Pay The Devil works at its own pace. As it turns out, that pace comes out to one album about every four years. Yes, the veteran Milwaukee folk/Americana amalgam released its first album, Wrong Side Of The River, in early 2015 following years of planning and preparation. Around that same time of year in 2019, Pay The Devil chased that great debut with the equally impressive sophomore record To Hell With Luck. A lot has changed in the world since 2019, but we’re pleased to report Pay The Devil is keeping its four-year album cycle streak alive with a new album that’s due out this Friday.

That third album, entitled Turn To Gold, represents and celebrates Pay The Devil’s decade spent together. Though there are new elements at play this time around (including bassist Jackie Lalley singing lead on some songs for the first time), the record treads familiar and altogether enjoyable territory with the expertise of a band that has been playing together for more than 10 years.

Over the course of the 13-track release, Pay The Devil adds new entries to the canon of traditional bluegrass- and folk-leaning tunes. Standout songs like “Young Forever” and “Built To Last” have the musical bones and influence of material written centuries earlier, but have unique accents that are deserving of placement on 2023 playlists. Meanwhile, “Rose Would” and “Jon Burke’s Texas Blues” are jangly and energetic offerings that break new sonic ground for the band. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Pay The Devil album without at least a few songs with nautical references in them—most notably the pounding and anthemic album-ending “Dreadnought.”

As a whole, Turn To Gold showcases a tight-knit and timeless band’s ability to work together to skillfully meld old and new sounds, while also trusting one another to apply their own lyrics, voices, and musical touches along the way. Before Pay The Devil releases the album Friday, April 14 and plays at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn that same night, you can listen to Turn To Gold in its entirety below. And check back here in the spring of 2027 for the next Pay The Devil album stream!

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.