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The Devil Makes Three ain’t your grandpappy’s folk band

Pete Bernhard (from left), Lucia Turino and Cooper McBean are The Devil Makes Three.

Pete Bernhard (from left), Lucia Turino and Cooper McBean are The Devil Makes Three.

At first listen, The Devil Makes Three could be mistaken for a typical old bluegrass, country band.

Pete Bernhard sings songs of love, loss and whiskey to the twang of his old guitar. Accompanied by Lucia Turino’s thumping standup bass and Cooper McBean’s banjo, the illusion is complete. However, it’s not long before you realize The Devil Makes Three isn’t your grandpappy’s folk band; it is much, much more.

“We’re not a nostalgia act,” Bernhard says. “We sing about topics that are currently relevant. We don’t sing songs about mining, trains or covered wagons.”

The Devil Makes Three will play Plush on Monday as part of Tucson’s West by Southwest festival.

The band was formed six years ago by a group of Sacramento musicians looking to create their own style of modern yet traditional music. By fusing influences such as Johnny Cash, Gary Davis, Django Reinhardt, swing, jazz and folk, The Devil Makes Three has created a sound that is all its own.

“We play as many styles as we can get away with in a string band with no drums,” Bernhard says. “If you take all the music we love and run it through the filter of us as musicians it just comes out sounding that way.”

While the band’s sound is a unique mix of styles and influences, there are still some old-time conventions that the band holds true. One is their style of songwriting. Much like the folk and bluegrass greats of the past, The Devil Makes Three’s songs often tell a story.

“The Bullet” starts out with a fast finger-picked guitar rhythm reminiscent of folk legend Bob Dylan and breaks into Bernhard singing about a 19-year-old boy who stole “everything the eye could see” and “drinking ’til (he) don’t know the meaning of alone.”

“A good song is a good story in my opinion,” Bernhard says. “I’ve always tried to write that kind of song. It’s just what I find most appealing.”

As for the characters, Bernhard says that some are fictional but that he tries to write all songs with at least some degree of personal experience and reality.

Members of The Devil Makes Three say their concerts are as unconventional as their music.

“In a good live show there are no seats and everybody stands. We usually play a rock venue or a big concert hall type place and everybody dances and it’s more like a rock show than folk show,” he says. “We try to play a great upbeat show and just have some fun.”

———

The Devil Makes Three will play Tucson’s West by Southwest festival, when local venues book bands that are passing through the Old Pueblo on their way to the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas. West by Southwest will take place Sunday-Tuesday and then will pick up the next week from March 22-25.

IF YOU GO

What: The Devil Makes Three in concert during the West by Southwest Music Festival

When:10:30 p.m. Monday

Where: Plush, 340 E. Sixth St.

Price: $8

Info: 798-1298, www.plushtucson.com

———

WXSW SCHEDULE

Most of the West by Southwest concerts will be hosted by Club Congress and Plush, with a few bands playing at Solar Culture on March 23. Admission is $8 per night or $15 for all seven nights. For tickets, go to www.ticketweb.com

DAY 1, SUNDAY

PLUSH, 340 E. Sixth St

8:30 p.m. – Telekenisis

9:30 – Say Hi

10:30 – Rafter

11:30 – Viva Voce

DAY 2, MONDAY

CLUB CONGRESS, 311 E. Congress St.

7:30 p.m. – Alela Diane

8:30 – Delta Spirit

9:30 – Elvis Perkins

11 – ’80s Night

PLUSH

9:30 p.m. – Richard Swift

10:30 – Devil Makes Three

11:30 – Jason Lytle of GD

DAY 3, TUESDAY

CLUB CONGRESS

9:30 p.m. – Gliss

10:30 – Blakes

11:30 – Dusty Rhodes and the Dirt Band

PLUSH

9:30 p.m. – Music Video?

10:30 – O+S (GN support)

11:30 – Great Northern

DAY 4, MARCH 22

PLUSH

9 p.m. – Miniature Tigers

10 – St. Helens Vietnam Band

11 – Bishop Allen

DAY 5, MARCH 23

SOLAR CULTURE, 31 E. Toole

8:30 p.m. – The Botticellis

9:30 – Sugar & Gold

10:30 – Bart Davenport

CLUB CONGRESS

7:30 p.m. – Golden Boots

8:30 – Maps & Atlases

9:30 – Spinto Band 11 – ’80s Night

PLUSH

8:30 p.m. – TAT

9:30 – Tera Melos

10:30 – Marnie Stern

11:30 – These Arms Are Snakes

DAY 6, MARCH 24

CLUB CONGRESS

8:30 p.m. – TBA

9:30 – Moog

10:30 – Princeton

11:30 – Sebastien Grainger and The Mountains

PLUSH

8:30 p.m. – McDougall

9:30 – Hillstomp

10:30 – Red Fang

11:30 – Early Man

DAY 7, MARCH 25

CLUB CONGRESS

8:30 p.m. – Mika Miko

9:30 – Aids Wolf

10:30 – Crystal Antlers

11:30 – Monotonix

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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