Pride and progress: Composing song for LGBTQ celebration ‘broke the writer’s block’ for musician

Albuquerque-based musician Jimmy Deveney released his latest album, “Whatever Gets Us Through” on Sept. 3. He will perform a show at Launchpad on Friday, Sept. 10. (Courtesy of Jimmy Deveney)

Editor’s note: Venue Plus continues “In Case You Didn’t Know,” a weekly feature with fun tidbits about New Mexicans and their projects.

In April 2020, Tricklock Theatre asked Albuquerque-based musician Jimmy Deveney to write a song to be used for a Pride celebration.

“The social justice movement was just getting started,” Deveney says. “That song broke the writer’s block, and I was able to continue writing.”

After a few months of writing, Deveney was left with songs that would become “Whatever Gets Us Through.” The album was released on Sept. 3, and Deveney will perform a CD release concert at 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, at Launchpad in Downtown Albuquerque. Music starts at 9 p.m. with Lucky Mays. Deveney starts at 10 p.m., and the night is headlined by Midnight Stew, which takes the stage at 11 p.m.

Deveney says the first five songs were recorded remotely due to the pandemic. Months later, the band got together to record the final five.

“Soundwise, it sounds like a Waylon Jennings song,” he says. “It’s very reflective. I left Albuquerque in 1999 because I needed to get sober. I left with trouble on my heels. I just became a very different person in the next 18 years. I tried to be compassionate instead of being angry. When I moved back to Albuquerque, I had to deal with all of that again. It was an interesting transition.”

While the first part of the album is somber, Deveney says, the second half is more upbeat.

“I wrote what was a good record, and I feel like it set some good habits back in motion,” he says.

One of them was being able to focus on his guitar repair business, as well as spending more time with his partner.

In June, he was able to get back onstage and perform live.

“It felt really good,” he says. “I also spend time helping my parents out, and what they require for care is ever-changing. I haven’t had time to play shows, because my weekends are filled with family time. The show at Launchpad is something I’m looking forward to doing.”

Deveney used the pandemic to write, which is a big reason he got into music. While living in Austin, Texas, Deveney was the frontman behind the indie projects Horse Opera and Palomino Shakedown.

While living in Albuquerque, he’s been a staple in the local music scene and keeps busy with his guitar repair business.

Here are five facts Deveney wants readers to know about him:

1 “I’m an avid animal lover, especially cats.”
2 “I’m a coffee fanatic, part-time barista and roaster.”
3 “I’m a guitar repair tech by day, at Percolator Guitar Repair, located at Music Go Round.”
4 “My favorite TV show is ‘Parks and Recreation.’ ”
5 “I restored my family 1966 GMC pickup, (which is) now my daily driver.”

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