Halley DeVestern & company’s “live” set from the “before times” (2019, to be specific) provides us with a long overdue re-introduction to the NYC-based vocalist’s sheer power and attendant emotional punch. It also provides a well-deserved additional look at a potent pair of her song-crafting collaborations with bassist Thomas Heinig, “Muscle Memory” and the title track. Ms. D faces down the inevitable Joplin comparisons with her own solid reading of the Jerry Ragavoy/Chip Taylor gem “Try”. The band delivers tight, tough support & saves space for some ear-grabbing guitar play as well. Good stuff.” - Duane Vehr (Four Stars)

Roots Music Report

HALLEY DEVESTERN BAND/Live-Money Ain't Time:  New York badasses bring their heat and energy to the Midwest and invite unneeded comparisons to Janis and her bunch.  These meat and potatoes blues rockers exist in their own time zone and this live date proves it beyond all challenge.  With a set card that checkerboards originals with soul standards, it's all you need from a crew that's doing a fine job of rewriting the book.  Hot stuff. 

Volume 45/Number 164 
April 13, 2021 

[Halley's] got the biggest pipes I've heard on a babe in a long time ”

— Bonnie Bramlett

...The moment you press play with this album you are rocked back into your seat. Wow, the power and passion of this outfit is undeniable. The groove is set with "Muscle Memory" with its infectious in-your-face groove...Whether it is Blues or Funk or Soul or Rhythm & Blues it is done incredibly well. I now have a candidate for album of the year...There are few singers who can deliver the strength, pathos and credibility as Halley DeVestern can.   This is an absolutely stunning album that weaves a wonderful insightful view of the world around us. The singing, playing, arranging and of course the outstanding songs make for this to be an absolute must have album for 2014. ” - Peter Merrett

— PBS106.7, Melbourne, Australia

...with Halley on lead vocals and musicians Tom Heinig; bass, David Patterson; guitar and Rich Kulsar; drums...together they have become a very tight and formidable musical combo. The band is based in the tough and muscular [New York City] area and their music displays a very similar attitude, force and feeling. The most striking aspect of the eight original tunes here for your gratification is Halley’s formidable vocal talent; which contains a delectable and enticingly fruity huskiness which has in turn, inflections of Tina Turner, Maggie Bell, and of course Janis Joplin; Halley herself cites Janis as her biggest influence for as a child she often heard her sister playing the records of Janis; of course, you the listener will ultimately decide. An undeniable fact is the strikingly muscular musical engine room of the band which is a wonderful combination of blues, funk, rock and Jazz; not just individually influenced or inflected numbers but, throughout all of the numbers there is an atmosphere of a tightly woven, pulsating, urban tapestry; floating harpsichord sounding guitars and keyboards that are underpinned with briskly impressive martial drum work, while brassy, billowy, puncturing horns fill the air. The grinding slowburning “Money Ain’t Time” has a loping ringing guitar which is urged on by a slow driven organ sneaking in where Halley’s powerfully dominating vocals allow.  The dizzying Stevie Wonder influenced stomping seventies urban bass and drum funker  “Tore Up (From the Floor up)”, recalls tales of the heady times of being on the road and of the (before and after) effects of alcohol and other interesting activities and substances. “Boil”. Is a building and rising hard rocking tirade against the insidious casual nature of racists? “The Jesus I Know”, is a spirited organ and piano, surging gospel with Halley providing a burning vocal that decries and despises the blatant hypocrisy of some people who abuse and misuse religion today. Highly Recommended! ” - Brian Harman

Bluesinthenorthwest.com (UK)

...Ready for a balls to the wall white blues belting mama that has sung with Big Brother & the Holding Company and has the admiration of Bonnie Bramlett? This fearless, two fisted broad grabs the spotlight, owns it, growls one minute, purrs the next and carries on like there’s no tomorrow. A wild ride throughout, mama loves her job and isn’t afraid to let it show. Hot stuff. Volume 38/Number 58 December 28, 2013 MIDWEST RECORD CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher Copyright 2013 Midwest Record ” - Chris Spector, Editor and Publisher

