While The Devil Makes Three's resonator guitars and herky-jerky gait invite ragtime, country and folk classifications, the enveloping darkness in songs like "Tow" elicits a deeper, early-20th-century backwater vibe. This is true American roots music, combining powerful rhythms with ornate fingerpicking, Dylan-esque storytelling and lyrical scenery.
The band's latest release, Stomp and Smash: Live at the Mystic Theatre, captures the trio at its best: genre-defying, inscrutably alluring and devoid of the need for a drummer to keep time. Frontman Pete Bernhard sings like a crusty Reconstruction-era Civil War vet, tortured by memories from long ago. Hear it for yourself on this installment of World Cafe: Next.