This Santa Cruz-based trio warps time and space by mining the traditions of bluegrass, Appalachian folk and a smidge of ragtime to produce throwback roots music that deserves the country designation far more than anything coming out of Nashville. Guitarist Cooper McBean, upright-bassist Lucia Turino and guitarist/lead vocalist Pete Bernhard don't just live in the past, however. On the group's forthcoming album — the cleverly titled Do Wrong Right — the Devil Makes Three explores timely economic and political issues while also riffing on timeless themes of greed and grief, despair and dysfunction. Bernhard even manages to slip in a reference to PowerPoint without seeming overly arch. Most important, this back-to-basics threesome knows how to turn even the saddest song into a barn-burning, squaredance-reeling, hayseed-chewing party.
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