Up Pops the Devil
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Up Pops the Devil

Band Rock Americana


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Like Balboa Rockin' Drago"

Like Balboa Rockin' Drago
Harrisburg's Suba recently played host to alt-country locals, Up Pops the Devil, who normally have the amps turned up to 11 (see: "Spinal Tap"), the band turned down to about 5 for this intimate, stripped-down performance, and the result was fantastic.

The room, about 20 feet by 30 feet, was overflowing with diners and fans alike. Nobody appeared to mind the sardine-like way in which the room was packed; the sounds coming from the mouths and amps of Up Pops the Devil actually seemed to sooth the tight quarters and all who filled it.

Singer and acoustic guitar player, Dan Ruscito, conjured the ghosts of Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello (both of whom are actually still living) as he picked, grinned and sang his way through the band's double-set performance.

Guitar wizard, Kevin Shoaff, supplied riffs, both haunting and rocking, which inevitably made the tunes so noteworthy. Somehow, amidst all of his shredding, he found time to share vocal duties, harmonizing with Ruscito on several songs.

And then there was the rhythm section, bassist Adam Bustin and drummer Dave Rife provided a well-structured, rock n' roll "skeleton" for Shoaff and Ruscito to layer with guitars and vocals.

Saying that these two make a tight rhythm section is kind of like saying that the Beatles were mildly successful. Bustin even broke out a stand-up bass, which was as pleasing aurally as it was visually.

After all was said and done, Up Pops the Devil rocked Suba like Balboa rocked Ivan Drago (see: "Rocky IV").

I have seen them on several occasions, but this might have been my favorite. If you have a fondness for Elvis Costello's "My Aim is True" record, and if you think Bob Dylan is a creative mastermind, Up Pops the Devil will be right up your alley; especially if your alley just happens to be near Highway 51.
Michael Landis, 30, from Mechanicsburg, is a part-time record store clerk, a math major at Dickinson College and a member of The Patriot-News Review Crew, regular citizens who serve as movie, music, theater, books, food, games and/or TV critics in the pages of the PN and here on-line. Interested? Call (255-8225) or write us (bfox@pnco.com).

Be sure to check out Mike's band Night Train to Terror.
http://www.myspace.com/nighttraintoterror - Harrisburg Patriot News


recording in progress, fall 2008 release



“All our songs revolve around the glory and defeat of relationships—mostly defeated relationships,” deadpans Dan Ruscito, singer/guitarist for Up Pops the Devil.

Dan Ruscito and guitarist Kevin Shoaff have played in bands together since high school—mostly with Ruscito holding down bass duties for Shoaff’s snaking leads. Up Pops the Devil is their first venture with both of them playing guitar.

Self-admitted cynics who hang out so much they could finish each other sentences, Ruscito and Shoaff wanted a band with a certain rock and roll aesthetic while still screaming bar band. “We have a lot of pop, rock and country influences, but we both wanted a rock band,” says Shoaff.

In 2006, when Ruscito and Shoaff started delving through old material and writing new pieces, a common theme kept occurring in their songs—temptation. It didn’t take Ruscito long to come up with the band name, “whenever I think of temptation, up pops the devil on my shoulder,” he says.

Up Pops the Devil recruited bassist Adam Bustin, who plays bass in bands ranging from bluegrass to reggae, and drummer Dave Rife, who has played with Ruscito in a roadhouse band for nearly seven years.

Now armed with a name, concept and rhythm section, Up Pops the Devil is trying to save the world two guitar players at a time. “We love the sound of the twin guitars, and Adam and Dave are so solid that we can have a lot of fun with it, says Ruscito. “The lyrics might sometimes be a little depressing, but we wrap it up in a rock-and-roll sheen.”