Sometimes you get introduced to a band by random happenstance by a friend while unwinding after a long weekend, and that band turns out to be one of the most beautiful discoveries made yet. This is how I stumbled upon The Devil Makes Three, an eclectic breath of fresh musical air mixing rockabilly, country and American blues. But to classify their musical style is to categorize them as a band, which I think is very hard to do as their music is so diverse and moving, I just like to think of it as arm-in-arm drinking music that will get anybody on their feet. I was lucky to catch them a couple times this past summer, giving me the chance to further introduce others to their awesomeness but none of that compared to the intimate show we got at Deluxe at the Old National Centre this past Thursday.
The Devil Makes Three is quite literally comprised of three amazing musicians as unique as the music that belts out of their instruments. They are: Guitarist and front man Pete Bernhard, stand-up bassist Lucia Turina and guitarist Cooper McBean. The evening started with hitting up the newly opened Upland Tap Room in Carmel where we grabbed some appetizers and pints before heading south to the venue to catch the show. There were just three of us, two acquainted with the band, and one going into it completely blind. As we arrived I ran into an old friend from the road that I had not seen since September, I was walking into the venue and as I rounded a corner and turned my head we literally ran into each other, like whoa. It was so good to see her and some friends from Ohio who we got to hang out with during the show. Before The Devil Makes Three (TDM3) came on there was Jonny Fritz, the opener, a two man acoustic guitar act that had the same fast-paced, rockabilly feel as TDM3 though I wasn’t able to really catch much of their set. We waited about 30 min before TDM3 came on stage and man did they bring the heat from the beginning, opening their set with Sleep Beneath The Piano. Now to list all the songs that they played throughout this review would be overkill, as they played almost every single song I love from their catalogue of music, and this review would be way too long so at the end, I will simply list the whole set. But suffice it to say they took us through the whole spectrum of their hits, tunes like All Hail, poking fun on America in general, which was definitely one of my favorites.
Ultimately, what I think is so amazing about this band is simply the presence they command on stage, such powerful music that just flows from their instruments with tight musical composure. Even more so are the lyrics. Every song is a story and though their music is so loud and powerful, again it is written in a way that the lyrics cut straight through it like a hot knife through butter, nothing is missed. They can transition seamlessly from a rockabilly dance hall song, into a slow almost gypsy-like deep ballad telling the story of the Johnson Family. What stood out the most, and not just to me but many others, was the bassist Luca Turina. She just had such a presence about her as she wielded her bass on stage. As she literally made love to her instrument, eyes closed, shoulders and head flung back her fingers glided up and down the neck of the bass never skipping a beat, but rather adding one as she slapped that thing faster then the Madam of a brothel on an unsavory customer. And that’s not a comparison one makes lightly, but that’s just the feeling one gets from this music. You can’t help but conjure up images of being arm-in-arm with your best friends in a 1920’s speakeasy drinking bootleg whiskey and belting out songs that cut deep to the core. The Devil Makes Three just has that presence, and that feel, and if you don’t know them and their music, well then you need to. Trust this writer, you won’t be disappointed, or this drinks on me.
Full Set List
Walk on Boy
Help Black Irish
Words by Chris Lucas
Photos by Keith Griner of Phierce Photography by Keith Griner
To see more photos from the show, click here