"This rebranding is the natural result of a musical and personal maturity within our group, and a strong desire to move forward with a fresh and far-reaching sound," stated Adam Chaffins, bass player and vocalist. Belfry Fellows, now based in Nashville, will release a debut EP under their new name in the very near future.
Already working with a solid tour schedule, original songs, new music videos, and a strong vision for the future, the quartet could not be more excited. Rockin' Acoustic Circus fans need not be concerned though, says founding member Sterling Abernathy, "The new name is a reflection of a new group identity, but if you liked RAC, I'm absolutely certain that you'll love Belfry Fellows. We are working from the same foundation that created RAC, but adding a palette of musical chemistry and innovative ideas that's taking this group to a whole new level."
Belfry Fellows is comprised of mandolin player Sterling Abernathy (founding member of Rockin' Acoustic Circus, bass player and vocalist Adam Chaffins, five-string fiddle player Rachel Baiman and guitar player and vocalist Dillon Hodges. The quartet boasts an impressive resume of individual accomplishments, including two Illinois State Fiddle Championships, recent release of individual solo projects, performing regularly with a host of well-known Nashville artists, and a National Flatpicking Guitar Championship - Winfield, KS. While three joined the group at different times throughout RAC's history to fill the roles of old members, it became clear that the unstoppable outpouring of fresh musical ideas and new material among the foursome was deserving of a distinct identity.
Their new name is an appeal to originality and pays homage to an audacious fiddle-playing "fellow" - the antagonist of Edgar Allan Poe's satirical short story, "The Devil in the Belfry." "This quirky 'Fellow' marches into a town that is obsessed with correct time," says Hodges. "With his big fiddle, he goes into the bell tower, brutally attacks the belfry man and rings thirteen o'clock - causing all kinds of chaos to this very ordered community." "We love it that he is fearless and not afraid to break the mold" adds Baiman "and the fact that the 'Fellow' plays a giant fiddle just makes the story that much cooler."
When asked about their new sound, it is easy to see how the group chose such an innovative mascot. "We want to create acoustic music, arranged with the complexity of instrumental bluegrass and the intense interaction of chamber music, but we're set on remaining true to the presentation of a great song," said Chaffins. "As someone who has always been enamored with traditional American fiddle styles," said Baiman, "It's amazing for me to have this opportunity to work with three musicians who all have similar roots in old-time music, but simultaneously love and are inspired by the great sounds of indie and folk-rock going on in our generation."
Changing the name of a band can be a precarious process, but the band has been lucky to have lots of backing for this new direction. "We are so grateful for all the support that has been shown to us thus far and we're counting on our fans to embrace this decision and come along with us," said Abernathy. "In the long run, this will be a great thing, and right now, we are working hard to get the word out and share our excitement about the name change."
This will be a transitional year for the group, with some gigs billed as RAC and others as Belfry Fellows and some as both. "Belfry Fellows is about the creation of informed but relevant music," added Abernathy. "I know the fans of RAC are fans that really appreciate great music, no matter what we're called," said Chaffins, "and I'm looking forward to presenting them with this new project, 'cuz I know everyone is really going to dig it."
Help spread the word about Belfry Fellows. Find out more at: www.BelfryFellows.com and "Like" them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. height=