The power of words isn’t lost on longstanding Americana triumvirate The Devil Makes Three— Pete Bernhard, Lucia Turino, and Cooper McBean. For as much as they 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.
“I always want our songs to unfold like short stories,” affirms Bernhard. “You could think of them like the chapters of a book. Of course, they’re shorter and maybe more poetic. This was a much more personal album about what it takes to be an artist or writer of any kind—and what you have to do to make your dream possible. It was really the headspace I was in. It might have something to do with getting older. You start reflecting on life and the people around you. I was doing that in these songs. That’s what makes the record more personal. I’m pulling from these things. Some of it is about drug addiction. Some of it is about the things you sacrifice. Some of it is about the detrimental things we do for inspiration. Nevertheless, they all have some sort of narrative.”
McBean and Bernhard are originally from near Brattleboro, Vermont, where they played music together as childhood friends and when they were in high school. They were also acquainted with Turino (from New Hampshire but raised in Vermont), but didn’t know her well. After graduating from high school, all three moved to California separately, Bernhard by way of Nashville. Bernhard and McBean re-connected in Olympia. Later in Santa Cruz they also became reacquainted with Turino, forming the band soon after in 2001.
Devil Makes Three Discography
2002 The Devil Makes Three
2004 Longjohns, Boots and a Belt
2006 A Little Bit Faster and a Little Bit Worse
2009 Do Wrong Right
2011 Stomp and Smash
2013 I’m a Stranger Here
2016 Redemption & Ruin
2018 Chains Are Broken