"Stomp and Smash - Live at the Mystic Theater"
CD/LP and Download
Max Goldberg - flavorpill.com
Like the Violent Femmes before them, Santa Cruz's the Devil Makes Three infuse their country-bluegrass swing with a raucous punk spirit. A popular group on the festival circuit, the trio spins its odes to Tennessee whiskey and brawling with acoustic guitar, banjo, and stand-up bass — an economical set-up that makes for some surprisingly danceable music. Lead singer Pete Bernhard's voice is a little rough around the edges, but the group's harmonies go down smooth. Too restless to play the typical bluegrass venues and too musically sophisticated for your average bar band, Devil Makes Three are a rare breed: wild traditionalists.
Nimble lyricallity and braggadocio that puts most rap acts to shame.
The Devil Makes Three doesn't have a drummer, but the band doesn't need one. Cooper McBean's percussive banjo accents and Lucia Turino's forceful slaps on her bass supply more than enough rhythm. Guitarist and lead singer Pete Bernhard completes the trio with a bluesy vocal style that's part Louis Prima, part Merle Haggard. The group has been carving a niche since arriving on the scene six years ago, with a sound that combines bluegrass, old-time music, folk, rockabilly, and Piedmont blues and ragtime, all played with a blazing punk-rock attitude.
Oakland Tribune - Jim Harrington
The Devil Makes Three has been able to attract such a comparatively eclectic fan base -- which includes Deadheads, bluegrass barflies, old-school string-band afficionados and, yes, even a few punk rockers -- by keeping the music straightforward and uncomplicated.
WIllamette Week - Rachel Schiff
Young Portlanders do not know how to dance to country music. Nevertheless, an awkward, but jubilant crowd left their seats last Sunday to move to the bluesy music of The Devil Makes Three. Some attempted to jig in place, others paired up to dosey-doe, while still others thrashed about to form an unwelcome pit of belligerence.
UCSF Synapse - Arul Thangavel
Another find was Devil Makes Three, who played before Built To Spill, a band that can only be described as party country music – two guitars and a stand up bass relived whiskey-fueled mayhem of yore with a rhythm that begs a dance.
...the Devil Makes Three bring a D.I.Y. aesthetic to ragtime, bluegrass, and classic folk music. Like the Violent Femmes, the Devil Makes Three can rock out with acoustic instruments yet remain engagingly melodic. Their slightly punky perspective on vintage Americana provides an irreverent tone, but there’s no denying the affection this group has for its ’20s and ‘30 inspirations.
When the Devil Makes Three rips into a tune, it tears it apart with a sweat-drenched energy that jerks people out of their seats and makes drinks jitter across the table and crash to the floor. The trio may play acoustic instruments, but its post-punk frenzy of ragtime, folk, blues, and primitive country generates enough electricity to solder the change in your pants into a smoking lump.
Metro Santa Cruz - Garrett Wheeler
The jug-band-meets-punk-rock sound is alluring and wild like an untamed bull: powerful, reckless and beautiful.
Older press clips can be found here.
Hi-res press photos and bio can be found here.