Amigo the Devil
August 26th 2021 at Teragram Ballroom L.A.
Written by Paulah May - Photography by Cindy Miley
Amigo the Devil. It was the name that first drew me in. My husband said “who the..? Should we check this out?” After a brief search online I told him “buy tickets. And get extras “. We weren’t disappointed. Amigo the Devil is aptly named... your friend the Devil, indeed!
That first taste of Amigo was several years ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic which, for me, played out with a loop of his earlier work playing repeatedly in my mind- prominently featured was
“One Kind of People” -which happily reminds us in singsong fashion: “there is one kind of people in this world, people who die.” Trust me, while it sounds bleak, there is real comfort in there.
But let’s talk about NOW. Danny Kiranos, the one man phenomenon that is Amigo the Devil, just keeps getting better and better. His voice is stronger and sweeter and more controlled than ever, he has opened up from a man smilingly hiding behind his banjo or guitar singing clever lyrics about serial killers at horror movie conventions, into a man openly and confidently inviting his ever increasing audience to make fun of him and ourselves and joyfully sing his dark lyrics back to him in a grisly yet mirthful celebration of life.
- One part bluegrass folk, one part Nick Cave meets Tom Waits, and the remainder... some hysterically talented rock musician/stand up comic we have only just met with dark, gruesome, and very human secrets left to unfold.
Anyone out there with a sick sense of humor and a love for slasher films needs to have Amigo the Devil in their lives.
While enjoying a smoke out front of the Teragram Ballroom last Thursday, a passerby asked “ what is Amigo the Devil” ... I attempted to explain, saying “ a very talented and clever guy singing and playing guitar and banjo ... about serial killers and ... hmm. Lets say... Goth for the non-goth?... um ...sort of like if Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm street were campfire singalongs?...” and as I began to follow a thought through to asking the passerby if he was a Leonard Cohen or Nick Cave fan ( thinking “Murder Ballads” lyrically- although altogether different musically speaking ..) the man standing and smoking next to me said, definitively, “Murder Folk”.
Yep. I didn’t even know that was a thing. But yes it is, and it’s a good descriptive of Amigo the Devil -if you add a wink and a smile from a friend.
His new album “ Born Against” takes his once formulaic but fun ‘tales of serial killers’ genre to a new, much more versatile, personal and somehow deeply touching place both musically and lyrically. This is no gimmick playing out over and over again. My favorite thing about this artist is that with every new iteration of Amigo, I can’t wait to see what Danny comes up with next.
A great show, a fantastic and refreshing album and an artist who just keeps growing; getting and giving better and better.
If you’re tired of the same old boring shoe-gaze and classic rock rip offs spewing from the industry production line, if you enjoy the sound of a refreshing, raw & honest voice, and secretly still like those old hot topic pants you never wear and watch a Troma film for laughs every once in a blue moon ... you MUST check out Amigo the Devil.
(New album “Born Against” and tickets for the tour happening NOW! Available at Amigo The Devil.com )