Something You Don’t Know About Me: Angela Devine and Daniel Rayner

Dead End Beverly

Photo by Andy Phillips

Angela Devine and Daniel Rayner, retirees who live in Cold Spring, perform as Dead End Beverly ( They will perform by livestream on Saturday (Feb. 27) as part of NY Talent Media’s Spotlight Night.

You’ve said that many of your friends have no idea you are a band. Aren’t performers usually pros at promotion?

We play mostly in Beacon because it has the venues. We did the Howland Center open mic once a month, then started playing at the Towne Crier. We also perform across the river.
Devine: It doesn’t come up in conversations.
Rayner: We’re the best kept secret in Cold Spring!

When did you start playing?

Rayner: I started the guitar when I was 14. My mother had a large record collection of Broadway show tunes and lots of classical. My sister got a degree in piano at the Manhattan School of Music. When I was 25 I started taking lessons from a great teacher.
Devine: I always loved to sing; I’d sing to my mother in bed at night. I especially enjoyed harmonies. I always loved music but had never performed. We went to an open mic where Daniel performed, and I liked what I heard. One night, at Whistling Willies, I went up and sang with him.
Rayner: I had to pull her by the hand to get her to stand up in front of people. Angela has a voice that can stop people in a noisy bar.

You two finish each other’s sentences. How long have you been together?

Rayner: We were both born and raised in Brooklyn.
Devine: We went to Brooklyn College at the same time. Daniel was studying anthropology and I was pre-med.
Rayner: I didn’t become an anthropologist. I got a master’s degree in public administration later and was a mediator and a social worker. We went out for a couple of years, then went our separate ways and married other people. Angela found me on Facebook 35 years later.
Devine: I found a man who lived in East Flatbush, the neighborhood where I grew up. We had a lot of friends in common. One of his posts mentioned Dan Rayner. I thought — could it be? So I sent Dan a message.
Rayner: I almost fell out of the chair. We started communicating.
Devine: I was living in a small town in Pennsylvania. I had lived in Brooklyn until I was 40. My then-husband and I had a health food store in the city but we moved to the sticks for various reasons and things weren’t going well. After I found Dan, we made arrangements to meet at the Roscoe Diner [in Sullivan County].
Rayner: We were there for almost five hours.
Devine: It was three.
Rayner: Well, maybe.
Devine: It was a funny thing, too. I had a stress fracture, and every few minutes, I would shift and yell out, “Owww! Ooh.”
Rayner: She was wincing in pain, not at me. We caught up and things started to move from there. I was living in Mohegan Lake and had moved to Cold Spring after my divorce.
Devine: The friendship developed into something else.
Rayner: I have lived here 11 years, and Angela has been here going on nine. We’re old now, but we don’t feel old.
Devine: Depends on what time of the day.
Rayner: To me, Angela is the love of my life.

You’re recorded two albums. Where did you do that?

Devine: We recorded Talking Monkeys at Joe Johnson’s studio, Red Wally, in Beacon. When I came here, he was one of the first people I met. We learned a lot from Joe on what was possible.
Rayner: We learned on the job.
Rayner: Out of the Attic was recorded with Todd Giudice at Root Cellar, his studio in Cold Spring. It’s a collection of mostly traditional and older songs. We play everything from jazz to folk to blues to rock.
Devine: By time we started working with Todd we knew what we wanted and how we wanted it done.
Rayner: We don’t like to overproduce. We have an idea of what sound we want.
Devine: Producing a song is like making a food dish: you have everything in proportion, you taste it. We learned how to go from cook to chef. 

Can you explain the band name?

Devine: When we were at Brooklyn College, there was a dead-end street called Beverly Road. One day we were driving around here and there happened to be a dead end, just like the one in Brooklyn. I said, “That would be a great band name: Dead End Beverly.”

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