Releasing a covers album to follow up 2013's commercially and critically successful I'm a Stranger Here might seem like a curious commercial move, but Santa Clara's the Devil Makes Three are no ordinary band. For 15 years, the drummerless trio has issued album after album of stomping roots music that weds country, bluegrass, early blues, and jug band traditions. This set of classic and obscure American tunes is divided thematically (and in reverse order of Redemption & Ruin's title: it journeys from a raucous and sinful Saturday night to Sunday morning and the hereafter).
If you have not had the pleasure of making their rowdy acquaintance at one of the countless gigs they’ve played in tiny bars or at mega-festivals over the course of the past 15 or thereabouts years, the Devil Makes Three are a trio of neo-ragtime, -folk, -country musicians with a punk attitude and the chops to win over a crowd of purists or scenesters alike. Pete Bernhard, Cooper McBean and Lucia Turino are all born Vermonters, but have called San Francisco their home base since the band’s inception. Since their self-released, eponymous debut in 2002 they have released six records (four studio and two live) that have demonstrated equal parts reverence for tradition and restlessness in search of new ways to interpret the old styles.