Willie West & The High Society Brothers – The Devil Gives Me Everything

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Another excellent single from this year that I neglected to post previously.

Willie West belongs to the scores of talented soul artists who despite best efforts never managed to get proper acclaim and recognition during the genre’s golden days. Despite recording for years with the likes of Allen Toussaint, West’s legacy remains mostly obscure. Judging by this ballad recorded in 2009 with the help of The High Society Brothers, the setbacks and disappointments he experienced have darkened his outlook but haven’t dampened his considerable performing ability. The song is a bleak lament, deep melancholy soul that chills like a sudden gust of wind on a cold winter evening. Despite mildly optimistic inflections well hidden in the lyrics, this is depression music at its finest.

Willie West & The High Society Brothers – The Devil Gives Me Everything

To lighten the mood a bit, here’s a little bonus – a tune West recorded in 1975, produced by Allen Touissant with backing from the legendary Meters. This one is much more upbeat in mood, with a funky mid-tempo strut that swells to monstrously full ‘wall of sound’ proportions at the refrain. Link courtesy of funky16corners.

Willie West – Said to myself

If you want more, the always superlative Home Of The Groove blog has a great in depth write up on Willie West including links to some of his other older tracks.

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