If you’ve been following JOVM since the very beginning, you may have remember that I’ve written about the Brattleburo, VT-based trio of The Devil Makes Three. Comprised of Pete Bernhard (vocals/guitar), Cooper McBean (guitar/banjo) and Lucia Turino (upright bass), the trio manages a propulsive rhythm without drums. In fact, their sound is comprised of pairing chugging acoustic string chords, deep, earthy acoustic bass and a variety of harmonies in a way that will automatically bring to mine old-school country, old-school Delta blues, folk, rockabilly and even punk, compete with a troublemaking, shitkicking swagger, as you’ll hear on of my favorite songs “Do Wrong Right.” I think the song has one of the funniest yet truest lines I’ve heard in recent memory, “If you’re gonna do wrong, buddy, you better do wrong right.” I can picture my grandfather, Will, Sr. saying something similar.
I caught them years ago at the now-defunct Maxwell’s in Hoboken with Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons and I remember a number of things – that night in particular was a torrential rainstorm and Maxwell’s ceiling was actually leaking so badly that the sound man had to place a bucket by the ceiling to capture the rainwater, and that The Devil Makes Three was a sight to see. To say that they’re relentless road warriors doesn’t even begin to describe them; however they’ve developed a reputation for their live show and as a result they’ve played the Newport Folk Festival, with the great Pete Seeger as you’ll see on this live footage; Austin City Limits; Bonnaroo; Lollapalooza; and have toured with Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and others.
The band is releasing the Dragging Chains 7" single featuring new songs “Dragging Chains” and “This Life” which were originally cut from the band’s fourth and most recent album, I’m A Stranger Here, which was produced by Buddy Miller and landed on the Billboard Top 200. You can buy the single when the band hits the road for the 25 city Ones to Watch Tour, set up by a collective of bloggers, music geeks and concert fanatics whose mission is to remind you that good music is just around the corner, it’s just a matter of looking in the right place.
You can catch them at Irving Plaza on 1/8/15 if you’re in the New York City area and at a concert venue near you throughout the winter.