Devil Doll plays in Vail Friday night | VailDaily.com

Devil Doll plays in Vail Friday night

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
cowen@vaildaily.com

Special to the Daily/shannonbrookeimagery.net

Devil Doll is a fitting description for Colleen Duffy’s on-stage persona. Dressed like a gothic Betty Page, her lips painted bright red, dark hair done up, she has the appearance of a tough, yet fragile, China doll. But her lyrics reveal a dark side to her beauty, a devil to her angel.

“And I won’t tell nobody/ If you don’t tell nobody/ ‘Cause nobody can understand what we have,” she sings in the Latin-flavored “Walk With Me,” a song about a relationship with a married man.

Her voice is silky, dripping with blatant sexuality that almost hides the story her razor-sharp lyrics tell. She has created a vivid world within her music ” a world of whiskey kisses, dark alleys and broken hearts. A place where Duffy’s alter-ego feels right at home.

“Pain has always been the great motivator for everybody with everything,” said the lead vocalist and bass player for Devil Doll.

It’s no wonder then that her lyrics are soaked in it.

Duffy and her band will rock the Sandbar in West Vail Friday night with opening act The Goddamned Gallows.

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“Devil Doll, she just plain rocks,” Dick Dime, manager of the Sandbar, said in an e-mail. “She’s sexy as hell and her songs, in addition to being campy, maintain an honest and authentic soul. Her pleasing visual aesthetic and siren-like vocals can soothe you into a sense of false complacency and then bam!, she will kick the bejesus right out of you. It hurts, good … real good.”

Duffy credits Elvis Presley and Joan Jett, to name a few, for her particular blend of punkabilly, namely a combination of country and jazz music and lyrics that focus on the pain of humanity. It’s also “a little sassy, a little sexy, a little dirty,” according to Duffy, who longs for a return to the days when music had bite and the women of rock had attitude. She blames an industry run by old, out-of-touch men for the many female musicians out there who are easy on the eyes but not exactly the most talented people, at least in Duffy’s opinion.

“I think they come up with a formula and it works once so they beat the crap out of it … and they try to sell it to us over and over and over again,” Duffy said.

But Duffy, who’s owned her image and demanded creative control of her music throughout her career, has suffered the consequences for staying true to her beliefs.

She said that while major labels have shown interest in her band, they can’t figure out a way to market it. She won’t change her image or music to adjust to marketable standards though, she said, especially when she’s so confident in the authenticity of her sound and the uninspired state of today’s rock scene.

“When the f— are we going to stop rewarding mediocrity in this country?” Duffy said.

Her persistence has paid off in Devil Doll’s cult following, Duffy said, and even though she may never land on the cover of “Rolling Stone,” she’s happy she’s still able to do her thing, her way.

“There are people who would kill to be in my position. There are people who f—– hate their job, they wish they could do music like I do,” Duffy said.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.

What: Devil Doll with opening act The Goddamn Gallows.

When: Tonight at 9 p.m.

Where: The Sandbar Sports Grill in West Vail.

Cost: $10.

More information: Call 970-476-4314 or visit http://www.sandbarvail.com.