• Although Devil in a Woodpile are probably entertaining no matter where they play, it sounds like they'd be most ideal on someone's big farmhouse front porch at dusk, after a binge of BBQ and booze.

    — Exclaim
  • Music that takes a toothy-grin approach to blues, bluegrass, hot jazz, and hillbilly sounds, throwing them all into a big hat and using the result to buy beers for the room.

    — MSN Entertainment
  • Every Tuesday night they set up shop right in the middle of the main room. No amps or mics, just balls and bravado. They play blues, ragtime, jazz, everything you could ever want. These are the kind of hangout buddies you can count on to bring the fucking hangout. There is no cover and the PBR is cheap, meaning you'll have plenty of cash to put in the band's tip jar.

    — Fran Magazine
  • Even within Chicago's diverse roots-music scene, this quartet is distinctive because of its unique instrumentation. They function flawlessly as a unit with Kaye's masterful guitar lines and Schepers resonant tuba lines complementing Sherry's engaging 'grab em by the throat' vocal tone.

    — Chicago Sun-Times
Hometown: 
Chicago, IL

For years, the free, unamplified, middle-of-the-room Devil in a Woodpile residency at the Hideout in Chicago was a civic treasure.  A coupla sets of rowdy, bawdy, grooving, swinging ROOTS music played the way it was meant to heard---unplugged and part of a neighborhood bar party.  It made Tuesdays THE night to look forward to. If you didn't find yourself whaling out heckles, daring them to play everything from Son House to The Zep and stomping your feet, well, quite frankly, there was probably something wrong with you.

Such is the power and mystery of Devil that during their sold out first album release show at the Hideout, there was a lightning storm that knocked out power to the whole area.  The barstaff put the beer on ice, lit some candles and the band rocked it like only they could---it was like hopping into a wormhole to the early 1900's.

Devil in a Woodpile, they play blues. They also play country. Ragtime. Hot Jazz. Hillbilly. It's all the same to them. It's all taken from the same deep, muddy well called American Music that existed long before wise guy marketing goons and interweb algorithms decided to categorize and sub-categorize the whole mess.

Rick "Cookin'" Sherry is the living, breathing, carnival barker fronting the trio. He's got an uncanny ability to channel the blues roots of a 30's juke joint wailer through his 21st century foghorn pipes, creating an outright eerie (and slightly unhinged) persona; the ghost of Skip James or Big Bill Broonzy come to life. He scrapes a washboard, pounds a marching drum with a foot pedal, and whoops on his harmonica like only a top-notch bad ass would--punctuating it all with a crash symbol. He's now splitting his time with the Sanctified Grumblers.

Bassist Tom Ray learned how to play stand up from Willie Dixon. He's played with the B ottle Rockets, Waco Brothers, the Pine Valley Cosmonauts and currently in Neko Case's band.  His hobbies are fishing (don't ask him about it, he'll tell you more than you ever wanted to know), motor sports, and maintaining his legendary utility belt--he's like some sort of bass-playin' super hero. Guitarist Joel Paterson is one of the best in Chi-town. He's played with Kelly Hogan's jazz posse, The Wooden Leg, released his own pedal steel record (which we highly recommend) and can be found on stages all over town with anyone with the sense to let him play. We don't think Joel has any hobbies.

 Devil was the backing band for ground zero Delta bluesman David "Honeyboy" Edwards. They were also the backing force in the kiddie punk supergroup the Wee Hairy Beasties.

Devil In A Woodpile doesn’t have to turn it up to 11 to get their point across--one listen to their raunchy, acoustic mayhem and you’ll be convinced.

Compilation Tracks: 
Recommended if You Like: 
The Hackensaw Boys
Robert Johnson
Flatt & Scruggs
Trampled by Turtles

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