The Devil Makes Three’s new barnburner, “Stranger,” is long on the kind of intensity that has already earned the California-by-way-of-Vermont band trio spots at Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, plus tours supporting Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris. The song, from their upcoming fourth album I’m a Stranger Here, blends raw folk, punk-tinged Southern blues and even amphetamine-fueled jazz.
“This song is a tribute to all our heroes at Chess Records; most of all Howlin’ Wolf,” singer and guitarist Pete Bernhard tells Rolling Stone. “It’s about how songs outlast the lifespan of a band or a songwriter.”
Not that the group – which also consists of upright bassist Lucia Turino and guitarist Cooper McBean – is going away any time in the near future. Since tracking the album with Buddy Miller at Easy Eye (the Nashville recording studio owned by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach), the Devil Makes Three has lined up a busy fall itinerary, including performances at Nashville’s Americana Music Festival on September 20th, the FreshGrass Bluegrass Festival in North Adams, Massachusetts, on September 22nd and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco on October 6th, followed by a headlining club tour that gets underway at the Black Sheep in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Halloween.
I’m a Stranger Here is due out on October 29th.