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The Devil returns to Eugene

The folk-meets-bluegrass-meets-country-meets-blues-meets-rockabilly trio The Devil Makes Three likes to do things differently. And if that tongue-twisting description of their sound didn’t tip you off to that fact, consider this: They are a drummer-less trio.

“We started the band with a guy who played the snare drum, but he left,” singer and guitarist Pete Bernhard tells EW. “We didn’t think we could replace him, so we never did.”

This sort of thinking has also influenced their sound, as they have used their music — particularly their live shows — as a means of bringing the folk tradition back to its roots. “It used to be that it was like dance and party music,” Bernhard says. “Somewhere along the way it got changed into a listening room type of thing, but we wanted to make it more fun.”

It is hard not to start dancing when you hear the groovy Dixieland jazz number “All Hail” or the catchy “Do Wrong Right,” which would fit perfectly at a barn party. And that is the point: They want people young and old to have fun at their shows wherever they are, and dancing often ensures this is happening.

“I’m always thinking about dancing,” Bernhard says. “We wanted to have an acoustic band that was really fun to see live and that people could dance to, with the goal being to play all-ages venues.” 

And The Devil is always trying to think outside the box with regards to new ways of making their music fun for everyone. Could the next record have some surprises in store for fans?

“We’ve always talked about having someone play percussion, adding a fiddle, trying something we haven’t tried before,” Bernhard says. “We’re experimenting every time we make a record.” If experimentation leads to dancing then The Devil Makes Three is doing something right.

The Devil Makes Three play 7 pm Sunday, Nov. 11, McDonald Theatre; $20.