Free Candy Book Release with Dylan Dunbar and Jennifer Westwood

by | May 12, 2024 | Michigan, Music

A feast of delicious horrors at Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar, with a preview of new music from Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils at Valentine Distilling Co.

Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar Book Release Party

Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar

Imagine the voice of Rod Serling (Twilight Zone / Night Gallery) reading the following: A cozy lounge in Ferndale filled with people waiting for their copy of a debut book of short stories. A collection of tales from the dark side. Stories where being a demon can lead to job burnout, where bad clowns finally pay their due, where internet trolls are taken to task, and “God Damn Zombies, Stew … God Damn Zombies” run amuck. This book is called Free Candy. The author is a certain Dylan Dunbar. Most notably a fantastic musician who has revealed a penchant for the pen. As celebrity zombie Dedd Fredd casually sips a drink, fans line up for autographs from Dylan and the zombie. It’s just another evening in the Night Gallery.

Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar Book Release Party

Book Release Party

Actually, the cozy lounge was Belle’s Lounge at Valentine Distilling Co. in Ferndale, where we had arrived for the Free Candy book release party by Dylan Dunbar. If you’ve followed our stories, you know we are big fans of Dylan and his wife, Jennifer Westwood. We’ve had the pleasure of experiencing their music over the years, from the PJ Lagerhouse to Top of the Park to Manchester Underground and pandemic outdoor shows,

Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar Book Release Party

On hand for the release party was Dylan’s brother Jay with prints and books of his photography. He lent his talents to the Free Candy book cover photography featuring Dedd Fred. Fred, the zombie, was on hand to sign Dylan’s book as well as do some very impressive zombie growls. I’ve got to tell you, when you unexpectedly hear that growl, it is unnerving, to say the least. 

Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar Book Release Party
Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar Book Release Party

I haven’t had a chance to finish Dylan’s book yet. However, from the first few stories, you get a sense of Dylan’s humor and flair for the unusual in terms of plot twists. I thought of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, Tales from the Darkside, and the movie Creepshow. If you dig stories with a funny dark side and a shot of zombies, trolls, and demons, you’ll want to pick up a copy of Free Candy.

Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar Book Release Party
Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar Book Release Party

Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils

An added bonus to the book signing celebration was live music from Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils. In addition to Dylan’s new book, he and Jennifer have been busy working on new music for their upcoming Mad Man’s World album. I’ve had a chance to listen to this album prior to its release, and it is outstanding. Featuring ten tracks full of soulful rock with touches of gospel, western swing, and blues, this record is certain to satisfy.

Listening to the band play the new music was a delight. You would never guess that Dylan is still recovering from surgery to correct a nerve issue in his fretting hand. His magnetic playing vibrated with a Steve Cropper meets Freddy King for lunch with Django Reinhardt vibe. Keeping the groove deep in the pocket with a splash of swing were drummer Dave “Babe” Below and bassist Chuck Bartels. Adding to the soulful mix were Mark Lotus’ fresh keys.

Jennifer Westwood is upfront and full of pride for her husband’s great work and their joint efforts in crafting the long-awaited new music. Her voice, filled with powerful resonance, was captivating. I dare say that of all the times I’ve heard her sing, she has never sounded stronger. She sang with a fierce passion that suggested an air of salvation as if to testify to challenges won while seeking the light in a new dawn.

Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar Book Release Party
Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar Book Release Party

Mad Man’s World

Focusing on the new music, Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils delivered a dazzling set of soul music infused with rocking blues. The title track, “Mad Man’s World,” drips with Muscle Shoals grooves reminiscent of Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin. The same can be said for the funky blues on “I Wanna Testify.” We journeyed out to West Texas with a bit of western swing with the song “Foolish Things.” Jennifer and the Handsome Devils threw in a couple of older singles, including the rocking “Bad Luck Charm” and the southern wind in Motown of “Marfa Lights”.

Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar Book Release Party

The new Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils album Mad Man’s World will be out June 16th. In the meantime, you can sink your teeth into Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar, which is out now and available on Amazon. Mark your calendars for November 8-10 as Jennifer and Dylan will perform on Friday night for the opening of GIG – The Art of Michigan Music at Art 634 in Jackson.

Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar Book Release Party
Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar Book Release Party


Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar Book Release Party

There are more pictures from the Free Candy by Dylan Dunbar book release party in our gallery. Jump in and take a look.

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1 Comment

  1. What a fantastic article and wonderful photos. Thanks so much for the kind words for #metrodetroitsfavoritezombie.


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