Devil in a Woodpile is a band from Chicago, Illinois. Although they routinely give a fresh sound to 80-year old songs, their repertoire and instrumentation categorizes them as a country blues or jug band.
Rick Sherry and Tom V. Ray first began playing together in the early 1990s as part of the Jake LaBotz Trio. After this unit broke up, the group began backing David Honeyboy Edwards, and performed as Devil in a Woodpile in between sets. The band first won acclaim locally in Chicago by playing frequent gigs at The Hideout. Signing with local folk/country label Bloodshot Records, the group released its first album in 1998 and a second in 2000. Soon after this they toured with Son Volt in the USA. Adding Madison, Wisconsin native Joel Paterson to the lineup in 2003, the group released its third record for Bloodshot in 2005. Gary Schepers (tuba) or Beau Sample (bass) often play with the band when Tom Ray is not available.
In the summer of 2007, the group opened for the folk legend Ramblin' Jack Elliott in Cleveland.
After more than ten years playing their weekly Tuesday slot at the Hideout, the group disbanded in 2009. Their official website was offline as of May, 2011. A year later, Rick Sherry joined with guitarist Eric Noden and bassist Beau Sample to form a new group, the Sanctified Grumblers. This group plays in the same style, and eventually took over the old Hideout residency.
For the most part, Devil in a Woodpile perform cover tunes, playing and recording their own interpretation of an eclectic range of old songs. Their repertoire stretches from blues, jazz and ragtime, to traditional folk songs and some country influences. Their own compositions follow the same pattern. While performing with blues legend, David Honeyboy Edwards has a more laid back sound. On their most recent album, In Your Lonesome Town, they cover a Charlie Patton song "Shake It and Break It" as well as Led Zeppelin's "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp."
- Current members
- Rick "Cookin" Sherry - vocals, harmonica, clarinet, washboard, other percussion
- Tom V. Ray - upright bass
- Joel Paterson - guitar, vocals (Joel also plays with The Western Elstons and under his own name with the Joel Paterson Trio)
- Former members
- Paul K. - steel guitar
- Devil in a Woodpile (Bloodshot, 1998)
- Division Street (Bloodshot, 2000)
- In Your Lonesome Town (Bloodshot, 2005)
- at Allmusic