Phuncle Sam | Band Members
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David Mulder

Piano, Organ, Vocals


David’s unique music style has been influenced by The Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Miles Davis. He has played with a wide variety of performers including the experimental music of Cerberus Shoal from Portland, Maine and the high-energy jam band Blend from New York.


“Sometimes you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right” – Robert Hunter


Bill Evans

Guitar, Vocals


Some of the bands Bill has been a part of: Onada!, Oat Willy, Ellen Watson Band, High Tide, Deeper Roots, String Elixir, the Unidentified Philharmonic Orchestra.


Bill lists some of his favorite influences as Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead, David Gilmore, John Coltrane, Sun Ra, Norman Blake, and too many others to name.


Bill also plays some solo shows which include some of his original material.


Phuncle Sam is immensely enjoyable, because it allows us to continually improvise and tap a well of creativity within the framework of the songs. Our family of fans plays an integral part of this process”


James Collins

Guitar, Vocals


James “Stymie” Collins hails from Concord, NC. His first musical endeavor was as the age of 8 when he was taught to play the recorder flute in music class. That project ended in disappointment and confusion when his teacher noted on his report card “James doesn’t take criticism well”.


He was voted “Most Outstanding” in the middle school band for the Trumpet but lost favor with his teacher when he declined to sell apples to help fund the new high school band uniforms.


He picked up guitar in college and simultaneously fell in love with the Grateful Dead. He practiced by playing to the southern cicadas, blowing clover and anyone who would listen. He played open mics and with small projects in Atlanta and Knoxville before becoming a founding member of Phuncle Sam in 2004.


He is grateful to continue this musical tradition in the Asheville area and beyond.


JD Smith

Bass Guitar, Vocals


At a young age, JD became fascinated with the healing nature of music and has ever since been driven to take part in it’s celestial ability to bind the human race.


The New England born bass player graduated from Johnson State College (VT) with a B.A. in Jazz Performance. He has now settled in Asheville (NC) to pursue his music career full-time.


In addition to Phuncle Sam, JD plays bass for a number of Asheville bands including but not limited to his weekly performances at local bar One Stop’s “Free Dead Friday” and “Phish & Chips” every Thursday.


On his downtime there’s the occasional concern for his uncertain future but with such supportive, loving, and appreciative listeners he’s excited to see what it has to bring.

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Cassana Monje



Born and raised in Upstate NY, Cassana Monje came to Asheville as a teen to pursue a career in a very diverse musical setting. After seeing Phuncle Sam live for the first time in 2011, she knew she had to get in on the action.


Since joining the band in 2012, Cassana has strived to give a fresh and soulful female spin on classic Grateful Dead tunes.



Percussion, Vocals

Steve was born a percussionist, incessantly banging on his mother’s gumbo pots as soon as he could crawl. The moment he saw a drummer in a live band… he knew. By the time he was 12, he had saved up enough to get his first drum set. His family and neighbors will never forget it.


After 14 years in the Austin music scene, he moved to Arizona where he immersed himself in hand drumming and music from other cultures. He has performed and recorded in many diverse genres, blending these sensibilities to help create music that is exquisitely alive in the moment! Steve moved to Asheville and started playing with Phuncle Sam in 2009.


In addition to Phuncle Sam, Steve also plays with a number of other bands including Chikomo Marimba, Curious George, Mande Foly, and inimitable Blue Paradox. When not playing music and building instruments, Steve likes to play in the mud and make homes and other stuff out of said mud. (See:


The Grateful Dead has spawned a fertile subculture that continues to thrive and grow, and Phuncle Sam is part of our Asheville family. It’s like a river of music, and every show we get to jump into that boat with our audience, grab the oars and go on a river trip, exploring the possibility of magic that night!”