In the early 1990s, Rick “Cookin’” Sherry (vocals, harmonica, clarinet, washboard) and Tom V. Ray (upright bass) began playing to- gether in the Jake LaBotz Trio. After this, they backed legendary Delta bluesman Honeyboy Edwards and played every Tuesday for ten years at The Hideout before disbanding in 2009.


Rick Sherry then joined with guitarist Eric Noden and bassist Beau Sample to form the Sanctified Grumblers, playing in essentially the same style, and eventually took over the old Hideout residency. Sherry then re-reformed Devil in a Woodpile with Joel Paterson on guitar, banjo and kazoo, and Beau Sample on upright bass and jug (the band has also occasionally included Gary Schepers on tuba). In 2015, the combined Devil in a Woodpile/ Sanctified Grumblers was inducted into the Jug Band Hall of Fame.

Front man Rick Sherry bellows the blues like a slightly deranged Maxwell Street pitch- man selling a miracle potion that’s good for the ears and lubricates the joints. Bassist Tom Ray, who concurrently plays in Neko Case’s band, is a veteran of the Bottle Rockets, Waco Broth-ers, Pine Valley Cosmonauts. And guitarist Joel Paterson plays in nearly every imaginable American style of music like he was born to it. In a nutshell, they play their own raucous approximations of all kinds of old-timey music primarily acoustic early blues, jazz, hokum, ragtime, folk, and country. Every performance is a no-holds-barred moonshiner’s party on the verge of out of control.

Their recordings include Devil in a Wood- pile (1998), Division Street (2000), then, with Joel Paterson, In Your Lonesome Town (2005), all on Bloodshot Records.

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