A child of the Midwest with roots in folk music, a teenage belter who left school to tour with Lonnie & the Lugnutz, and later a veteran of the Los Angeles music scene, Lorraine Devon Wilke has virtually underscored her life with music.
It was Los Angeles where she first gained notice as an up-and-coming singer/songwriter to watch when her original band, DEVON, built a loyal following during the height of the 80s, playing the famed circuit from Madame Wong’s and FM Station to The Lingerie, Sasch, and The Palace. This was the memorable era of wild, raucous performances, and the sense of being part of a new movement: the MTV era, with its requisite clanging guitars, reedy keyboards, big hair, and outrageous costumes. Writing, recording, and performing songs that were a distinctive mix of New Wave rock and soul, DEVON was an industry and club favorite, garnering regional and international recognition while working with such respected producers as the late Bob Shad of Mercury and Mainstream Records, Australian hitmaker Brian Cadd, and rock veterans Bob DeStocki and Craig Krampf, to name a few.
By the late-80s, Devon Wilke was collaborating with Rod Stewart vets, Kevin Savigar and Jim Cregan, in a project called THIRD PERSON, during which time she worked with some of rock music’s best. Co-writing and recording songs that have appeared in numerous film soundtracks and performed around the world, she’s updated a few from this catalogue for her most recent project, Sixth & Third.
It was also during this time that Devon Wilke became a favorite session vocalist for production and publishing companies, cutting tracks for countless songwriters and jingle producers. Her vocals have been featured in commercials, industrials, television promos, film soundtracks, and TV theme songs.
With her music attracting the attention of filmmakers, she widened her focus to include screenwriting. One of her features, co-written with filmmaker Patricia Royce, To Cross the Rubicon, was produced by Seattle’s The Lensman Company, and featured both her songs and her performance, opening myriad new doors along her career path.
In 2001 she met Rick Hirsch, a versatile and accomplished guitarist, and they formed ROAD TO BLUE, a powerful blues/rock project that quickly met with success, playing such noted venues as Harvelle’s in Santa Monica and B.B. King’s Blues Club at Universal City Walk in Los Angeles.
After developing a substantial library of original material, they recorded an 11-song CD called Richer for Rain, a project that later evolved into a solo vehicle for Devon Wilke under the new title, somewhere on the way. Well reviewed as “musically timeless,” this soulful collection of roots/rock songs garnered a new league of fans and deepened respect for her singing and songwriting skills.
More recent songwriting and recording forays have taken her from Los Angeles to Chicago to San Diego, while her latest performing assemblage is Sixth & 3rd, a project spearheaded by her brother, acclaimed actor, Tom Amandes. With her nephew Ben Amandes on cello, guitar, and cajon, along with bassist/guitarist, Jeff Brown (a veteran band member from the DEVON days), the group pops up whenever everyone’s in town—which isn’t often enough—but when it does, it’s always a grand occasion. Keep an eye on the “What’s the Latest?” page for future announcements.
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