Brushfire Stankgrass

Brushfire Stankgrass 2014

Review by David Bowling

Brushfire Stankgrass is one of those modern bands who stride the line between several styles of music. Whether you want to classify them as modern bluegrass of new grass or just an electric rock type band with country leanings, they manage to always make it interesting and enjoyable. They have now returned with their second album Microclimates.

Brothers Ben Saylor (banjo and vocals) and Will Saylor (guitarist, vocalist, violinist, and mandolin player) are joined by drummer Micah Thomas and bassist Bryan White. They have a modern sound that is built upon bluegrass vibrations, although on many songs, the electric instruments and particularly the lyrics take the music in other directions, which at  times makes for a somewhat disjointed affair.

They seem most at home with the straight-forward blue grass type tracks. “Moonlight At The Camp” and “Long Gone Yellow Birch” may not be of the Bill Monroe school of music but they draw on his influences as they bring bluegrass into the modern age. On the other hand the title track and “Lucid Dream” veer toward electronic rock.

Brushfire Stankgrass continues to be a work in progress as they hone their unique sound. Microclimates is another step in their development and well-worth a listen or two.

Rating: ***