This week I want to talk about The Devil Makes Three, a hard-hitting bluegrass band from Santa Cruz, California. This isn’t your grandma’s bluegrass band, though. Covering everything from drinking, murder, and drug abuse, this band manages to give the genre a twisted spin all while holding true to the fundamentals of the music. Cooper McBean, a skinny, bearded, and tattooed back up singer offers banjo rolls over staccato rhythm guitar played by lead vocalist Pete Bernhard and slapped rockabilly basslines thumped out by Lucia Turino. This three piece band provides eerie harmonies and an old time feel, but with lyrics that will rattle your bones. So check out The Devil Makes Three!
Here are a few songs that I enjoy:
Old Number 7 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vedgTokXj04
Aces and Twos – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JQB3—pTg
Gracefully Facedown – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mMHsSjb1Bw
This week’s artist comes to us from our friends up North. Just when you thought Canada could never be forgiven for infecting millions with “Bieber Fever”, they produce a musician like Corb Lund and completely redeem themselves. Corb is a country, cowpunk, folk-singing hippie/cowboy. Listening to one of his albums is almost like listening to all the voices in a schizophrenic’s head all sing their own song. Corb’s latest album, “Cabin Fever”, really shows the diversity and talent he has learned to harness as a musician and songwriter. With everything from Rocky Mountain hideaways to Russian antique pistols, the widespread nature of this album is best displayed in tracks 4-6. “September”, a western ballad about lost love, opens the trio with a haunting falsetto refrain that will leave you as broken-hearted as Corb sounds. As “September” fades out, it transfers right into track 5, “Mein Deutsches Motorrad” or “My German Motorcycle”. This upbeat tune powers through with hints of cowpunk that remind you of a twangy Jack White, which isn’t surprising when you learn that Corb was the founding member and bass player of “The Smalls”, who were basically the Canadian Nirvana. The final song in this trio, “Cows Around”, is an extremely fun western swing song reminiscent of Bob Wills about the love/hate relationship between a rancher and his herd. In just three songs, Lund covers an entire spectrum of genres, but this is not the only strong point of this album. There isn’t a bad song on “Cabin Fever”. My personal favorite from the album and one of Corb’s strongest performances on this album is “Bible on the Dash”, a duet with Hayes Carll about being a traveling band and slipping past law enforcement. Detailed stories like this are where Lund really shines as a singer and songwriter. So, give Corb Lund a shot. He’s got a little something for everyone.
Tracks 4-6 from “Cabin Fever”:
4. September – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFvwqgjC7As
5. Mein Deutsches Motorrad – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG-UHgfTrU4
6. Cows Around – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IW0qnnlCI0
Some of my other favorites:
Bible on the Dash – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkAeY-OGp9k
Gothest Girl I Can – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTqN2nCHilc
Talkin’ Veterinarian Blues – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JChwFoCxVC8