The Devil Makes Three

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The Devil Makes Three (2002), 6/10
Longjohns, Boots and a Belt (2004), 5/10
Do Wrong Right (2009), 6/10
I'm a Stranger Here (2013), 4/10
Redemption & Ruin (2016), 4/10
Chains Are Broken (2018), 5/10

The Devil Makes Three, from Santa Cruz in the San Francisco Bay Area, started out as the acoustic trio of guitarist Pete Bernhard, upright bassist Lucia Turino and guitarist and tenor banjo player Cooper McBean (no percussion). The Devil Makes Three (2002) roams the vocabulary of country, blues and swing with an "old-time sound" and catchy melodies while at the same time retaining a bit of the punch of cowpunks, especially in the rambunctious The Plank and Old Number Seven.

A slightly more relaxed tone takes over Longjohns, Boots and a Belt (2004) and they sound like a neighborhood jug band in the swinging Never Learn and a bluegrass string band of hillbillies in the instrumental Long Boots Johnson.

Do Wrong Right (2009), generally, sped up the rhythm and concocted infectious foot-tapping ditties like All Hail and Do Wrong Right.

Stomp and Smash (2011) documents live performances.

They aimed for a bigger, mainstream sound on I'm a Stranger Here (2013) but the results were pretty boring.

Redemption & Ruin (2016) collects covers.

They added a drummer for Chains Are Broken (2018) and the refrains are poppier than ever. The result, especially in bluesy songs like Deep Down but also in the radio-friendly ones like Paint my Face and Chains Are Broken, is that they sound like the Animals and Them of 1964.

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