Midwest Record

The Halley Devestern Band...have their own power sound. Opening with horn infused funky pop track, Muscle Memory, the band sets a dance grove and Halley immediately shows influences of Joplin. Kangaroo Momma has a real nice strut to it with solid lead vocals and cool backing vocals. The band is made up of a who's who, Halley (vocal) of Big Brother; David Patterson (guitar) of Shawn Mullins; Rick Kulsar (drums) of The Zen Tricksters, Toasters and Mickey Dolenz; and Tom Heinig (bass) of Lamont Cranston and Mill City. Blues track Money Ain't Time is a direct hit from Big Brother's song back with Edd Kelhoff on organ (very nice Edd) and Halley demonstrating a strong sense of Joplin's phrasing and feel. Tore Up (From The Floor Up) is a cool composition which really sounds like it's from the Frank Zappa song book. Mark Mancini plays some cool funky keys on this track adding a lot to the general feel of the track. Ethereal, Boil, is possibly my favorite track on the release with a solid drum beat by Kulsar and moving bass line from Heinig. Overall a very creative track. American Pain is another really strong track opening with simple gospel style piano riffs from Mancini and easy vocal work from DeVestern. Developing into a fully "orchestrated" track, it keeps it clean and simple. Very very nice. Code 9 have a strong R&B/funk strut and Halley is belting and the CNP Horns [Thomas Hutchings (sax), Indofunk Satish (Trumpet and Flugelhorn), and Matt MacDonald (trombone)] are adding some really smokin' backing. Mancini and Patterson both get a chance to play nice solos on this track as well. The Jesus I Know is sown deep in gospel styling with smooth organ and piano work from Mancini. Definite Joplin vocal phrasing is evident and nicely presented by DeVestern. A powerful track showing shades of Bonnie Bramlett and Macy Gray as well is a cool track and a nice wrap to the release. ” - Bman

Bman's Blues Report

(translated from Croatian by Google Translate): Although this album Fabb! Boffo! Smash! Published five days ago, or more accurately 7th January this does not preclude its exclusivity. In fact, I'm not convinced that you've noticed Halley DeVestren Band, who are catering posted this his first album. Somehow Betsie Brown decided in the new of 2014. year to go, as they say, at first! Her house promotional Blind Raccoon, stationed in Memphis, started with a wider audience of relatively under-known names. But that is not the reason that they do not devote enough attention and that they can not play. Another name in the series is just Halley DeVestren Band. As always I like to go to listen to the album, where too many do not know the artist, when little to no surprise as people, musicians are working. Although in this band in the first Plame singer Halley DeVestren, which will surprise you with her vocal abilities, and astonished many connoisseurs of this musical style. What kind of music style works here? Personally, this is classified as exposed rock n 'blues albums whose tracks the primary impact of rock and only then tries to trace the blues. Actually this is a very effective combination in which the band members: Tom Heinig - bass, David Patterson - guitar and Rick Kulsar - drums, brings a truly inspiring and representative and respectable musical background. And on their impressive musical matrix agrees vocals of this great singer, which in its primeval sound draws on Janis Joplin, but Halley was able to escape identification with the legendary Janis and go in completely and his highly original interpretation. In addition, there is certainly still worth mentioning that Halley performed with Big Brother & the Holding Company and the rest of her! Indeed, a great success! As this first album, which I introduced in EXCLUSIVE Blues Corner (remember the band Hard Garden and their album Blue Yonder AN), which has caused a real 'boom' in today's blues scene. The thing would be repeated and with this album, which with its eight songs offers excellent low right tracks ... there is no 100% pure blues, but his presence, coloration and presvučenost of each song there ... and brings you some new musical horizons , horizons, which simply suggest that musical expression has absolutely no boundaries. Just because all the soul, funky, R & B, and rock, gospel furka will refresh itself to you, so more and more powerful your inner being. As the special moments of the first albums I want to emphasize: Muscle Memory, and then the Australian music impliciranošću in another song Kangaroo Momma, where striking the funkirani rhythm and the various rhythmic interplay of guitars and rhythm section that builds tremendous vocal impressive Halley. Below bluesyirana Money Is not This is my favorite, it's not that ... no hell, great keyboards, yet subtle guitar with a unique vocal performance maketh all around. Listening to this song several times, around you creates a bluish curtain that simply are not able to escape, and that's what impresses me terribly. Truly awesome! Unusual Tore Up (From The Floor Up) in the manner of Sly and the Family Stone, the legs will surely rise and then the direction of the dance floor! Boil in the same strange atmosphere, but this time, as the vrže some strange, even a little psychedelic overtones and the whole story, what else to write except amazing! Lightweight American Pain its title and the text says it all. I wonder from where such a text template. Some things could be mapped in this our reality, but of course in a metaphorical sense. Better to move on, anything I could write here, but I would have to make any sense. Code 9 is a song that carries a distinct serenity, powerful rhythm, vocals, but I had not heard of this scope and effect. Is it important to highlight text? Yes, certainly ... because in this song carries a very strong message. Last song on the album is a gospel colored The Jesus I Know and again and again pfffuuuu ..... wow! I am particularly very happy when I hear that someone so fair in wearing something dark, deep, emotional and highly effective. I listened to the song many times in a row and every time I moved again ... you just talking about its expressiveness and power. Really impressive! RECOMMENDATION: Someone told me that you are willing to explore, you're open to new forms of presentation, the new names in the music world. If all this is true then you are truly in the right place because Halley DeVestren band their album Fabb! Boffo! Smash! provides, delivers and teaches you just that! Check REQUIRED!  ” - Mladen Loncar

