By Susan Latiolait for Eugene Daily News
On Nov. 11 the eclectic trio, The Devil Makes Three, will bring a little bit of country, a little bit of punk, a little bit folk, and a lot of blues to The McDonald Theatre in Eugene. Their fifth album “Stomp and Smash,” released in Oct. 2011, brings a new level of eccentricity to the band’s already unique “drum-less” sound. Recorded over two nights at the Mystic Theater in Petaluma, this live-recorded album features fiddler Andy Lentz, two new songs, cover songs, and old fan favorites.
As a self-described “rhythm based” trio, The Devil Makes Three creates a wide-range of acoustic music that captures the essence of multiple genres. Consisting of guitarist and front man Pete Bernhard, bassist Lucia Turino, and guitarist Cooper McBean, the band combines their individual influences such as McBean’s folk favorites John Hurts, Doc Watson and The Reverend Gary Davis, with Berhard’s inspirations of Lightnin’ Hopkins and Tom Waits to create their inimitable blues sound with multiple twists.
Bernhard and McBean first bonded in the eighth grade over their similar music styles while growing up in their hometown in Vermont. Ten years later, Berhard and McBean moved to Santa Cruz after high school to begin their music careers and were soon united with U.C. Santa Cruz student and other Vermont native Turino. Although Turino lacked bass skills, her spiritual personality and passion made a perfect fit for The Devil Makes Three’s simple, finger picking, rhythmic sound.
This style is epitomized in songs such as “Old Number Seven,” one of the trio’s most popular hits and re-released on their new live album is a tribute Jack Daniels Whiskey, in which their lyrics states, “Thank you Jack Daniels, old number seven, Tennessee whiskey got me drinking in heaven.” This song illustrates how their mixture of bluesy genres meshes with the band’s “rock out” style of their live shows.
“Stomp and Smash” can be viewed as an album that perfectly reflects their live concerts; a rocking, beat down, acoustic dance concert; a unique feat for a blues bands. But in reality, the name was derived from a misquoting from Frank Zappa that Turino’s father used to say to her as a child. Nevertheless, this album name exemplifies the band’s live persona of a bluesy, country, folky trio, with rock edge.
Jonny Fritz , formerly known as “Corndawg” will join The Devil Makes Three at the McDonald Theatre on Nov. 11. As a country singer-songwriter, Fritz has played in every U.S. state as well as Argentina, Australia, Canada, India, and multiple European countries. First touring around the U.S. on his motorcycle in 2001, Fritz now travels in a retired UPS van with his band, the In-Laws, around the country. His hits such as “Shaved Like a Razor” and “Chevy Beretta” of his latest album “Down on the Bikini Line,” released in Aug. 2011, combine quirky lyrics with a genuine country acoustic sound.
With their unique personal and musical styles Jonny Fritz and The Devil Makes Three will undoubtedly compliment each other as well as the eccentric music loving Eugene community for an unforgettable live performance.