Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 3:15 pm
Based on their instruments, they seem like an old-time string band; based on their appearance, they seem like they might play punk music. The answer lies somewhere in between. Pete Bernhard (guitar) and Cooper McBean (banjo) grew up in New England to parents who liked ragtime and old blues. The two moved to Santa Cruz temporarily, where they met Lucia Turino (upright bass), and The Devil Makes Three was born. (For our session, Adam Chilenski fills in for Lucia, who had a broken arm.)
You will certainly hear early jazz, blues and country, but the group performs all this with a punk energy that is helping them draw a young audience. Their other secret is their songs — almost all originals, and they are adamant about that. Like their performance, the style of the songs is both vintage and new at the same time. The bonus that these three offer is that if you happen to be a longtime fan of traditional music, you might like them, too. There is enough substance and wit for all.