Notwithstanding his Finnish/Italian roots, acoustic guitarist Dan Lotti of Dangermuffin believes heritage is much more than simply where you came from. It’s also where you are going.
May 27| 7 p.m. | Free
Brewery Arts Center | Carson City, Nev.
“There are different levels to it,” he says. “It’s more of a collective sort of energy thing. We all come from a place that’s very old on this planet. I think there’s a lot that happened here and maybe some of that was lost. My heritage would be somewhere in there. For me, it’s digging into some of these possibilities and seeing the truth of it. I have questions I don’t I know if we can answer right now, but I know it’s really all intertwined.”
Dangermuffin’s sixth album “Heritage” is an acoustic affair recorded at the historic Unitarian Church in Charleston, S.C. On the a cappella intro you can hear the echo of voices bouncing off the church walls before slide guitars come in warm, pure and clean.
On the a cappella intro you can hear the echo of voices bouncing off the church walls before slide guitars come in warm, pure and clean.
“So that’s all natural reverb and that was kind of the goal for the record,” Lotti says. “They call Charleston the Holy City and this beautiful building is the second oldest church there. It’s located on the 33rd parallel, which is the same as Jerusalem and other sacred cities around the world, so they put a church there for a darn good reason. It’s very vibey and very haunted. Most of the vocals were tracked after midnight with the lights off, filling the place up with all sorts of spirits and energy. It was all there spinning around us and I think we captured a little bit of that on the record.”
After moving from Charleston to the Smoky Mountains of Asheville, N.C., three years ago, Lotti was inspired by the heritage of this sacred Native American area.
“The energy of the place is really phenomenal,” says Lotti. “I’ve had more song ideas in this area than I ever have. It’s probably a lot like Tahoe in that there are little mountain towns just outside the main city. But it’s unique for the East Coast to able to be on a road along the French Broad River on a Friday afternoon with no one else around. That’s a wonderful thing. These mountains are [one] the oldest mountains in the world. There is so much truth in these older lineages and connections to the land, particularly in western North Carolina where the Cherokee lived.”
More recently for Valentine’s Day, Lotti and his wife traveled to Peru where they participated in a ceremony of the Cactus of San Pedro, the natural source of mescaline, with local shamanic guides.
“We sort of felt like we were kind of communicating with our surroundings,” Lotti says of the experience. “I got this vibe that we’re all just right there. Even though we can’t sense or perceive it, there is so much more happening around us that we really forget about. It’s a fresh perspective of looking at the things that have always been there. For me, it’s my personal journey of going through it and I think that in and of itself is changing the world. The power of consciousness of each person is an infinite well that we all have within us. It seems like that’s really the heritage of it all.”
After touring up and down the East Coast, Dangermuffin is looking forward to traveling cross country to grow their musical network of friends and family in California.
“We are excited to play out West,” say Lotti. “It’s been a really nice fit with the energy and vibe of the area. We got a real solid hang with Dead Winter Carpenters in Idaho a couple years ago and we loved it. What a great band and great people.”
For Lotti, following his path as an artist out on the road continues to reveal the ever-unfolding exploration of his own heritage, wherever that may lead.
“For a lot of people we’ve met on the road, they are familiar faces even though we’ve never met them before,” he says. “What my past is with the music and how it connects to the deeper aspects of who I am and what a true sense of community and family is, it’s always unfolding from the road and the path we are on. As we continue to meet people, we learn more about possibilities of what may have happened in the past and transform that into a medium for people to turn into — whatever they want. They can feel the vibe or energy of the music and if they want to dig deeper there’s more there. And if they dig a lot deeper there might be even more they discover about ancestral trauma and how to heal.”
For more information on the show, visit breweryarts.org.