September 4 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm| $15 – $18
Charleston Pour House 20th Anniversary Celebration
Sunday, September 4th, 2022
6pm Doors/7pm Show
Charleston Pour House Deck Stage
Tickets – $15 Advance/$18 Day of Show
On Kindred Sun, the antepenultimate track off of Dangermuffin’s critically acclaimed 2017 album, Heritage, Dan Lotti sings: The path ahead unfolds. The map lays out in front of you. Push pins into the souls of the lands that inspire you. Part exhortation, part personal mantra, the words reflect the band’s own musical course, always heading somewhere but following their hearts and trusting the universe’s energies to guide them.
In 2007, those energies first aligned to connect Lotti and Mike Sivilli and form the genesis of the band now known as Dangermuffin. Lotti, already an award-winning songwriter, and Sivilli, a prodigious and fast-rising guitarist on the Charleston, South Carolina music scene, quickly spotted a unique musical synergy. To Lotti’s profound lyricism and moving vocal delivery, Sivilli added an equally expressive six-string “voice,” creating distinct sonic textures and phrasing that both punctuated and enriched Lotti’s lush and oftentimes reflective musical storylines. Indeed, the roots of the Dangermuffin sound had started to take form, and the two artists would collaborate that year (with Jim Donnelly on drums) to record the band’s inaugural and widely acclaimed album, Beermuda.
Less than a year later, in 2008, the universe would again intervene, introducing Steven Sandifer to the band. Sandifer, a highly sought-after drummer and percussionist on the Charleston music scene, had caught the ears and interest of Lotti and Sivilli, and the three began to play out locally, discovering a powerful musical symmetry and an equally strong personal connection. If 2007 planted the roots of a Dangermuffin sound, 2008 would see those roots firmly take hold, establishing the foundation for the band’s early studio recordings and exhilarating live performances.
“This band, pure in its intent and endlessly melodic in results, will reward you repeatedly for sharing with them their passionate quest to discover and augment heritage.”
– No Depression
Whether in the studio or on stage, Dangermuffin’s sound has always been conspicuously greater than the sum of its parts, and to witness the band live is to question everything you know about the dynamics of sound. While your eyes perceive a trio, your ears challenge that perception, registering a much broader, fuller, and complex soundstage. In part, this is due to Lotti’s clever technique of using the bass strings of his guitar to mimic the low end of an actual bass while concurrently playing rhythm, but it’s as much due to Sivilli’s fluent, poignant, often soaring riffs, and Sandifer’s creative, jazzy, and lively skins. Nowadays, the band alternates between trio and quartet, but this phenomenon was particularly evident in the early days, when the band played exclusively as a threesome.
Between 2008 and 2012 the band would split their time between the studio and the road, recording three more albums and aggressively touring the country in support of their music. Within that period, the trio would release both Moonscapes, the band’s most polished and carefully produced album to that date, and Olly Oxen Free, a breathtaking, multi-genre compilation and winner of the HGMN Album of the Year for 2012. Radio stations, music publications, and music junkies across the country were taking notice, and the band would begin playing major music festivals such as Wanee, AllGood, Wakarusa, and Gathering of the Vibes, and sharing bills with bands and artists such as Hot Tuna, Grace Potter, moe, Keller Williams, Leftover Salmon and many other prominent national acts.
Of course, as bands become more prominent so, too, does the tendency of the industry to try to classify and define them, and Dangermuffin is no exception. Tagged every style from jamband and southern rock to acoustic folk and bluegrass, the band has consistently shattered all categorizations and defied pigeonholing. While “Roots-Rock Americana” might be the most fitting and recurring label for the band, no designation perfectly characterizes Dangermuffin and its sound. As both Lotti and Sandifer assert: We’re the American Experience, which is a melange of styles, including roots, rock, bluegrass, reggae, island, and many other influences. We’re multi-genre.
While it may be futile to try to define Dangermuffin’s sound, it is possible to pinpoint the themes that inspire much of band’s music, and perhaps no theme is as prominent and consistent as nature, including the ocean, the sun, and the mountains…all ancient and powerful and capable of immeasurable and profound healing. These ideas, running like threads through almost every Dangermuffin album, together form the basis of some of the band’s most deeply held principles and teachings: respect the earth, stay open to the universe, and strive for healing. Not coincidentally, according to Lotti, if Dangermuffin’s music could accomplish just one thing, it would be to heal.
Since 2017 and the release of Heritage, the band has undergone perhaps its greatest evolution, both in format and sound. Most notably, it started touring with a new drummer (Adam Williams), freeing up Sandifer to play the upright bass, congas, and other percussive world instruments. Having the flexibility to play as either a trio or quartet has allowed the group to shift between intimate, acoustic experiences and rockin’ electric journeys, liberating setlists and empowering the band to play a greater variety of tunes live. For the band and fans alike, this has led to some of Dangermuffin’s most inspired, exciting, and surprising performances of its career, and has planted the seed of an epic live album release in 2019—the universe and its energies permitting!