Brushfire Stankgrass tour supporting new release, Microclimates

Article Contributed by Powderfinger P… | Published on Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mixing analog electronics with bluegrass backbeats, the music of Brushfire Stankgrass has significant crossover appeal. Their latest release, "Microclimates," is sure to please bluegrass/newgrass buffs and electronic music fans alike. Brushfire Stankgrass was founded in 2006 by Ben and Will Saylor (banjo and guitar), brothers who have been playing music together since the age of three. In conjunction with a rhythm section comprised of Micah Thomas on drums and Daniel Iannucci on bass, the #1 bluegrass band in Asheville (Reverbnation) have successfully and organically blended the feel of down home bluegrass music with elements of funk, jazz, and disco, crediting a wide variety of influences including Dr Dre, Phish, Grateful Dead, and Weather Report.

Their sophomore album, Microclimates, was greatly inspired by its namesake, a phenomenon that the Southern Appalachian mountains are famous for: “little worlds inside worlds that are created by unique, extremely local conditions.” Both the title track and the album as a whole are a musical portrayal representing a wide diversity of microclimates, with a similarly amazing sonic array. This carefully crafted studio release makes use of many layers of sound, including strings, horns, and even some field-recorded nature sounds like crickets, cicadas, and thunderstorms from Southern Appalachia. There's even somewhat of an environmental call to action theme throughout the lyrics: “I don't want to have my bones lying in the sand of some alien looking landscape, it's worth it for our sake to change.”

With such a strong bluegrass feel, Brushfire Stankgrass is often likened to artists such as Railroad Earth, Trampled by Turtles, or Greensky Bluegrass and their songwriting specifically is often compared to John Hartford. However, their sound is very distinguished and authentic. The use of analog electronic processors for banjo and guitar, and electronic effects never before used on a banjo, help to create their very distinct sound. Microclimates was self-produced, and features several locally well-known musicians, including an appearance by Phillip Barker of Town Mountain.

Brushfire Stankgrass releases Microclimates
Saturday, March 22nd - 9PM
The Laughing Goat Artisan Coffeehouse, Bar & venue
1709 Pearl St
Boulder, CO, 80302

You can learn more about Brushfire Stankgrass at