Listen: Amigo the Devil Revisits “Cocaine and Able”

Bridge City Sessions offers sparse vision of dark folk soloist

Danny Kiranos aka Amigo the Devil
Danny Kiranos aka Amigo the Devil (photo by Justin Pape)

“Goddamn… I’m gonna die,” thought Danny Kiranos, staring up at what appeared to be a massive, abandoned warehouse. This is where he was scheduled to perform, all right, but from the outside it resembled a place you might awake in a bathtub full of ice with a kidney missing.

On that day in January, Kiranos, the heavily-tattooed Spicewood resident who’s found considerable national success performing as the dark-folk solo act Amigo the Devil, felt like hell. “Deep in the flu,” his voice was totally shot from a month of touring. He’d seen videos from the Portland-based live performance series Bridge City Sessions, but didn’t know what to expect of the forthcoming experience. Upon their arrival, he and wife/tour manager Alicia Simmons were instructed to enter through the alley.

“They led us into this building and it really did look like it was falling apart,” recalls Kiranos. “Then we were led through a door and it opened into a labyrinth with beautiful art all over these really long hallways and loading ramps. Finally, you get into this massive loft space. There’s the [Bridge City Sessions] studio, a screen-printing shop, and another complete recording studio.

“It was unreal. This huge, multi-purpose loft area was so goddamn cool.”

“It’s a more honest approach, playing stripped-down. And that’s been something that everyone’s constantly asked about: getting a record of the stripped-down version of the songs.”

Sucking up his illness, Amigo the Devil delivered an inspired performance that day, performing “Cocaine and Able,” “First Day of the End of my Life,” “I Hope Your Husband Dies,” and “One Kind of People” with the wild-eyed, every-word-matters delivery that hallmarks his live show. Video footage of the session arrived on the Bridge City Sessions YouTube Channel in February, but now the four intimate live tracks find a wider audience via new AtD release Bridge City Sessions, arriving Friday on Regime Music Group. The live EP follows up last year’s breakout full-length, Everything is Fine.

“Especially with a project like this one, there’s a difference between the record and the live show,” the Florida-born Kiranos explains of his sparse live arrangements. “On Amigo the Devil records, I play a lot of different instruments. We layer stuff and there’s other people playing. Because of that, a lot of people come to a show thinking they’re going to get this full band experience.

“Then it’s just a fat kid with a banjo up there alone.

“But it’s a more honest approach, playing stripped-down,” he continues. “And that’s been something that everyone’s constantly asked about: getting a record of the stripped-down version of the songs. So this was the first opportunity to do that appropriately, without it being forced.”

Throughout September and October, AtD opens for heavy-hitters Dropkick Murphys, Clutch, and Hatebreed. After that, the murder-folk soloist embarks on a headlining tour that runs for the remainder of the year.

Prior to the release of Bridge City Sessions, stream this stirring performance of “Cocaine and Able.”

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Amigo the Devil, Danny Kiranos, Alicia Simmons, Bridge City Sessions, Clutch, Dropkick Murphys, Hatebreed

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