Upon first listen, one would think the notorious folk/bluegrass/Americana outfit Devil Makes Three hailed from West Virginia, deep in the backwoods where everything from moonshine to high grade methamphetamine were being manufactured. Dig deeper and you’ll find the band came together in the the hustle and bustle of the University of California Santa Cruz, just beyond the city limits of Santa Cruz itself, which couldn’t have a more different vibe from the Ozarks or even the Deep South, where American roots music has some of of its biggest (but not all) of its roots.
Consisting of members Pete Bernhard, Lucia Turino, and Cooper McBean, these three traveling muses play roots music that could only be created by those who spent their formative years marinating in punk rock. This is very apparent in both the folky yet reckless feel of their music as well as their lyrical content, which delves heavily into pill and alcohol use both as youths and as adults. In “For Good Again”, vocalist Pete Bernhard addresses the band’s lineage in terms of formation and the unconventional manner in which they they make lifestyle decisions involving recreation drug choices and post live show hi-jinks. Very much like their peers, The Old Crow Medicine Show, Devil Makes Three are revitalizing rootsy, Americana music to keep up with the lifestyle themes and choices of America in 2011, which is vital for both keeping this uniquely American style of music consistent and relevant hundreds of years after it came into existence.
The band will be making a live appearance at Slim’s on Thursday April 28th, and is a highly recommended gig for any fan of folk, bluegrass, or slow country just as much as any youthful, reckless weekend warrior trying to change the soundtrack to his or her debauchery up from Black Flag’s “TV Party” or Mims “This Is Why I’m Hot”. Do Wrong Right is absolutely captivating as a record, and will definitely find itself surfacing on certain SFist staffer’s top tens of 2011. Head down to Slim’s and take in what could only be called “not your father’s” Americana.