The Devil Makes Three, Brown Bird
The Windjammer
Dec. 7

There wasn’t much punk to the Devil Makes Three’s “folk-punk” on Wednesday night — apart from quick songs and a relatively short set — but their folk was in top form. The band took the stage shortly after 10 p.m., following opening act Brown Bird, a Rhode Island fiddle-driven duo featuring guitarist David Lamb, who boasts a ridiculously thick beard that would send most hirsute men to the barber in shame.

Devil Makes Three banjo player/guitarist Cooper McBean took the stage, showing off his extensive facial growth (it’s way more than he has in the band’s most recent press photos). His Vermont neck tattoo was solidly covered by his impressive whiskers.

After two upbeat songs, the band settled into a string of folksy ballads, highlighted by carefully honed three-part harmonies. McBean and lead singer Pete Bernhard swapped between one ancient, beat-up looking guitar and banjo after another (one of McBean’s banjos even had “This Machine Annoys Everyone” etched across it, which was hardly the case at all).

The crowd of about 100 enthusiastically cheered the band, singing along with a surprising number of songs for a group making their first appearance in the state. A bookcase of “Graveyard” and the Jack Daniels-inspired “Old Number Seven” released new energy and inspired some dancing in the crowd.

The Devil Makes Three’s group vibe peaked with “For Good Again,” a raucous sing-along, before they left the stage just after 11:30 p.m. They returned for a quick encore with Brown Bird, ripping through a version of “St. James Infirmary,” the heaviest, most “punk” tune of the night.

Folks expecting rowdiness and general clamoring may have been disappointed, but most of the fans in attendance seemed pleased with the Devil Makes Three’s approach. They kept it simple, focused on the songs, and sent their audience home early but happy.

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