The Devil Makes Three at Historic Ashland Armory

Alternative times call for alternative measures.
Maria Kelly Productions and Stillwater in Ashland have teamed up with The Devil Makes Three, an acoustic old-country blues band from Santa Cruz, Calif., to present a concert that will help cultivate a mountain of fresh food from a relatively small pile of seeds.
Michael "Mookie" Moss, owner of Boone's Farm and the Siskiyou Crest Goat Dairy in the Little Applegate Valley, will cultivate an acre of his land this season and donate organic produce to regional food banks.
"Valuing nourishment as a means to momentum, this seasonal and direct action is an invitation to engage and confront the challenges related to food security, community empowerment and the prioritization of humanity before profits," Moss wrote in a statement.
Labor and materials will be donated by members of the farming community, and the produce will be distributed directly and freely to those who need it the most, Moss wrote.
"When we learned about Moss' farm project, we looked at ways we could support it," Maria Kelly said. "As a venue, Stillwater's intention is to impact the community in positive ways. We saw an opportunity to work with musicians that also have a passion for positive change."
It's not easy raising money with concerts, as Kelly knows through years of experience promoting the former One World series at Southern Oregon University.
"But concerts are a great way to raise awareness," Kelly said. "And part of the proceeds will benefit the cultivation of the acre of food."
The Devil Makes Three, along with the Portland-based junk blues band Hillstomp, will perform at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 17, at the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St., Ashland.
The Devil Makes Three, featuring Pete Bernhard (lead vocals and guitar), Cooper McBean (guitar and banjo) and Lucia Turino (upright bass) are touring the country behind their album "Do Wrong Right," released last month on Milan Records.
"Do Wrong Right" marks the first full-length release of new material by The Devil Makes Three in more than four years. The all-acoustic band has been stomping out its vintage American blues, bluegrass, folk and rock with a do-it-yourself attitude for about seven years.
Lead man Bernhard touts musical influences such as Texas songwriter Townes Van Zandt, bluesman Howlin' Wolf and Don Van Vliet, who was better known as Captain Beefheart in the late '60s.
"The rhythm is what our band is about," Bernard wrote on the band's Web site. "We write with rhythm and dancing in mind.
"I grew up listening to a lot of old blues music when I was young," he wrote. Bernhard was raised in rural Vermont and befriended McBean in the eighth grade. "Cooper was the only person I knew who was into the same style, although he leaned more toward the country side of things. When we started out playing, we were doing punk and rock."
Turino is a native of New Hampshire and was attending the University of California at Santa Cruz when she met Bernhard and Cooper.
"Lucia has always wanted to play bass," says Pete. "Cooper and I had a rented stand-up bass. Our music is simple, and she learned quickly. It wasn't too long before she surpassed us, musically."
The trio has three albums to its credit: "A Little Bit Faster and A Little Bit Worse," a live album recorded in 2006; "Longjohns, Boots and a Belt" (2004); and a self-titled debut album that was recorded in 2002. The latter has been remastered by Milan Records.
Hillstomp, the opening act, features Henry Kammerer on slide guitar and John Johnson on percussion, a rambunctious duo who make enough sound to call themselves a band.
Hillstomp came together in 2001 as a guitar and drum duo at an open mic session in Portland. In 2004, Hillstomp released two EPs and a full-length album, "One Word." The band performed to a sold-out crowd at their CD's release party at Portland's White Eagle Saloon and began getting airplay for its songs at radio stations across the country.
In 2006, Hillstomp found receptive audiences at the Open House Blues Festival in Belfast and the Spitz Festival of Blues in London. The group toured Italy in 2007 and were featured on BBC and Italian radio.
Hillstomp's 2007 album, "After Two But Before Five," was taped at John Henry's in Eugene and at Mississippi Studios in Portland.
Tickets to the show at the Ashland Armory is $15 and are available at or at the door. The show is open to all ages.

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