Quinn Deveaux & The California Honeydrops Very Best Thing
The origin story is almost too good to be true. A teenaged Quinn DeVeaux, raised on a healthy diet of his mom's 80s R&B favorites and dad's classic rock leanings, left his hometown of Gary, Indiana, and was driving across the country when he really heard Muddy Waters for the first time. He recalls, "I couldn't believe it. Didn't seem real - that bone-raw emotion." Quinn was no stranger to the important legacy of American roots music; it was entwined with his family's heritage. His jazz singer grandmother mentored him on church songs and harmonies and nudged him into piano lessons. His uncle booked shows in northern Indiana, coaxing the likes of Chicago-based blues giant Howlin' Wolf 30 miles south to Gary. By the time Quinn started digging into Chess Records artists like Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, he was accepting a call to action. By the time DeVeaux dropped 2018's This Could Be Yours, he craved a leap of faith and decamped to Nashville to work on his follow-up, 2020's confident classic Book of Soul. Featuring new spins on modish 60s R&B ("All I Need"), simmering Al Green-inspired soul ("Come On Home"), Beale Street swagger ("Good Times Roll"), and afterhours gutbucket blues ("Stay the Night"), DeVeaux's Nashville gambit paid off handsomely, solidifying his reputation as versatile and powerful artist. Pausing briefly to work with old SF friends and bandmates The California Honeydrops on a stellar 2021 single, "Take You Back" / "Very Best Thang", found Quinn building on Book of Soul's momentum and marked a particularly prolific period in his songwriting, seemingly plucking from the air a wide variety of songs. Quinn explains, "I write everyday and it's a puzzle that gives me so much joy to assemble. The songs already exist and they're just waiting to be revealed." Considering his journey up to this point, DeVeaux hearkens back to that pivotal Muddy Waters epiphany on the road out of Gary. "We go back to the stuff we love from the past because we know it's good."