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Devil in a Woodpile Biography

Devil in a Woodpile Biography

Devil In A Woodpile has been playing acoustic blues and ragtime in Chicago for the last 10 years. Rick Sherry and Tom Ray started playing together in the early 90s as members of the Jake LaBotz trio. Rick Sherry had a history singing, and plays the harmonica, washboard, clarinet, and can blow the jug. Tom Ray started slappin' the bass on the streets of New Orleans with Augie's Big Mess Blues Band. When Jake skipped town and the duo had some gigs to fill, a new band was born. Rick and Tom called on Delta blues legend David "Honeyboy" Edwards to fill the guitar void. To give Honeyboy a rest in between sets, the Rick and Tom played as Devil in a Woodpile, working up a set of harp-and-bass country blues tunes, combined with banjo-uke and jug rags composed by Tom. After adding Paul K. on guitar, the new trio started looking for a venue.

Rick and Tom stumbled upon the Hideout, tucked away in an industrial neighborhood of Chicago. The club's new owners had just finished laying down the floor tiles and invited the two in for a cold one. One of the owners, Tim Tuten, expressed excitement upon seeing Rick's hat; it displayed an insignia for the band the Bottle Rockets. Tim loved the band and asked, “You guys dig the Bottle Rockets?” Rick pointed to Tom and replied, “ Don’t you know who this dude is?” Tom Ray had actually quit the band that very day, and in no time Tom and Rick had themselves a gig. The Hideout had yet to become the music venue it is today, but Tim hired them to play the next Tuesday night, unplugged, in the front room on the floor by the bar. After word got around about the band, the bar and Tuesday nights, Bloodshot Records' Rob Miller showed interest, signed them, and launched Devil in a Woodpile onto the alt-country highway. Their self-titled debut was released in 1998, followed by "Division Street" in 2000. Devil in a Woodpile has played extensively in the Chicago area and has toured with Son Volt. Most recently, in 2003, the band got a shot in the arm with the addition of finger-style guitar savant Joel Paterson. Devil in a Woodpile plays every Tuesday night at the Hideout, in Chicago. They prefer to play with no mics and no amps, makign the venue  into a modern-day barrelhouse. The bassist, Tom Ray is currently playing with Neko Case and is a regular member of the Blue Man Group band.

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