Listening Party: Brushfire Stankgrass, Don Breed and DJ Steezy Wonder

We start this week’s Listening Party with local “electroacoustic bluegrass” outfit Brushfire Stankgrass. Actually, their music owes more to the likes of Leftover Salmon and Phish than to Bill Monroe or Earl Scruggs, but that’s not to say that they don’t have some honest mountain twang in their music. The group refers to their hybridized form as “stankgrass,” hence the name. We suggest starting with “Banjo In My Spaceship,” available on the group’s MySpace page.

Next, we have Hendersonville-based hip-hop and R&B trio Don Breed. While there are only two sample tracks posted on the group’s MySpace page, it’s worth noting that they’ve founded their own home studio to record them in. Don Breed’s MySpace bio makes for interesting reading, particularly when compared to the sparse content usually presented by local bands. We suggest starting with the song “Bad Dream.”

Closing out this week, we examine the work of Asheville and Boone-based DJ and turntablist DJ Steezy Wonder. Since this for DJing is it’s own art, analogous to creating a sonic collage out of existing sounds, it’s probably best to approach Steezy Wonder’s works with your ear tuned for how these snippets are stitched together to create something new, rather than focusing the merits of the samples themselves. Listen for a fresh narrative and new musical themes constructed from these snippets of other songs, and for unexpected and surprising combinations of elements. Recalling the works of DJ Spec and The Kleptones, there’s a bit of the mash-up mentality in her work, making for a deeper listening experience than you might expect. We suggest starting with “The beer’s gone bad.”

Now, it’s your turn. Tell us your thoughts on these performers by posting into the comment fields below. This is your chance to be the music reviewer, so praise and pan as you see fit.

Also, if you’d like to suggest a band for Listening Party, or have questions about the column, visit this thread on our Mountainx.com forums

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15 thoughts on “Listening Party: Brushfire Stankgrass, Don Breed and DJ Steezy Wonder

  1. Bonnie

    Brushfire Stankgrass is a very talented group of musicians with a fun sound that appeals to a wide variety of listeners. Keep up the good work guys!
    Bonnie

  2. djfootball

    I TAUGHT STEEZYWONDER EVERYTHING SHE KNOWS. YUP.. I DID.. . . UMM hmmm. . ..

  3. Mountainmama

    Brushfire Stankgrass is my favorite band! The Saylor brothers have created their own category of bluegrass that blends bluegrass with elements of jazz, rock, folk, and the blues.Their own compositions are very approachable, despite creative occasional use of complex meters and tonalities. At the end of the day, their tunes are upbeat & fun—Need a cure for the winter blues? Get Stanky!!

  4. will saylor

    OK, I’m not too sure what happened to that link. It definitely doesn’t take you to the right page. So just go to http://www.archive.org – scroll down and click on the link that says browse (by band) under the live music archive section. Then scroll down and find brushfire stankgrass. Click that link and you’ll have access to all the live shows we’ve uploaded. Enjoy!

  5. John

    I have heard Brushfire Stankgrass on a number of occasions in the Asheville area and have wondered why they don’t arrange a tour beyond their region. Great group…unique sound…talented musicians! They need to be heard!

  6. Man, I’m kind of shocked that there’s original hip-hop coming out of Hendo. Who knew? But…

    Listening to the Wu-Tang and Dre in Steezy Wonder’s mixes makes me think about how brittle the MIDI-based Don Breed tracks sound. Somebody get those guys a turntable and a sampler!

    I’m about halfway through the Banjo in my Spaceship song right now. And I don’t think I can make it all the way. Ick.

  7. I like the little poppy track “She’s Not the One” on Don Breed’s page….. The whole one-guy-drop-rhymes and another-guy-who-sings-hooks formula is cool for me…. Nice to see some hip-hop as a focus on the Listening Party.

  8. LaShea Davis

    Don Breed is just what the doctor ordered. I am so glad that you are on myspace now. Don Breed has definitely got what it takes to move forward in the music industry. They are not offensive and show what music is supposed to be.

  9. LaShea Davis

    Stankgrass was not at all what I expected. They were really pretty good. I would go see them. Wow.

  10. LaShea Davis

    Okay I will be checking yo guys out for all my listening needs; DJ Sleezy wonder was also a pleasant surprise. Her name made me pause but once I listen to her spin; everything was okay.

  11. nicole

    Come check out Brushfire Stankgrass on April 18 at the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition’s Into the Woods celebration. The band has generously donated their time and talents for a great cause! Thanks guys!

  12. IdyllicMema

    I usta babysit that lil Miss Steezy….she was such a musical child.

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