Crowds roar during their rousing live gigs at country music festivals across the U.S. Across the pond in the UK, fans inside packed rock clubs stomp their approval for an incendiary set that combusts with memorable original songs written by the alluring lead vocalist, her three band mates and occasionally theMinnesota-based singer’s mother and band manager. Welcome to the shape- shifting worlds of the Devon Worley Band (DWB).
Hitting at a time “when music genres are blurring – and maybe don’t even matter anymore” – the Devon Worley Band might show up on Spotify, or your favorite streaming platform, as country, rock, country-rock, or just rock, or retro rock. The truth is DWB is the most lovable bunch of mainstream music outliers that you ever heard! Led by 23-year-old Devon Worley, the group is set to release a tight, diverse and fresh new five-song EP called Tea Time for Thieves. It builds smartly on the band’s 2013 debut album Silver Creek (winner of two Independent Country Music Association Awards for Best New Band and Best Video) and the superb 2017 follow up, The Sunrise Resistance.
Recorded in Nashville – “where no one knows what to do with us, including our producer Matt McClure” (Kellie Pickler, Lee Brice, Lucas Hoge and others) — Tea Time’s first single, “No Fool,” showcases Worley’s commanding countrified vocals as she wields her voice like a lead rock axe and lays down the law. Having sung with the Minnesota Opera (!) as a pre-teen and already a Black Belt in Karate, Worley possesses the musical maturity and deadly focus of singers twice her age. And you can catch a glimpse of her strong, old soul sensibility as she wisely navigates the diverging roads inside her head and heart throughout the rest of songs.
The EP’s plaintive ballad, “Leave Me Slow,” sounds like a certifiable hit in rock or country, while “Black River Magic” could well be a Stevie Nicks’ deep-track pop gem. The hard rock slow burner, “Wytch Hunt,” and the old school notions of “Broken Record” demonstrate how five-plus years working together has made the DWB a finely honed music unit capable of pivoting to any genre with grit or grace – and no apologies.