, The Eels and Tracy Chapman) Radiator focuses on DeVoe’s unusual ‘black’ drawl – a delivery that sits firmly in Millie Jackson territory and somewhere between a young Rod Stewart and Shelby Lynne.
A stilted delivery makes her voice somewhat unique – a rare quality in these autotune days – and one that would be more than ‘at home’ in a late night West End late night gentleman’s drinking establishment.
A spot on the next Jools Holland series is as inevitable as night follows day – DeVoe’s vocal style supplemented by chiffon tops and corkscrew hair giving her a retro Sixties child image.
Recorded live on 2 inch analogue tape with no overdubs Radiator has a complementary organic retro groove, but in terms of material is, perhaps – the Tony Joe White inspired ‘All That Sugar’ apart – a little lacking in mainstream crossover appeal and, at times, a little pedestrian. But for disciples of Macy Gray, Diane Krall and Beth Hart it’s manna from heaven.
-Pete Whalley, Get Ready to Rock Me, Radiator: The Bristol Sessions Review
"DeVoe's voice is a delicious mix of scratchy blues and sweet low notes. Her music is born of a unique marriage of folk and funk. She sprinkles in rhythm and blues sounds and a few well-chosen covers to create a great live show. She also manages to draw the audience in with her anecdotes and personal stories between each song. It's hard to attend one of DeVoe's shows and not feel like she's your personal friend by the end of the night. This rare evening was no exception. As the night grew later, DeVoe became indistinguishable from her music. She flowed from one number to the next, weaving crowd favorites with songs she'd never performed outside the studio. Her lyrics are carved from her own experiences, and those who visited The Sanctuary reaped the benefits of her rich life and talented career. With her wild mane and sultry sound, DeVoe always provides her audience with an irresistibly good time."
-Melissa Mayer, The Boone County Sun, Sanctuary Review
"Jennie DeVoe, folk rocker and starlet sensation, blew up the Indy Folk Series kick-off last Saturday night. I was blown away. In a room of nearly a hundred patrons, the sight is spectacular and dually appropriate for the attention that is rightfully owed for lyrical poets like Jennie DeVoe. You could swear that you had stepped back in time to the beatnik era of Ginsberg and Kerouac. DeVoe's voice can make chiseled-chinned men with heavy callused hands sucking cold ones back after a ten hour shift weep, and love-sick tortured poets with hearts of stone and tongues of fire grow daisies from their chests. DeVoe's diamond penned words in songs like "Pale Blue Girl" evoke the kind of classical sexiness of Billie Holiday not to mention her reinvention of the forever young Janis Joplin in "Piece of My Heart". And she does just that - takes a little piece of you just to keep you alive."
-Alberto Diaz, NUVO Magazine, Indy Folk Series Review
“Tonight the room overflowed with talent as Jennie DeVoe and her band performed in front of a packed house in Eddie’s Attic. It was standing room only. Jennie displays experience well beyond her years with powerful vocals and soulful sounds. She has an awesome stage presence, great sense of humor, and an honesty in her music that speaks to you. Her soulful lyrics are full of emotion that knocks on your heart’s door, walks right ins and makes you feel. As I looked around the room, I could see that each and every person was intently watching, listening and enjoying this moment in time. Everyone in the room felt a connection. One couldn’t help but be drawn in. This larger than life, dynamite in a small package performer will win you over quickly as she has so many.”
-Angela Nelson, Playgrounds Magazine, Eddie's Attic Review
"One listen to Indianapolis' Jennie DeVoe's fourth and most recent CD, Fireworks & Karate Supplies and you'll wonder why she's not on iPods and FM stations all around the world. Although she doesn't fit the pop-princess mold of today's Top 40, she writes the songs she sings and partly because of that , there is an intensity, maturity and purpose to her work that is missing from much of what we hear today.
There is a quality and strength to her voice and music that touches on Janis Joplin and Sheryl Crow without imitating either. The music has a time capsule feel, written and recorded without any awareness of the flavor-of-the-month Top 40. The resulting music has the timeless charm of Norah Jones, Fleetwood Mac, Joss Stone or Tori Amos.
We look forward to continuing our support of local artists and bringing you some of the best music you may have otherwise never heard."
-Greg Baxter, Meijer Superstores, Indie Artist Campaign
An American soul singer traveling to the U.K. for production assistance is an unusual reversal of the classic process. Usually, British singers, heavily influence by U.S. blues and R&B, trek across the pond to get a healthy dose of that authentic, dusky mojo to inject into their sound. Just ask Dusty Springfield.
But Indianapolis-based Jennie DeVoe was so pleased with the results when noted English producer John Parish worked on her previous project, 2004's Fireworks and Karate Supplies, that she and her band flew to Bath to repeat the experience. Parish, best known for his work with U.K. thrush PJ Harvey, doesn't make the rootsy DeVoe sound any less American. Rather, he lets her loose to do her husky, brassy, wailing while adding subtle Beatles-esque touches such as the "Strawberry Fields Forever" keyboards that lead off this album's opening track and float under the surface of the torchy "Butterfly."
DeVoe wrote or co-wrote 11 of the dozen tracks. Between the slinky blues of "Shoulda Stayed," with its swamp guitar stank, and the lowdown R&B of "I Break Down," it's clear that blues is an overwhelming influence on DeVoe's material. Parish wisely mixes DeVoe's powerful voice--think a less commercial Joss Stone combined with Rickie Lee Jones--up front, with ever-present keyboards and strumming acoustic guitars hovering in the background. DeVoe doesn't need much accompaniment to electrify, as on the spare-percussion, picked guitar jazz scat of the scorching "Healer."
Just her sensual vocals slathering over the words "Call me a doctor/'cause baby I need a fix" will transfix the listener. With all her confidence and sexuality, she's nobody's little girl, as she declares with the defiance and boldness on "No Damn Man" of someone who's been through the wringer of love and emerged smarter and tougher. Between Parish's musical edge and DeVoe's melodic, gutsy songwriting--both pushed by a vibrant, multi-hued voice that can shift from a catlike purr to a gospel wail and a snarling rasp within seconds--this under-the-radar singer has the talent to be a major force on either side of the Atlantic.
-Hal Horowitz, Blues Revue Magazine, Strange Sunshine Review
"You guys have a great talent here in Indianapolis, you know! Jennie DeVoe is a great songwriter & performer, and one of the hardest working musicians I know!"
-Bonnie Raitt from the stage in
"Jennie DeVoe 's live shows are magic."
-John Bommarito, DJ, Ann Arbor's 107One
"The only difference between Jennie DeVoe and major label artists is corporate dollars. She is just as talented...and light as a helium-filled-feather."
when he and Jennie were both On-Air guests
on WZPL Radio
"Jennie DeVoe's voice is smoked honey on a sultry summer evening...smooth, sweet and warm, steeped in the kettle of blues/R&B - but with a rare and wonderful flavor all her own. Only a handful of girls will ever get to sound this good."
-Krista Detor, Singer/Songwriter
"Jennie DeVoe is an artist that sings with genuine depth, she's strong and powerful and yet willing to be audaciously vulnerable. Strange Sunshine is a collection of beautifully written songs, expertly produced, performed and presented, and a testament to all she's lived, loved and learned. Jennie DeVoe is unmistakably the real deal and so is Strange Sunshine. This album definitely has achieved that kind of quality we songwriters/musicians can only hope for; it's authentic, it's powerful and it's darn fine writing."