Album review: The Devil Makes Three, “Redemption and Ruin”

by Jon E. Lynch

The Devil Makes Three, “Redemption and Ruin”

Available: Aug. 26 via New West Records as a digital download, CD and vinyl LP

The Santa Cruz, California-based trio of guitarist Pete Bernhard, upright bassist Lucia Turino and guitarist/tenor banjo player Cooper McBean have deviated just a bit on their fifth full-length album. Not so much stylistically, considering their unique hodgepodge blend of country, old-time jazz, rockabilly and all other touch points on the Americana spectrum. Rather, the band has enlisted a slew of like-minded musician friends (Emmylou Harris, Jerry Douglas, Darrell Scott, among others) to pay tribute on a record comprised solely of covers.

This will come as little surprise to fans of their live show, where covers have been included for some time. Kris Kristofferson, Ralph Stanley and Doc Watson have all been covered in the past, and are now being included on “Redemption and Ruin.” The homage doesn’t stop there, with other canonized artists getting their due: Townes Van Zandt, Hank Williams, Robert Johnson. Per the bands website, there are two distinct sides to the record: “It’s half gospel songs with a proclivity towards the darker end of the spectrum of religious music (Redemption) and half songs of vice (Ruin). In a very strict sense, the band-members were looking for songs which fully and wholeheartedly fit in one of those two categories. There could be no in between; it was all or nothing.”

Recommended if you like cover albums, Americana and artists such as Shovels & Rope, The Defibulators, A.Tom Collins or Old Crow Medicine Show.

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]


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