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SHOW REVIEW: The Devil Makes Three, One Hell of a Show...Rockhounding by Al Bruting

a new ongoing review column headed up by the elusive Al Bruting

The Devil Makes Three, One Hell of a Show..

Guitarist/vocalist Pete Bernhard, upright bassist Lucia Turino and guitarist Cooper McBean.

Last Saturday the Santa Cruz trio The Devil Makes Three hit their first ever Detroit stage at St Andrews Hall.  It was straight to business.  They walked out, strapped in and lit the place up with a string and vocal harmony sound so dense you couldn't fit a drummer in sideways. There was lots of swing and charged traditional country rhythm playing without having to sit through break out solos.

They have taken the Johnny Cash style of percussive strumming originally created to fill in for not having a drummer and have made it as big as it gets.  Playing mostly original tracks, they did toss in a Doc Watson cover that fit the bill. The band got busy and so did people within earshot. The show hit a point where jumping and dancing in the room sounded and felt like it was going to collapse the floor into the basement.

Like the live show, the album released Oct 29th "I'M A STRANGER HERE” is a raw but a finished sound.  This new recording took 4 years to lay down. Most tracks are vibrant and spirited, but a country gospel sound and folk styled ballads are still heard. Produced by Buddy Miller, the recording was done using live tracking.  This picks up the energy of the songs in a style more reminiscent to Sun Studios and gets closer to the sound of a live show.

The Devil Makes Three is a touring band and the time spent on the road shows up in the quality of delivery on stage.  Stops have included the Newport Folk and Austin City Limits Festivals, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, and tours with Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell.  For fans of a more traditional country sound with the energy of a punk rock band, lend them an ear.