Kevin Devine: Raw And Emotional


Kevin Devine performs at the Cutting Room Studios in New York City.

Kevin Devine performs at the Cutting Room Studios in New York City. Jon Vachon hide caption

itoggle caption Jon Vachon

I've been a follower of Kevin Devine for years. He's performed in a bunch of bands I've played on The Morning Show in the past, including the first time he was on KEXP with Miracle of 86. Hosting so many in-studio performances over the years, I've learned to tell which musicians have a future, and I saw potential in Devine right away. Fast forward to his latest project, under his own name with "the Goddamn Band": Even before I heard the first single, just knowing there was new music was enough to confirm him for a session.

The performance took place at Cutting Room Studios in New York City, and the vibe that day was fantastic. During sound check, David Crafa, Cutting Room's owner, was sitting with me in the control room talking, and within seconds of the band playing, we stopped. From that moment on, we just kept shaking our heads and saying, "This is the best performance we've ever had in this room." It was. Devine's vocals are one part Ben Gibbard earnestness and one part Kurt Cobain growl, while his backing band proved a perfect match for his songs.

Together, they were super-tight: You'd never know that it wasn't a straight-up studio recording and not live. They played straight through the set with no retakes or breaks; just one solid, emotional, extremely powerful performance. Simply put, this is one of the best sessions I've ever been a part of. When it was over, as everyone in the room stood there listening to the recording, we were each reminded in that proud moment of why we do what we do.

Originally recorded on May 5, 2009. Engineered by Anthony "Rocky" Gallo.

Listen to the previous Favorite Session, or see our full archive.

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