The Devil Makes Three

Photo By Jay Westcott

Growing old isn’t easy. For a band that was born on the ethos of thumbing their nose at the norms, that challenge can even more daunting. Built on the strength of their tours and early staples such as The Plank and Old Number Seven, the trio of Pete Bernhard, Lucia Turino, and Cooper McBean built a loyal, almost cult-like, following that spread across a disparate cross of people. But how much longer can you keep that going without growing bored and looking for new challenges.

For their sixth full-length, they blended something completely new and something completely true to their form. The new was inviting their touring drummer, Stefan Amidon to be part of the proceedings. The true to form aspect was mining their love of literature to create their songs. As Bernhard says, “I always want our songs to unfold like short stories.”

New producer, Ted Hutt was brought in and overall, he gave the proceedings a kick in the ass. Chains Are Broken is rock album, that’s connected to their ramshackle Americana ways. Pray For Rain blends that that classic sound with the turbo of Amidon’s drumming. Sure to be foot-stomping favorite during their shows, praying for rain is the change that we’re all hoping for these days. Deep Down is another track to get the hips swaying as the protagonist sings of his duplicitous life, while coming to the grips that he’s a “terrible man.” Paint My Face feels fresh as the band kicks off a 60s British rock vibe.

As the quote says, “Time waits for no man,” but DM3 is keeping it real as they move into year 16 of being a band. And as good as DM3 in on vinyl, their cult following was built on their live shows. Make it point to seeing them at least once in your life.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or at @HearYa

The Devil Makes Three is here

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Photo By Jay Westcott

Pete Bernhard, Lucia Turino, and Cooper McBean, aka The Devil Makes Three are a HearYa staple. Chains Are Broken is the trio’s first album of original tune’s since 2013’s I’m A Stranger Here and the first to include a drummer, Stefan Amidon, for the proceedings. I’ve seen them with Stefan a few times so it isn’t completely foreign to me. New West Records will be releasing this bad boy on August 24th. Here’s some more info on the album.

For as much as The Devil Makes Three remain rooted in troubadour traditions of wandering folk, Delta blues, whiskey-soaked ragtime, and reckless rock ‘n’ roll, the band nods to the revolutionary unrest of author James Baldwin, the no-holds barred disillusionment of Ernest Hemingway, and Southern Gothic malaise of Flannery O’Connor. In that respect, Chains Are Broken resembles a dusty leather bound book of short stories from some bygone era. “I always want our songs to unfold like short stories,” affirms Pete Bernhard. “You could think of them as chapters of a book.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or at @HearYa

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TDM3-Tintypes-Credit-Giles-Clement

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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A Devil Makes Three show is a hot mess. Everybody is grooving and if you look around; all you see are heads bobbing up in town. Most everybody is singing along and the place is hot as shit due to all the dancing. The crowd; well the crowd is a mix of all types – hippies, yuppies, hipsters, you name it. It is a special show to be a part of and difficult to recreate on an album. I wonder if that’s why it takes them so long in between albums. I mean who would want to stop playing shows that much fun to record in a studio.

I’m A Stranger Here is the first DM3 studio album in four years. To help them capture that feeling, they enlisted Nashville legend Buddy Miller to produce. Buddy and the band did a great job as the album was live-tracked with all of then playing in the same room. The crux of the band is the same – Cooper and Pete strumming on an acoustic guitar and/or banjo while Lucia slaps the stand-up bass while providing pitch-perfect backup vocals at every turn. The album is everything you hoped the new DM3 album would be with some subtle flourishes to build on their sound including horns and fiddle on some tracks.

Two of my standout tracks are the porch-stomping tracks of Spinning Like A Top and Hallelu, which is my favorite track of the album with its fantastic chorus of They say Jesus is coming, He Must be walking, he sure ain’t running. Who can blame him, Look how we’ve done him. Hallelu. The call and response in the Forty Days is a treat as Lucia’s vocals sound fantastic on this track. And the closing track; the twangy ballad – Goodbye Old Friends is a thing of beauty.

If DM3 are going to keep on knocking out albums that are this damn good, I will be willing to keep waiting four years between releases. To help pass the time, I plan on seeing them live once or twice between the next album because as good as their albums are; the live sets are twice as good.

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The Devil Makes Three announce I’m A Stranger Here; first track Stranger

September 3, 2013

Sorry, we’ve been a little out of the loop this last week or so. School started back up and we’re all trying to find our rhythm again. So we’re going to ease back into things with some of our favorites. First up is HearYa session alumni, The Devil Makes Three. Since releasing Do Wrong Right […]

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The Devil Makes Three – Stomp and Smash: Live at The Mystic Theatre

October 25, 2011

Have you ever had a buddy tell you, (insert band name) is great, but you really need to see them live? You roll your eyes and call him (insert derogative name) and move on with your day. Well, get ready because that’s the message I am about to deliver to you. There are a number […]

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The Devil Makes Three – Aces and Twos [New Video]

December 1, 2010

The Devil Makes Three have long been HearYa favorites and their session with us is one that I frequently dive back into. The band spent most of 2010 touring and will hopefully hit the studio in 2011 to give us a follow up to their outstanding 2009 release, Do Wrong Right. Until then, they’ve dropped […]

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The Devil Makes Three – Live Session #52

August 4, 2009

A day or so after The Devil Makes Three stormed through Chicago, a buddy of mine asked how I liked the DM3 session. I rubbed my chin thoughtfully and responded in such fashion: “DM3 album es bueno” “DM3 in studio es muy bueno” DM3 live at Beat Kitchen es muy bueno con queso” What the […]

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The Devil Makes Three – Do Wrong Right [Album Review]

April 23, 2009

The Devil Makes Three has just released the latest chapter of their gypsy-punk-hillbilly-bluegrass-blues gospel in an album called Do Wrong Right. That description is a mouthful, but DM3 is far from ordinary. The drummer-less trio consists of guitarist/frontman Pete Bernhard, stand-up bassist Lucia Turino and guitarist Cooper McBean. Their sound is driven by rhythm and […]

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