The Fairfield Theater Company (FTC) will always be a special place for Dangermuffin. That’s where the band chose to record its most recent CD, “Live from Stage One,” when it performed there last April, and it returns to FTC as an acoustic quartet on May 4. Lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist Dan Lotti talked with Mike Horyczun about the group’s sound and its South Carolina roots. Lotti was speaking by phone from Los Angeles, where the Dangermuffin acoustic tour, with the current lineup of Mike Sivilli on lead guitar, Andrew Hendryx, from Yarn, on mandolin, and Johnny Calamari on upright bass, wrapped up a run of shows supporting The Yonder Mountain String before heading to the East Coast.
Mike Horyczun: How would you describe your music?
Dan Lotti: We are eclectic in our approach. I would describe it as roots rock with bluegrass, reggae, and an island groove, that sort of vibe. It’s really song-driven, and we’re confident that as we continue to grow our brand and who we are, that people will see it for the music that it is. So we’ll just continue to go down the road and do it one show at a time, and one album at a time.
MH: Why did you choose to do the live recording at FTC last year?
DL: We wanted to get a solid recording in a place where we feel like we’ve carved out this niche, there in Connecticut. We were really proud of and really happy to be so accepted by that community, so we wanted to feature it. We also got this live, one-night-only documentary film for that evening that we were able to submit to film festivals, and we’re getting all these accolades from it, too.
MH: Can you talk a bit about the roots of the band?
DL: Originally I’m from Maryland, and I went to college in Charleston, S.C., and that’s really where I got my bearings and my legs under me for playing some music. I started playing the bars in the area about five or six nights a week with the guitar player in Dangermuffin, Mike Sivilli. And we started making our money like that, just little $100 gigs, really enjoying ourselves and enjoying our time playing music, and that’s kind of how it started. That was 14 years ago. We found that it was a nice contrast, my approach being more acoustic and singing and his approach being more soundscape and being a force with playing lead guitar.