The Devil Makes Three I'm A Stranger Here on Limited Edition 180g LP + Download Card
Part road songs, part heartbreakers and part barnburners, the rowdy and rootsy trio The Devil Makes Three’s fourth full-length studio album, I’m A Stranger Here, will be released on New West Records. Described by frontman Pete Bernhard as a “very dark record thematically, lyrically and sonically,” the album is also the band’s biggest sounding one to date.
Produced by Americana icon Buddy Miller and recorded at Dan Auberbach’s (The Black Keys) Easy Eye Sound in Nashville, the 10-track collection features the drummer-less acoustic threesome of singer/guitarist Bernhard, guitarist/banjoist Cooper McBean and stand up bassist Lucia Turino coloring their songs with an expanded sonic palette – percussion, strings, electric guitar, fiddle, vibes and a variety of horns are used to powerful effect.
The Devil Makes Three’s sound is garagey ragtime, more punkified blues than bluegrass, old n’ new timey without settling upon a particular era, inspired as much by mountain music as by Preservation Hall jazz. “We bend genres pretty hard,” Bernhard says. That sound has won accolades from critics across the board, with NPR describing the trio as “acoustic roots music with a relentless beat in mind at all times,” going on to praise their “whiskey-drenched, ramshackle fury,” and “fiendish intensity.”
I’m A Stranger Here was inspired by the bands travels and travails so far, a journey that has lead them down numerous roads since they first left their picturesque rural hometown of Brattleboro, VT. While most bands are propelled from behind by a drummer, TDM3 builds exuberant rhythms from the inside out, wrapping finger-picked strings and upsurging harmonies around chugging acoustic guitar and bass, plying an ever-growing audience onto its feet to jump, shake and waltz.
Bernhard wrote more than 20 songs for the album and turned them over to producer Buddy Miller, who gravitated toward the darker material but ensured that the recording was lit up by the band’s innate ebullience. For a band that made its bones with dynamic performances, recording an album is almost like coaxing lightning into a bottle, but Miller and TDM3 succeed on I’m A Stranger Here.
From the slithering electric guitar and drums on the gypsy jazz opener “Stranger,” to the jaunty yet ominous “Forty Days,” featuring all sorts of horns courtesy of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, it’s evident that this is a much different record than the band has made in the past. One thing is for sure, none of their ramshackle charm is lost – tracks like “Hallelu” and “Spinning Like A Top” are pure vintage Americana, yet played with an intensity that comes from a youth of punk shows and rock bands.
Since releasing their first album in 2002, The Devil Makes Three has released a steady stream of well received studio LPs as well as two live albums that have captured their deft musicianship and the rollicking and ragged intensity of their epic, sweat-soaked performances they are so beloved for. They have garnered ardent fans the old school way by relentlessly touring North America including dates with Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Willie Nelson, Trampled By Turtles and Yonder Mountain String Band.
Described by Relix as “taking the primitive components of American folk music and assembling them into post-apocalyptic nostalgia,” the trio brings forth a genuine approach to acoustic music that is deeply steeped in rhythm but is simultaneously vintage and new.
“Their rootsy, Ozarkian vintage folk rock will speak to fans of bands like Old Crow Medicine Show - assuming they’ve listened to a Black Flag song or two.” - Nashville Scene
The Devil Makes Three I'm A Stranger Here Track Listing:
2. Worse Or Better
3. Forty Days
4. A Moment’s Rest
5. Dead Body Moving
7. Hand Back Down
8. Spinning Like A Top
9. Mr. Midnight
10. Goodbye Old Friend