Brushfire Stankgrass

Brushfire Stankgrass


Mixing Moog effects with bluegrass backbeats, the sound of Brushfire Stankgrass is instantly unique.


Mixing Moog effects with bluegrass backbeats, the sound of Brushfire Stankgrass is instantly unique. The Asheville group was recently voted into The Mountain Xpress’ best of WNC for the second year running, tying with The Steep Canyon Rangers & Steve Martin in the bluegrass/oldtime category. While the music is certainly not straight bluegrass, the sound is undeniably derived from mountain musical traditions. The past few years have been exciting for Brushfire with shows at Downtown After 5, the Music City Brewer’s Festival, Brewgrass, The Mountain Sports Festival, The Orange Peel, French Broad River Festival, headlining spots at the Asheville Winter Warmer Beerfest and the Asheville Downtown 4th of July celebration to name a few. Their eclectically entertaining live performances have earned the band a loyal following.

This “Stankgrass” sound has landed the group three sessions in western North Carolina’s famed WNCW Studio B over the past two years and regular airplay on independent stations nationwide. Their live concerts, recorded in stunning multi-track clarity, are downloaded from at a rate of over two hundred downloads per week to listeners all over the world. Their new album, “One for the Salamanders,” is due for release Spring 2010.

The remarkable chemistry and live experimentation in the music of Brushfire Stankgrass begins with its founding members, Ben & Will Saylor. The brothers began playing music in the Suzuki method at the age of three and picked up the banjo and guitar at 10 & 12, respectively. They still maintain their bluegrass chops today, but have added some Moog analog effects and “trance-mountain dub” rhythms to create a style which has moved beyond the traditional into truly uncharted territory; they call it Stankgrass.

Along the way the brothers Saylor have found two outstanding musicians to round out the group. Bassist Bryan White hails from the land of Merlefest (Wilkesboro, NC), and is a veteran composer and performer on upright and electric basses. Drumming virtuoso Micah Thomas slides into the newgrass-style seamlessly, having absorbed the traditional music of his native West Virginia. Both Bryan and Micah are accomplished musicians in their own right, and they maintain a busy schedule playing music full-time with multiple groups.

For more information on Bryan please visit:

“My engine runs on techno music. Imagination is how I steer”
-Banjo in my Spaceship


Higher Bliss

Written By: Ben Saylor

Here my day was wasted
Lookin around many places
I searched
To the bottom of the earth bezurk

Looked down in the basement
and behind my washing machine
was a vault
towards higher bliss

I got a foot in
But ma called down and wanted to know if tonight I'd be having dessert

Down the block or two
Willie Nichols on his wagon did 360's in the culdesac
when a mime came up to him
and offered his work

he put his foot down but he didn't get up
he didn't get out
he just yelled giddy-up
and he disappeared off to his hidout in the woods

in position down upon-the-Tyne
Shearer has scored again
And an army of toons
erupts in strips

Its on to Southwold
But they're noncharismatic
'cause in this league
reputation's made of plastic
mercy the mercator was right again!

Down the vault towards Higher Bliss



Live - 2007

Set List

Brushfire Stankgrass shows consist of lots of heady original material with a few crowd pleasing covers thrown in. When it comes to covers, bands like Talking Heads and Radiohead are not out of the question. We strive to play more unusual cover songs that other bands won't attempt to tackle, but have many crowd pleasing fav's in our repertoire as well.
Sample Set List:

Sugar Glider
Howard Hughes' Blues (Hartford)
Higher Bliss
Architect of Energy
Big Sciota (Trad.)
The Spill
Long Gone
Wierd Fishes (Radiohead)
Futbol Reggae
Me, John Lennon, and the Escalator
Funk Epidemic Banjo in My Spaceship
Black Walnut Boogie
In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (Allman Bros.)