Catching up with Dangermuffin
at Pisgah Brewery, Asheville, NC
written by Tyler Davis
Don’t skim over this band’s peculiar name and say, “eh another group of starving artists trying to produce what they call music.” Dangermuffin are anything but that.
Hailing from Folly Beach, South Carolina, this jam/Americana trio has made a name for themselves recently, spending long months on the road and writing and recording four albums in their short career. Dangermuffin is Mike Sivilli- lead guitar/vocals, Dan Lotti- guitar/vocals and rock solid percussionist Stephen Sandifer. Sivilli and Lotti first played some small joints together around the Charleston, SC area before meeting Sandifer and deciding to make something out of it.
The band’s first album, 2007’s Beermuda brings artist and listeners together in a grin-inducing, lazy day happiness- roots rock vibe. “These guys must be from the beach,” you think to yourself. The band refuses to remain under any one stereotype and covers tunes like Pink Floyd’s “Breathe” and some Grateful Dead covers here and there.
Having first seen the band several years ago in Oxford, MS, I was excited about the bands return to the Asheville area. Friday night they played at Pisgah Brewery in Black Mountain. In addition to playing “Breathe” during the intimate set, the standout cover of the evening was David Essex’s “Rock On.” The original tune was a creeping sing-a-long from the early 70’s that begged to be covered by a reggae band. Dangermuffin delivered on that front, cranking out a Sivilli lead, riff-heavy 4 minute version of the song.
The show at Pisgah Brewery was held inside, pending the return of the polar vortex, so the band warmed the crowd right up with two lengthy sets. Talking to Lotti, he told me a bit about their time on the road, the struggle of trying to eat right while on tour, the band’s ‘residency’ at the Charleston Pour House and also, plans for a new album release. Lotti and his wife, who was in tow for the Pisgah show said “it’s always a little bit of a challenge to find something vegan for us to eat before or after a show.” They still make out pretty well and enjoy coming through Asheville- as it has more vegetarian options than most cities. These guys are absolute road warriors, traveling circles across the states in support of their most recent album, Olly Oxen Free, just as they’ve done for the previous 3 albums.
Dangermuffin brings together several styles of music and fleshes them out to create a unique sound. “Frequently we play in Charleston as Acousticmuffin, with Stephen on upright bass and Mike and I both playing acoustic,” said Lotti. They enjoy the versatility of having various elements of acoustic and electric. It allows them to bring the energy in different ways on any given night.
Lotti went on to tell me about playing a festival in the next few weeks. The Best Festival is in Costa Ballena, Costa Rica and is slated for February 7th – 9th. “Yea we’re super excited about traveling to Costa Rica in a few weeks.” Dangermuffin will share the stage over the weekend with acts like Conspirator, The Werks and The Nth Power. “We’re stoked about getting to share our music with some folks that might be there to see other bands,” said Lotti.
Dangermuffin is all about getting their music out there, as a matter of fact, they recently launched a new website; dangermuffinmusic.com where fans can download (for free) or stream all the albums in their entirety. It may be unconventional, but I think its speaks to the spirit of the band and the motif that; ‘we’re not just worried about your nickels and dimes, just come out and see us, enjoy the music and most of all, enjoy yourself.’ It is this free spirited, fun-loving bohemian reputation that precedes this band and draws people to them.
Dangermuffin will have a new album for us this year. They’ve already laid down the 19 tracks and are now in the mixing and production phase. “I’d look for it to come out in late spring or even summer,” Lotti told me. These guys continue to grow as a band and bring their unique sound to intimate venues across the nation. I’ll definitely be looking out for the next ‘muffin show, as well as the new album. Keep rocking guys, it sounds great from my barstool.