www.soundguardian.com (Croatia)

Halley DeVestern is often compared to Janis Joplin and she did spend some time touring with Big Brother & The Holding Company singing Janis’ songs. But DeVestern is more than just a Janis clone. When she names her influences it it no surprise to find singers Aretha Frankin, James Brown, Al Green or ’70’s soul acts The Ojays, Ohio Players, and Earth Wind and Fire. Halley has slowly but surely been making her own mark in the greater New York City area and is now poised to break out nationally. The band features seasoned professionals from a full range of musical styles. All the songs were written with bassist Tom Heinig who has played with Lamont Cranston band and Mill City Band. Guitarist David Patterson played with Shawn Mullins, and drummer Rich Kulsar spent time in Zen Tricksters, The Toasters and Mickey Dolenz band. Their experiences are eclectic to say the least and it makes their music an exotic gumbo. The opening track “Muscle Memory” sets the tone of Fabbo! Boffo! Smasho! with a funky workout. DeVestern sounds a bit like Joplin but without the rasp. Her voice is more refined and doesn’t crack as she hits the higher notes, and the band is slick and tight.... ...“Money Ain’t Time” features simmering organ and impassioned vocals. DeVestern takes on rich fat cats, encouraging them to think about all the time they’ll be dead and what little good their money will do them in the afterlife. It could equally be about sacrificing time in your life for money; time that would be better spent making human connections and sharing yourself with others instead of chasing the payday at all costs. This song has been featured in the TV Show Dance Moms.  “American Pain” is a gospel tinged ballad that lyrically takes on economic inequality in the United States but also takes aim at those with the casino mentality, hoping to strike it rich by gambling. “Code 9” ... is musically solid with extra funk added by the CNP Horns – Thomas Hutchings on sax, Indofunk Satish on Trumpet and Flugelhorn, and Matt MacDonald on trombone.  Bassist Heinig creates a fat groove, guest keyboardist Mark Mancini stands out on electric piano and guitarist David Patterson cuts loose with stinging guitar lines. The clearest message of any song on Fabbo! Boffo! Smasho! is found in “The Jesus I Know.” Halley admirably takes to task those who have twisted the story of Jesus to fit their own needs. The tune is an upbeat R&B Gospel tune, with big backing vocals and organ fills.  The Jesus she knows had a dark complexion, cared about healing, fed the hungry, helped the blind to see, promised the world to the meek, and got lynched for telling the truth. Amen, Halley. Amen. Yes, Halley DeVestern has a powerful voice. She has sung with Big Brother And The Holding Company, drawn comparisons to Janis Joplin, and garnered compliments from Bonnie Bramlett. Her lyrics may not always make perfect sense but they sound good and she sings with conviction....If you want some upbeat, funky grooves played on real instruments by talented human beings give Fabbo! Boffo! Smasho!  a listen.” - Jim Kanavy


HALLEY DEVESTERN deserves to be judged on her own merit. Forget the comparisons and similarities to some of music's most influential women; Halley might one day join them, but it will certainly be on her own terms. Currently plugging away at countless gigs throughout New York City, [The work of THE HALLEY DEVESTERN BAND] contains songs of hate, revenge, and the dark side of humanity that are certainly not coated with sugar like so many of today's chart toppers..." HALLEY DEVESTERN is aware of the hardships that still await her as she plugs away on the local music scene. "I will keep being true to the stuff that pops into my head, even if it is lots of ugly thoughts," she says, as if to prove she will not compromise herself or her music. "My songs talk about revenge and the darker side of humanity," she admits before confessing, "I try and try, but can't seem to write a love song. Forget about the love songs, Halley. Keep patiently singing the way you do now, and major success is inevitable.” - Brad Shafran

— MTV Online