According the The ChickRock Pages, Halley DeVestern 'has been compared to both Melissa Etheridge and Joan Osborne, but she truly has a better voice than both.' Well, you can judge that for yourself, but Halley is one artist who doesn't mind comparisons. As she told The Long Island Voice in an interview, 'What you hear from the outside is more real than what you hear yourself.' Which, I think, is her way of saying that the customer is always right. Now, practically every female rock singer gets compared to Janis Joplin, because no one's come along to supplant Janis as the icon of rock goddesshood, and probably no one ever will. But how many are invited to be the lead singer for Janis's old band, Big Brother and the Holding Company? Halley toured with Big Brother in the fall of 1998 and had a blast. The guys even learned and worked into their set three of Halley's songs. And you can hear those songs and seven others, recorded by Halley and her crack team of musicians, on her debut album, 'Sugar Free.' Quoth Newsday, 'Why 'Sugar Free' wasn't released on a major label is anybody's guess. DeVestern's irascible manner is as radio-friendly as any Alanis Morissette or Meredith Brooks.' Well, we know why. If it had been released on a major label, you wouldn't get to discover it here at CD Baby, would you? In it's four-star review of 'Sugar Free,' The Music Paper said, 'Her tracks are vibrant, her melodies catchy and her delivery is soulful and sure.' And there's a catchy summing-up phrase if we ever heard one.