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      The Devil Makes Three in Washington


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      May 11, 2019

      Saturday  10:00 PM

      815 V St NW
      Washington, District of Columbia 20001

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      The Devil Makes Three

      with DiTrani Brothers
      The power of words isnt 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 OConnor.In that respect, their sixth full-length and first of original material since 2013, Chains Are Broken [New West], resembles a dusty leather bound book of short stories from some bygone era.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, theyre shorter and maybe more poetic. This was a much more personal album about what it takes to be an artist or writer of any kindand 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. Thats what makes the record more personal. Im 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.The Devil Makes Threes journey up to this point could be deemed worthy of a novel. Their self- titled 2002 debut yielded the now-classic Old Number Seven, Graveyard, The Plank, and more as they organically attracted a diehard following through constant touring. Longjohns, Boots and a Belt arrived in 2003 followed by 2009s Do Wrong Write between a pair of live recordings, namely A Little Bit Faster and a Little Bit Worse and Stomp and Smash.2014s Im a Stranger Here marked their first debut on the Billboard Top 200 as the 2016 hero worship homage Redemption & Ruin heralded the groups second #1 bow on the Billboard Top Bluegrass Albums Chart and fourth consecutive top five debut on the respective chart. The latter garnered widespread acclaim from the likes of Entertainment Weekly, American Songwriter, The Boston Globe, and more. Over the years, they casted an unbreakable spell on audiences everywhere from Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Hangout Fest, and Shaky Knees.As the band began writing ideas for Chains Are Broken, they veered off the proverbial path creatively. Instead of their typical revolving cast of collaborators, The Devil Makes Three stuckto its signature power triowith one addition. This time, they invited touring drummer Stefan Amidon to power the bulk of the percussion. The presence of a drummer remains most amplified as the band seamlessly translated the spirit of the live show into a studio recording and busted the rules even more. And for the first time, they retreated to Sonic Ranch Studios in El Paso, TX a stones throw from the Mexican border to record with producer Ted Hutt [Gaslight Anthem, Dropkick Murphys].We broke a lot of rules in making this record, smiles Bernhard. Weve always done whatever we wanted to, but there were still some things we wouldnt try. Those fears went out the window. Ted was a big part of that. He stayed with us throughout the whole process from pre-production until the final moment of recording. He pushed us outside of our comfort zone. Weve never had this experience. So, we got really creative under pressure, which ended up being super fun.These songs harness a spirit of freedom. Pray For Rain gallops along on a propulsive beat punctuated by a bluesy twang, before a chorus thats akin to a spiritual uprising singing Im praying for some rain tonight.Its a song about the state of the world now, says the frontman. It hopes for some sort of positive change, which I think is totally possible. At the same time, it considers the past and how we got here. You want to wash away whats there.Elsewhere, Deep In My Heart hinges on a menacingly melodic admission, Deep in my heart, I know Im a terrible man.We see it in the news all the time, he continues. Peoples public personae fall apart, and everybody sees who they really are. We have an ability to choose to be good and evil at any time.The simmering groove and hummable hook of Bad Idea recounts how sometimes we know were doing something stupid, but we just cant control ourselves. Elsewhere, I Cant Stop offers up an elegiac memoriam to a handful of friends who left too soon.Nodding to a favorite author James Baldwin, I Cant Stop represents an emotional climax for the album. The authors quote"Ultimately, the artist and the revolutionary function as they function, and pay whatever dues they must pay behind it because they are both possessed by a vision, and they do not so much follow this vision as find themselves driven by it. Otherwise, they could never endure, much less embrace, the lives they are compelled to leadhangs heavy over it.The tune itself centers on a heart-wrenching plea to on old buddy, I dont know why you would do what you were doingIts mostly about a friend of mine who overdosed and died, sighs Bernhard. When we were teenagers, wed get together, get high, and play guitar. I learned so much from him, because he was naturally talented, but he got so deep into doing all kinds of drugs and died. In some ways,its what he ultimately wanted, but I miss him so much. He was the primary motivation. Its also dedicated to our friend Dave from Brown Bird who died of cancer. He and his wife were among our closest touring companions. Its strange how we all dont make it or survive to meet up in old age. People die. We keep going. Theres nothing else to do.Fitting snug like a ceremonial death mask, the cinematic expanse of Paint My Face underscores an oddly uplifting messagethere may be something after all of this.Paint My Face talks reincarnation and unlived lives, he states. It partially discusses being a musician or an artist. Its like a letter written to a child I dont know saying death is not the end, as I believe, its the beginning of another life.In the end, the words and music on the album leave a long-lasting imprint.Id love for people to feel inspired, Bernard leaves off. Some of the songs might be sad, down, or depressing, but they inspire me. I feel better through the process. I hope you do too.

      Cost: 27.50

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