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Summer Stars: The Devil Makes Three

by Rob O’Connor on May 18, 2012

Today we debut the first installment in our Summer Stars series, which offers the latest from groups out there making the rounds on the festival circuit. Each piece will offer a profile/update along with some thoughts from the band members regarding a variety of summer favorites. First up is The Devil Makes Three who will appear at this weekend’s Hangout Music Fest.The Devil Makes Three insist on playing all ages, general admission gigs without seating whenever possible. “We’ve gone through a few booking agents to get it right,” says guitarist Pete Bernhard. “Seating is fine, but it’s not what we wanted our band to be about. In the early days, we would bribe the audience to get them up dancing.”

For the cost of a T-shirt or CD, Vermont via Santa Cruz’s Devil Makes Three turned their concerts into parties. This summer they’ll be taking that party to as many festivals as possible, from the Telluride Bluegrass Festival to Summer Camp, Wakarusa to Bonnaroo, and a few more which are not yet finalized.

While their 2011 live album Stomp and Smash is a spirited snapshot of the band’s string-band hijinks, Bernhard wants a new studio album out by year’s end, though he admits that 2013 might be more likely, considering their schedule. “I’ve got a good amount written,” he says. “We’ll likely demo before hitting the festivals. It helps to have tapes of our stuff, so we can hear what works before committing to it in the studio.”

Band performance will determine the outcome. “We never have it all written,” he says. “We have to see what ideas take off when we play them.”

Expect new material peppering the set this summer. Bernhard, with an ear for new angles, hopes to learn the 5-string banjo from bandmate, banjoist Cooper McBean. “I already fumble around on tenor banjo, so it’s time to mess around on a new instrument backstage,” he says.

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