Entertainment

Dangermuffin evolved as a studio act. But they’re really at home live on stage.

Dangermuffin will co-headline with Urban Soil Friday at the Pour House Music Hall in Raleigh.
Dangermuffin will co-headline with Urban Soil Friday at the Pour House Music Hall in Raleigh.

After recording six studio albums over the last decade, the members of Dangermuffin aren’t sure what’s next.

“We’ve been in such a constant state of motion that it’s tough to come up with what’s on tap,” vocalist-guitarist Dan Lotti says while calling from his Asheville home. “Maybe we’ll do a live album, since maybe it’s time to capture what our live show is like.”

Not a bad idea considering that Dangermuffin, who will perform Feb. 9, at the Pour House Music Hall, typically engages the audience. Lotti loves to banter with fans.

“There’s nothing like performing live,” Lotti says. “That’s how we all feel, and when you look at it from that perspective, it makes sense to make a live album. We’ve toured heavily since the early days, and that’s what you have to do to become a solid band. We would love to present an album that has that live vibe.”

Dangermuffin evolved as a studio act, with its latest album, “Heritage,” released in May 2017. The group, which fuses folk, Americana and traces of reggae, is adept at crafting mellow and melodic tunes.

“We write and record the kind of music we want to make,” Lotti says. “We’re not following trends. We’re true to ourselves. We don’t want to repeat ourselves. We’ll make whatever changes necessary to make our band better.”

But Dangermuffin loves to jam out on stage and take songs to an unpredictable place.

“That’s something that we enjoy doing,” Lotti says. “We’re constantly evolving as a band by playing out.”

Dangermuffin has added drummer Markus Helander, which allowed former percussionist Steven Sandifer to play upright bass. That has altered the entire band dynamic. Lotti is comfortable with the changes.

“It’s been amazing. Markus is this great drummer who comes from Philadelphia. He is on our wavelength,” he said. “Now that we have him, we have stand-up bass, and we’ve expanded our sonic soundscape. I’m having fun with it and so is (guitarist) Mike (Sivilli). With this lineup, there is a lot of space in our music. The sounds we make aren’t all jammed together. We’ve never been so locked in like we are now.”

Much of that is due to the arrival of Helander. “Markus has changed things in the band,” Lotti says. “He’s Finnish, and I have Finnish roots and this album is about finding your roots. This album is about making connections.”

One of those connections for Lotti is North Carolina. He and his family left South Carolina for Asheville, a move he calls “beneficial personally and musically.”

“We love the tradition of the mountains and just Western North Carolina in general,” he said. “There is something about the lifestyle in Asheville. It’s conducive for creativity. I love the folk traditions that are here. It’s helped expand our sonic palette. There is an energy here that we tap into. But it’s not just Asheville that inspires us. It’s the entire state of North Carolina, from the mountains to the coast that has had an impact on me as a songwriter.”

Water or the ocean – on the other side of the state, of course – are recurring themes on “Heritage.”

“The ocean has always impacted me deeply,” Lotti says. “There’s something about that flow. It’s natural as is anything with the ocean or the sun.”

Dangermuffin is ready to take the next step, and it may be a live album.

“I think that would be pretty cool,” Lotti said. “In so many ways I think that we’re at our best – live. We’ll see what happens. Before we get down to making a live album, we’re going to be focusing on some lives shows, like the one in Raleigh. It’s always fun there since we’ve always had such great support in that area.”

Details

Who: Dangermuffin and Urban Soil

When: 9 p.m. Feb. 9

Where: Pour House Music Hall, 224 S. Blount St., Raleigh

Tickets: $10 in advance and $13 day of show

Info: 919-821-1120 or thepourhousemusichall.com

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