Against the Odds
'...bluegrass roots music with some unexpected new twists.' -Kadmus Arts. July, 2008. In the Fall of 2007, a new band emerged from Pennsylvania 's Lehigh Valley and they were crafting a unique sound that soon-to-be fans would describe as 'refreshing' and 'like nothing else." Fellswoop pulls their influences from contemporary artists and mixes it with the traditional sounds that once echoed down through the valley from the surrounding mountains. 25-year old multi-instrumentalist Chris Murphy, fronts the band with a prominent acoustic guitar style and heartfelt vocals; often drifting from the usual bluegrass formula, into a less-predictable, improvisational style; utilizing foot pedals and acoustic effects. Chris's sound is accompanied by JP on the five string banjo, with whom he started the band. JP's past experience spans a plethora of regional and touring bands, as well as 20+ years of experience as a drummer with both formal and on-the-job training. Chris and JP quickly realized the potential that lie ahead after their first gig in Philadelphia . The crowd was enthusiastic, and nothing less than adamant in their request for "one more song." The search for a bass player and third vocalist was immediate. Upstate New York native, Tom Evans, had recently moved from Hawaii to Pennsylvania (while a bass player from Chris's previous band was simultaneously moving from Pennsylvania to Hawaii ) and was anxious for a fresh start, and a new sound. Having come from a musical upbringing including childhood experiences on the road with his father who played bass for numerous touring bluegrass bands in the 70's, Tom was no stranger to the world of music. His character and harmonies proved to be the perfect fit for a band like Fellswoop. After one rehearsal with JP and Chris, the deal was sealed and within weeks they were playing in front of audiences all over the North East. The reaction was always positive, and the band's momentum increased as fast as the demand for their live appearances. Rarely do the pieces fall into place so quickly. In one short year the band had covered an enormous amount of ground. Appearances spanned the Pennsylvania / New York region from Allentown to Manhattan, Philly to Ithaca and everywhere in between. Their four-song demo CD went into rotation at numerous radio stations, including Roots WXLV in the Lehigh Valley, and RadioVolta.org in Philadelphia . The fan base grew as the website traffic and email list reflected that growth. Fellswoop heeded their calling in the Spring and Summer of 2008, appearing at numerous festivals such as Mayfair, Fetish Fest, Utica Fest, and Muse Fest; sharing the stage with such acts as Rusted Root, Ron Palmer, and SeepeopleS. The year culminated with a late-night appearance at the Lehigh Valley Music Awards ceremony, where they took home "Best New Artist", and "Best Live Americana ." As 2009 arrived, Fellswoop played a New Year's Eve show for a full-house at internationally acclaimed folk-circuit club: Godfrey Daniels. The press had this to say: "Fellswoop will let you decide if they are a jam band or a bluegrass group...No matter what they are; Fellswoop has an upbeat style and optimism. The fun they have playing quickly communicates itself to audiences in one fell swoop.' -Dave Howell; The Morning Call 2009 seems to be as memorable in it's first few months as the last year. The band is about to release it's full-length debut, entitled "Against the Odds." The songs were successfully showcased at Pennsylvania 's Sellersville Theatre where the band shared the stage with California 's Hot Buttered Rum. Specific tracks from the debut are to appear in a feature-length independent movie titled Nacho Mountain, featuring Comedy Central's Jay Larson. The band's '09 schedule is filled with promising gigs and benefit shows including The Grand Theatre in Pennsburg with Spin Doctors' lead singer- Chris Baron, as well as two separate appearances at one of the country's biggest music festivals: Musikfest. From the smallest of bars to the theatres, from the air waves to the festivals; the open road is what carries Fellswoop from the valley over the mountains and into your hometown. Fellswoop will be somewhere and everywhere in 2009. 'The New Year is always ripe with change; this is immensely the case with Fellswoop.' -Merge Digital.