The Mayflies

The Mayflies are a party—a delightful mess, a crazed amalgam. Electric and acoustic, fast and slow, a bewildering explosion of hectic elation and angry loss. They’re the rock end of roots and the country end of rock, and as such, they’re hard to describe, but impossible to forget.

The Mayflies are a band you walk away from after a single hearing, humming the chorus and wondering, “I could swear I’ve heard that somewhere before…”

What ties it all together, what unifies their songs and their sounds—is a quality of movement. Movement in Stacy Webster’s frenzied sweat-flinging guitar that owes as much allegiance to Django Reinhardt and Willie Nelson as it does to Jerry Garcia. Movement in the rock/classical/celtic fiddling of Natalie Brown. Movement in the melodic, quick, clean jazz-grass mandolin picking of Benj Upchurch.

Although their music is unquestionably Americana—a distinctly Midwestern mix of blues and country guitar, folk and rock lyrics, fiddle and mandolin—The Mayflies are also a firm bridge to that rabid universe of live music, that head-bobbing, crowd-shouting, young and wild world of jam and jazz.

They Mayflies allow themselves to improvise, but as fiercely talented, serious musicians, they never lose the song in that experience. With the nuanced, livid, jazz drumming of James Robinson, and the undeniable backbone that is Dave Lumberg on bass, The Mayflies translate as few jam bands can, from the live stage to a tight recording. They don’t noodle or wander too far. They come back, always, to their lyrics, their melodies, their roots. Artful and purposeful, devoted to storytelling and tradition, with a clear sense of pathos and place, The Mayflies take jam rock to the edge of energy. Then they pull back a little, to leave a listener wanting