Devil Makes Three

By Andrea Ramey

Across The Street columnist

I am still recovering from a most phenomenal weekend of live music.

Friday night I spent at the Birdcage Saloon to see The Uncommon Good. And as usual, they just kicked some serious butt. They are so fun and versatile, making sure everyone lives on the dance floor, I make it a point to see them whenever they’re around.

Then I meandered next door to the Back Alley Wine Bar to see the CheekTones Trio (Don Cheek, Drew Hall, Cosimo Bohrman), and though the song I walked in on was “And It Feels Like Rain,” it actually felt like love and comfort to listen to them, as it always does.

From there I went over to Jersey Lilly’s to spend to spend some time with the ever-effervescent Llory McDonald & Combo Deluxe. And of course, they kept everyone’s feet grounded on the dance floor.

Last, but definitely not least, my all-time favorite blues band, Road One South, was entertaining at The Attic. The place was packed with people ready to enjoy some well-done blues, and I can assure you that nobody was disappointed.

Saturday night was spent at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center, where it was time for the annual Big Brothers/Big Sisters Gala with Funk Frequency presiding on stage.

The gala was disco-themed, and boy, did people get into the spirit. While Barry Barbe and Bobby Joe Kolar had a bartending battle going on as to who served up the yummiest drinks (Barry won!!!), there was a huge auction going on, and the ballroom looked like the 70s revisited. Amazing turnout for an important fundraiser … keep it up Prescottonians!

The very best experience, hands down, however, happened on Sunday afternoon at the Birdcage Saloon. Three of my very favorite musicians held court there as a brand-new band, Devil Makes Three. Listening to them, I realized that this band was absolutely destined to happen.

Comprising Nick Canuel (he of the velvety radio voice) on guitar and vocals, Darryl Icard on bass and vocals (he of Combo Deluxe renown, and quite possibly the single happiest bassist on the planet) and Gabe Rhodes (he who regularly splinters drumsticks when he rules the rhythm section for the Well Dressed Wolves) on drums and vocals, these guys ruled the Cage. Playing a variety of cover songs (and some originals written by Nick himself) in such a refreshing way that they all seemed like brand-new songs, they definitely put their own spin on the music they were sharing.

Individually, each of these musicians has years of experience and is well-established in the Quad-Cities. Putting them together in a band was utter magic.

Observing the audience’s rapt attention made it clear that everybody was as taken with the band as I was. They are absolutely amazing, and I hope that they will be playing somewhere soon, because I really want to see them again. Only one question remains … which of them is the devil that makes three???

Now on to this weekend’s shenanigans. Jersey Lilly’s (Fridays and Saturdays 8 to 12, and Sundays 4 to 7) features Funk Frequency on both nights and Little Larry Solo on Sunday. Matt’s Saloon (Fri & Sat 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.) hosts Hillbilly Deluxe on both nights. The Birdcage Saloon (Fri & Sat 7 to 11, and Sundays from 3 to 7) opens up the stage for the Well Dressed Wolves both nights, and Llory McDonald & Combo Deluxe on Sunday. The Windsock Lounge (Fri & Sat from 7 – 11, and Sun from 2 – 6) sets the stage for Llory McDonald & Combo Deluxe on both nights and Bid Daddy D & The Dynamites on Sunday. At the Back Alley Wine Bar (Fri & Sat 6:30 – 8:30, and Sun 3 – 6) you can catch Shaw Squared on Friday, the Ping Brothers on Saturday, and Sunday Funday with Doug Ping & The Back Alley Cats on Sunday, while at the Whiskey River Tavern (Fri & Sat 7 – 10, and Sunday 1 – 4) you can enjoy the Aragon Brothers on Friday, Hit Squad 17 on Saturday, and Bill Williams on Sunday. Finally, at The Raven Café (Fri & Sat 7 – 10) entertainment will be provided by GROOVETRAIN on Friday, and Shaw Squared Trio on Saturday.

No excuse to not go out to dance, there are plenty of things happening, covering everything from A to Z. I hope to see you all somewhere. Enjoy, shake your ass(et), and let me know if I’m doing something wrong, right, or the other.

Shoot me an email at

Ciao until next week!

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