Well, speak of the Devil!
Texan troubadour Amigo The Devil will bring his unique brand of “murder folk” music to Greenpoint’s heavy metal bar St. Vitus Bar on Nov. 10.
At the show, the singer, banjoist, and guitar player will play tunes from his debut album “Everything is Fine,” an introspective collection of songs based on the tradition of murder ballads and outlaw songs of yore. But the Devil is in the details, and the songs have been adapted to reflect the modern ills of addiction and self-doubt, said the musician, who goes by Danny Kiranos while offstage.
“It’s diving into that old tradition of dark ballads, like old Marty Robbins songs, stories about outlaws. But the album is a more tailored emotional response to that tradition,” Kiranos said.
His music and lyrics are suffused with emotion, honesty, and gallows humor, following in the footsteps of Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, and Captain Beefheart, he said. On “Everything is Fine,” Kiranos takes a scathing look inward to sing about doubt and self-destructive behavior, including addiction to drugs and cult worship, with wryly titled songs such as “Cocaine and Abel” and “Hungover in Jonestown.”
The latter song references the mass suicide of cult followers in 1978 and the danger of submitting oneself completely to a manipulative leader, according to Kiranos.
“People lose themselves to what they believe is a higher being, it holds a grip on them and won’t let them go. It takes a hold of you and convinces you that you are less than you are,” he said.
The album boasts a production style both raw and grand, thanks in part to the support of drummer Brad Will, of Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave fame.
But on the road, Kiranos’s shows are stripped back, with just him on stage with his banjo and steel string guitar. His performances are intimate, which encourages the audience to get involved, he said.
“The crowd usually sings along, sometimes louder than I can hear myself,” he said.
He looks forward to bringing his dark stories to St. Vitus, since metal fans who throw up devil horns were among his first supporters.
“Most of my early beginnings were in metal and fortunately I was received kindly into the metal community. It’s a comfortable zone for me to be in,” he said.
“Amigo The Devil” at St. Vitus Bar [1120 Manhattan Ave., between Box and Clay streets in Greenpoint. www.saint