People, if there’s one piece of advice I can give to you as a fellow fan of the musical arts, it is this: never let genres limit you from discovering new music. I promise you there is something to appreciate in every stupid subgenre you can imagine. Expose yourself to as much as possible because you never know what you may find. Remember: genres are just labels that some third party slapped on after the fact. They’re an imperfect categorical system developed for the sake of music discussion. Don’t ever write off a whole group of artists just because they’ve been given a tag that you’ve had bad experiences with in the past.
I say this to you as a segue into my introduction of a band that a lot of you may have already written off due to the nature of their categorization. Hailing from Santa Cruz, California, The Devil Makes Three plays a modern brand of old-timey bluegrass (deemed “newgrass” by current music journalists). I caught these guys for the first time on tour with Flogging Molly in Pittsburgh back in 2012 where they completely sold me on their enchanting revival of a timeless sound. When I saw they were making their way to State College, supporting their newest album (I’m a Stranger Here) on a headlining tour, I made sure to clear my schedule. While The State Theatre isn’t exactly my favorite place for live music in Happy Valley, the trio’s passionate performance made it worth every penny of the 23 dollar price tag. The group moved the crowd with earnest ditties about the trials and tribulations of a life full of heartbreak, setbacks, and alcohol. Every song brought the audience closer together on a spiritual level. Hands were held. Hearts were lifted. Tears were shed. By the end of the show, no man, woman, or child was unmoved by the emotional thrill ride that was The Devil Makes Three.
Here’s a video from the show of the band performing an old favorite entitled “Old Number Seven” from their debut self-titled album:
Here’s the official music video for “Stranger” from their latest LP, I’m a Stranger Here:
Here’s a little taste of some cool cuts from their discography:
And, don’t worry, even if you missed them here, they’re still touring until the end of August…