No two tunes alike

G enre is boring. Rock, punk, indie, hardcore: I’ve never been a big fan of labels, whether in films, books, music, or art. Artists should be inspired and daring, driven to go wherever their dangerous dreams take them without concern for their audience’s comfort or the demands of the marketplace. Labels and categories, in my […]

McGuff and the Dumpster Fires
ignite the stage at Peach’s


McGuff and the Dumpster Fires (L-R) Taylor McGuff, Emily McGuff, Keith Klein, and
Phil Doncaster (behind Klein). Photo: Jennifer Taylor Photography.

By Tim Walker

Genre is boring. Rock, punk, indie, hardcore: I’ve never been a big fan of labels, whether in films, books, music, or art. Artists should be inspired and daring, driven to go wherever their dangerous dreams take them without concern for their audience’s comfort or the demands of the marketplace. Labels and categories, in my opinion, only serve to restrain a person’s creativity, to muzzle the muse, and to try and fit artists and their art into nice, neat, safe little boxes. Guitarist Taylor McGuff, of local band McGuff and the Dumpster Fires, will have none of it, God bless him.

“We don’t really stick to a genre,” the main McGuff says recently, speaking by phone to the Dayton City Paper. “In our sets, we’ll jump between punk and blues and ska and rockabilly, and maybe even a few other things. Seventies and eighties rock is in there too, but our music is all originals—well, we do play the occasional cover, but it’s mostly originals. We just can’t write two songs in the same genre to save our lives.”

McGuff, along with his wife Emily, the band’s vocalist, and the rest of the Dumpster Fires, will be bringing their somewhat free-form approach to music and performing to the stage at Peach’s Grill on Friday, May 11. Peach’s Grill is located at 104 Xenia Avenue in Yellow Springs, and the show is schedule to start at 9 p.m. Kicking the show off that evening will be a set by Covington’s own Seth Canan and the Carriers, fresh from their appearance at this year’s SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas.

McGuff and the Dumpster Fires have played Peach’s before, and they went out of their way to make it a memorable appearance by borrowing some tactics from big-time wrestling. “The last time we played there,” continues McGuff, “It was a birthday show for a friend of ours with ThunderTaker, another local band. We’d do a set, then they’d do a set. And they had the idea, a few hours before we went on they called me and said, ‘Bring stuff to look like wrestlers.’ So we did, and then we traded insults all night long, sort of like Hulk Hogan, throughout the whole night. People in the audience were a little confused at first, but then they got on board with it and joined in. We had a blast, and the crowd did too. ThunderTaker is just a fantastic band to see. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, you really should.”

When asked about his own band, Taylor McGuff says, “We’re a four piece, and we’ve been around for about four or five years now. When we first started out, our lineup varied a bit, but it’s been pretty solid for the last three. I play guitar, my wife Emily is our vocalist, Phil Doncaster is on the drums—he’s also in a couple of other projects—and Keith Klein is on bass. Emily and I write most of the songs, but not all—for me, Joe Strummer and The Clash was a major influence, in a very big way—Joe is great. And, along with him, the folk writers of the sixties and seventies. Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen. That kind of sums it up for me.”

While Taylor McGuff originally hails from Tallahassee, Florida, wife and vocalist Emily McGuff is from Van Wert, Ohio, a little town about 90 miles north of Dayton. “Van Wert is a very small town a couple of hours from here,” continued the guitarist. “I was here for a couple of years before I met her.” Fans can currently check out the band’s albums on Spotify and in other outlets. “You can buy them at a few locations,” says McGuff, “But Spotify and Bandcamp are good places to check out our music. We’re also on iTunes, and we will—of course—have our CDs on sale at the show.”

“We’re excited to be playing with Seth Canan and the Carriers,” he says. “Those guys have a lot of gumption, and I really respect them. They have a lot of get up and go, and their set is always just a blast. I also want to let everyone know we’ll be playing the Dayton Sideshow this year, which will be May 25 and 26.”

Staying busy and doing things their own way, McGuff and the Dumpster Fires will be burning up the stage on May 11 at Peach’s. If you’re out and about that night, head out to Yellow Springs and check them out—no wrestling singlets required.

McGuff and the Dumpster Fires will perform Friday, May 11 at Peach’s Grill, 104 Xenia Avenue in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Special Guests will be Seth Canan and the Carriers. For more information visit www.peachsgrill.com or call 937-767- 4850.

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Tim Walker
Tim Walker is 51 and a writer, DJ, and local musician. He lives with his wife and their two children in Dayton, where he enjoys pizza, jazz, and black T-shirts. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Walker at TimWalker@DaytonCityPaper.com

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