The Devil Makes Three / Brown Bird


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From the outfit’s badass, backporch blues ode “Ten Feet Tall” – which is alive with three-part harmonies – to “Shades,” a wry look at barstool hugging daytime drunks, Pete, Lucia and Cooper create music that is pleasingly dissimilar to most other bands in modern music. Early critical praise of its self-produced recorded entry has earned comparisons to the likes of The Violent Femmes, Steve Earle and The White Stripes.

“I grew up listening to a lot of old blues music when I was young,” explains Pete, who was raised in rural Vermont and first befriended McBean in the eighth grade. “He was the only person I knew who was into the same style, although he leaned more toward the country side of things. When we started out playing, we were doing punk and rock.”

Fast forward a decade as The Devil Makes Three took shape in Santa Cruz, California. Pete moved west right out of high school with Cooper soon following suit. After first settling Olympia, Washington and playing in an ill-fated band, McBean – who by now had the name of his home state tattooed across his neck – again joined musical forces with Bernhard. In turn, they later teamed with New Hampshire-native and U.C. Santa Cruz attendee Lucia.

A spiritual fit, her enthusiasm made up of for her initial lack of ability. “Lucia had always wanted to play bass,” says Pete. “Cooper and I had already rented a stand-up bass for the group. And the main reason we were really excited about letting her give it a shot was because she didn’t know how to do anything we didn’t want her to do. And our music is simple, so the last thing that we wanted was someone who was overplaying for fear it would ruin the songs. She wound up learning really quickly, and it wasn’t long before she surpassed us.”


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