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Three Times Bad / Bio

CONTACT DIRECTLY: threetimesbad[at] gmail[dot]com // GO TO OUR WEB SITE TO STREAM OUR NEWEST RECORDINGS: http://threetimesbad.com THREE TIMES BAD is “a hot new string band” (Hood River News) that plays “bluevelvetgrass,” a super fun, ear-bending, genre-defying form of “dirty American roots music” (the Register-Guard). The Bay Area group’s debut studio recording, AMERICAN SOJOURN, was released in May 2014 with an epic multimedia (music/dance/film) event at Slim’s, one of San Francisco’s top venues. The CD was named “ALBUM OF THE WEEK” on Mike Morrison’s American Roots radio program. “It is a brilliantly conceived album,” says Morrison. “There is a mastery of their instruments and arrangements that enables them to roam at will through various old-time genres that contain not only a large slice of ‘hillbilly,’ but also folk, a little western swing, blues, jazz, all played in their own inimitably unique style.”

THREE TIMES BAD is nothing if not hard to pin down. Recognizing “a hint of ‘vaudeville’” in the group’s sound, Morrison says, “They are certainly not a bluegrass band,” while Music Junkie Press believes the combo is “breathing fresh new life into American bluegrass… with a variety of musical influences such as hillbilly swing, outlaw country, Gypsy jazz, honkytonk, folk songs, and much more… bring[ing] back that nostalgic feel for a time where music held a common thread that cemented friendships and bonds were forged.”

The Good Men Project simply states: “This is Americana music, the kind borne of community. It’s real…. Their lyrics also carry the kind of weight you’d expect of reflective singer/songwriter music, and while they’ve got sit-by-the-fire humor, songs like ‘No More, No Less’ come out, and the words make you realize that you need to go back and listen to everything a little more carefully.”

Many of the lyrics on AMERICAN SOJOURN come directly from band leader Reverend Sam Caine’s fiction, which trains its high beams on 21st century Americana, where sex, God and rock ‘n’ roll meet the social web. As James Greer (Guided by Voices) has said about the stories that spawned the band: “The aim is to unsettle your assumptions about class, about gender, about sex, about religion, about identity: in short, about yourself, and what it means to be human in an inhuman world.” THREE TIMES BAD carries on this artistic exploration with a Southern Gothic approach to songwriting and dynamic live performances in the family of the Devil Makes Three and early Old Crow Medicine Show — with a nod to Americana forefathers Uncle Dave Macon, Jimmie Rodgers, and Bill Monroe.

Led by unrepentant freak preacher Caine (on acoustic guitar, banjo, and lead vocals), the THREE TIMES BAD collective performs in various configurations and often welcomes guest players on the stage. The current core band members include virtuosic mandolinist Doubting Thomas, French Gypsy violinist St. Jean-Pierre, PacNW violaist St. Joanna, backup singer/dancer Empress Raheemah (who also busts out the uke and washboard), and a rotating cast of world-class bassists (incl. Curtis Aikens and Audra Nemir). In the great backcountry gospel tradition, everyone in the group stomps and shouts.

Performing throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and up and down the Pacific Coast, THREE TIMES BAD has appeared at a number of festivals, including multiple runs at Ink n Iron (with headliners Merle Haggard, Iggy Pop, and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings) and the Humboldt Hills Hoedown (with Pine Box Boys, the Brothers Comatose, Hillstomp, Dead Winter Carpenters, and Hot Buttered Rum). Bend Summer Fest 2014 (with Larry & His Flask) is another festival highlight. In the Bay Area, festival gigs include performances at San Francisco Free Folk Fest, Mission Creek Oakland Music & Arts Fest, Brews on the Bay, Beast Crawl, and a couple of stints at Hillbilly Robot, SF promoter Shelby Ash’s infamous “Urban Americana Music Event.”

Videos and short films are currently in production for many of the songs on AMERICAN SOJOURN. “No More No Less” was selected as “VIDEO OF THE DAY” at Oregon Music News, and “In Love with the Reverend’s Wife” premiered on DeliRadio. You can check out the YouTube playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVgexdnjmLP1-rKdB4XmjhU2u8W6lXxwo

General Info

Artist Name
Three Times Bad
Profile Page
Active Since
Bluegrass / Dirty American Roots / Oakland &

Contact Info

San Francisco, CA

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