In Spite of the Devil

Spuyten Duyvil names the creek that separates northern Manhattan from the Bronx. It is bastardized Dutch and might mean ‘spitting devil’ or spinning devil’ in reference to the cross currents that boil the water at this juncture of the East and Hudson Rivers. Spuyten Duyvil headed into the studio this summer (2010) to begin work on a full length CD with a working title of New Amsterdam that will feature a number of songs based upon this important but oft overlooked period of our history…

Mark Steven Miller – tenor guitar, bouzouki
Beth Kaufman-Miller – vocals
Tom Socol – guitar, dobro
Sarah Banks – fiddle and vocals
Jim Meigs – harmonica
Lou Geser – drums
John Neidhart – bass

The following three tracks are from their debut EP, In Spite Of The Devil, released in 2009.


Being Celeste

Our fiddle player Sarah Banks traveled through Russia by car with anther woman that she thought she knew relatively well. They were in the car and in close quarters for many days, talking about themselves and their lives. Then Sarah found a post card with a rather revealing picture of her friend offering ‘services’ under the name Celeste.. This got me thinking about ‘the profession’ and how a person might just back their way into it without really intending to…

Rain and Snow

A traditional and a really easy song to play with a group of people who don’t know each other that well. When we were just starting out and looking for band mates, this was a steady choice to get a session rolling. Unlike other songs in the genre, the woman does not die, her bones are not made into any instruments, and all of the instruments involved can play songs other than Rain and Snow…

I Know You’ll Leave Me

Before there was Spuyten Duyvil, there was Beth and I. We have known each other since college (Wesleyan University in CT). While I have what you might generously refer to as a ‘character voice’, Beth, now my wife, can really sing. When I started writing these songs, I was not having a lot of luck getting Beth to sing them… They were ‘my’ songs… So I decided to try and write something from her point of view as an inducement. I looked around for something easy and non-controversial as a starting point in adopting ‘her’ voice…. and started writing about what she must have thought of me when we first met over 25 years ago. Hence the opening line “I don’t trust you, but I could love you…”

Ted Barron