by Noor Al-Sibai – [email protected] – Staff Writer
Some bands, like the folksy Iron and Wine or punk favorite Against Me!, evoke their sound with their choice of band name. Others, such as Charleston-based Dangermuffin, leave those who have not heard their music guessing.
A mix of Americana, bluegrass, jam and funk, Dangermuffin’s star rose throughout the last year — a culmination of nearly nonstop touring for two and a half years, a growing fan base and their fourth studio album, Olly Oxen Free, released this year.
The trio hails from Folly Beach, S.C., and consists of members Mike Sivilli, Dan Lotti and Charleston-native Steven Sandifer.
The band was founded in 2007 by Sibilli and Lotti, and nothing has changed since drummer and lyricist Sandifier joined in 2008.
No stranger to the Asheville scene, Dangermuffin played local venues such as the Grey Eagle, the Emerald Lounge and at the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam. Lotti said Asheville’s scene is much more home grown and laid back than other Southern music centers like Athens, Ga.
“Asheville has the best music scene in the Southeast,” said Lotti, 34.
Dangermuffin played for a packed audience at Jack of the Wood last Friday with local favorite Kalob Griffin Band. The band played some of their biggest hits like “Slumber” and “Moonscapes” from their eponymous 2010 release to a dancing crowd.
“I could definitely see them playing LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival) or Bele Chere,” said senior music technology student Eric Guyton, who described their sound as “very Asheville.”
Sandifer, Lotti and Sivilli said they enjoy coming to Asheville for its positive energy and enthusiastic crowds, citing their experiences playing in town as reasons for wanting to come back again and again.
“We love coming to Asheville,” Sandifer said. “It’s a good community, with lots of great artists and culture.”
Their sound shifts as their five-year run continues, ranging from beachy, Slightly Stoopid-esque strings on their 2007 release Beermuda, to funky and jammy on 2010’s Moonscapes, and rootsy bluegrass on this year’s Olly Oxen Free.
“Bluegrass seems to be a really hot trend right now,” said Guyton, who plays trumpet with the local funk/soul band Spicy Moustache and the Flavor Saviors.
Whatever sound their records and live shows embody, Dangermuffin continues to draw crowds throughout the Southeast, and will be playing two upcoming showsshows in Asheville — with Sol Driven Train at Asheville Music Hall Dec. 7 and Toubab Krewe at The Orange Peel on Jan. 18, 2013.