The Devil Makes Three – Redmption & Ruin (album review)

by Woody on September 19, 2016

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Photo by Giles Clement

When DM3 announced that their 5th LP would be comprised of all covers, I was not overly excited. As a rule, I tend not to enjoy covers albums. But as Katy Goodman & Greta Morgan’s excellent album proved earlier this year, rules are made to be broken. And now with the excellent, Redemption & Ruin, I might need to rethink my rule altogether.

The brilliance of the album is its theme – 6 songs of ruin followed by another half-dozen of redemption. Enlisting the help of Emmylou Harris, Tim O’Brien, Jerry Douglas, Darrell Scott and guitar great Duane Eddy, Pete, Cooper & Lucia trio fires through covers by Townes, Waits, Willie and Robert Johnson to name a few. The band has done a great job of putting their stamp on these tracks. We didn’t write these songs,” says Pete Bernhard, “So they’re up for interpretation, and really that’s the best approach to take anyway. If you invite someone to play on your album you obviously like them and trust what they do. So arrangements changed drastically. Most of the arrangements we went in there with were not the ones that we came out with. And that’s exactly what we were hoping for.”

With tunes like Drunken Hearted Man, I Gotta Get Drunk and I’m Gonna Get High; the opening side is definitely a damn good time. But the tide begins to turn with the dark cover of Townes’ Waiting Around To Die. The back half opens with the upbeat There’ll Be A Jubilee and doesn’t let up from there with ripping versions of I’m The Man Thomas and What Would You Give before ending with the dark tune of Hank’s Angel Of Death.

Redemption & Ruin started as inspired idea by a trio of friends that have been playing together for 15 years. Their vision was expertly executed and will make a worthy addition to your collection. And make sure you them live as that is where they really shine.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or at @HearYa

The Devil Makes Three is here

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