The Devil Makes Three tells stories of now and then

by Yasmine Shemesh

When it comes down to it, musicians are storytellers. Their music reflects their life experiences; their trials and tribulations; their hopes and dreams. Such is ever the case with the Devil Makes Three, an Americana band birthed in Vermont and now based in California, and storytellers of both the past and the present.

The trio released their latest effort, I’m A Stranger Here, in late OctoberProduced by the legendary Buddy Miller (who has worked with the likes of Robert Plant, Willie Nelson, Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris), the album is largely composed of personal anecdotes that deal with things like mortality, relationships, transitions into adulthood, and the rootless nature of touring—decidedly darker lyrical content that contrasts nicely against their ebullient knee-slappers.

Paired with surging harmonies, their sound is strictly string-driven with the musical stylings of guitarist Pete Bernhard, upright bassist Lucia Turino, and guitarist and tenor banjo player Cooper McBean. Their barn-burners tell a tale of their own through a genre-blend of folk, blues, ragtime, leaning into old-time traditions while still maintaining freshness and relevance through the group’s idiosyncratic interpretation of it.

As The Devil Makes Three embark on their largest tour yet, they begin a new chapter in their story. To commemorate this new beginning, the band is releasing Draggin’ Chains, a special 7-inch vinyl EP composed of just two songs (also produced by Miller) and exclusively available at their concerts. If you were fortunate enough to grab tickets to their sold-out show at the Commodore Ballroom on February 6, be sure to pick up a copy.

I’m A Stranger Here is available for purchase on the Devil Makes Three’s website.  

Published online at www.vancitybuzz.com, February 2015

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