Wellhouse reunites after 10-year hiatus

Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2010

After a long hiatus, the country-rock band Wellhouse is ready to get back in the saddle and perform its first live show in a decade.

Courtesy Of Wellhouse
Courtesy Of Wellhouse

Singer and guitar player Patrick Murphy, bassist Ceann Murphy, and drummer Doug Fanyak will take the stage at Troxell's at 10 p.m. on Friday.

"We're definitely all pretty excited," said Ceann Murphy, Patrick's wife. "I mean we're all pretty avid performers. We just want to go out and have a good time and share our music with people."

The band had intended to get back together after its last live show a decade ago, but the break was a bit longer than expected. Fanyak contacted Patrick Murphy about 6 months ago and a reunion began to take shape.

"It kind of came out of the blue and I was totally chomping at the bit to do it and so we got together," Murphy said. "We kind of thought we would play the tunes we played a long time ago and that lasted for about a week and then I wrote a bunch of new stuff and we picked a bunch of new covers and kind of retooled the band a little bit and have been throwing ourselves into it."

Wellhouse plays a handful of music, however, the majority of the songs come from Murphy and are influenced by his Midwestern upbringing.

"It's really roots oriented, I guess," he said. "I grew up listening to a lot of Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins, so it's definitely got that kind of rockabilly, country picking kind of sound, I guess. But I'm not a guitar-picker like that, so it's got more of a rock influence, I guess. It's hard to describe. It's fun though."

All the band members have a great appreciation of music and have a really fun time playing together, Fanyak said.

"The biggest part about the music to me is just the originality," he said. "A lot of Patrick's songs and being a part of that writing process and helping create a good sound, that's always fun for me. He kind of makes some tricky stuff and makes itintriguing."

Ceann Murphy said the musical style is a bit difficult to describe, consisting of some "country twang" with a healthy influence of rock and roll.

"It's kind of a melting pot of music," she said.

It will be pretty exciting to get back on stage and play for a live audience again, she added.

"We played out for about a year and the band kind of fizzled away," she said. "Now we're just getting back together. It's a different format."

Fanyak agreed.

"It is kind of different because we have a different flavor," he said. "It's a little more to the heartland, the farm, kind of down to Earth. But it rocks your socks off."

Patrick Murphy is looking forward to getting back on the Juneau music scene again as Wellhouse after a 10-year absence.

"It's just so fun to play with people that you know so well and that you've played so much music with," he said.

"We're good friends and we're really well musically connected so it's pretty natural for us to play together," Ceann Murphy added. "We're really comfortable and we just have a good time."

• Contact reporter Eric Morrison at 523-2269 or eric.morrison@juneauempire.com.

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