What’s “Fellaheen” mean? It’s an Arabic term for peasant farmers. Philosophically (or so said Oswald Spengler), “fellaheen” refers to the great mass of people who adapt and survive from one civilization to the next without becoming part of any, thus remaining separate from the great movements of history.

[Cue: crickets chirping]

 

What’s the band sound like? A lyrical mix of sit-down alt rock ’n’ roll, scratchy blues, Americana-rama, and downbeat jazz informed with a murky existential wit.

 

Right. What’s the band sound like? OK. Let’s say: comparable to the likes of Tom Waits, the Velvet Underground, The Band, and Kurt Weill if we're lucky. More deeply-rooted influences include Beggar’s Banquet-era Stones, the Beatles, Captain Beefheart, Randy Newman, Leonard Cohen, Howlin' Wolf, Mose Allison, the Minuteman, and a dose of the Replacements. The lyrical approach is borne out of a head space created in part by the works of Walter Benjamin, Susan Sontag, Cornel West, Mad Magazine, Flannery O'Connor, Roberto Clemente, Jack Kerouac, George Carlin, Rainer Maria Rilke, Thomas Pynchon, Madeline Kahn, Bugs Bunny, Haruki Murakami, moderately-priced red wine, insomnia, and Dante Aligheri, along with the movies of Vittorio De Sica, Jim Jarmusch, John Sayles, and Wim Wenders.

 

Seriously? Yep, that was written with a completely straight face. But please feel free to arrive at your own conclusions.

 

Who writes the songs and sweeps up after everyone’s gone home?
Bruce Hanson, a somewhat-grizzled veteran musician born in Chicago and raised in New Jersey. He specializes in writing slightly off-kilter original songs about shady characters, particle physics, love ’n’ hate, and works of art in the age of mechanical reproduction. Not to mention mildly amusing self-interviews.

 

I see. And who's in the band? It’s a fairly loose, somewhat anarchic collective, but joining Bruce in Fellaheen at any given time is
some combination of the following folks:
Kaveh Haghtalab (drums), Samwan Rob (bass, vocals), Nima Farzaneh (accordion), Joe Borthwick (bass), and Mark Orlandini (drums). Other friends contribute when they can.
 

 

Oh look ... my ride’s here. One last thing—what are the band’s goals? For you to listen to our music and come out to see us play live, keep on making records, and maybe get a song or two in a movie in the scene right after the murder. Oh, and world peace.

>  Contact Fellaheen

 

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"Always on the Way" (Live)

Fellaheen 

Live in Freddy's Bar and Backroom, Brooklyn

Directed by Dennis Connors

"Your Folly and Mine" (Live)

Fellaheen 

Live in Brooklyn

Directed by Dennis Connors

"I Wish I Was Your Mother" (Mott the Hoople cover)

Fellaheen

Live at John & Peter's, New Hope, PA

Video by Lisa Gillard

"Like Zero" (Live)
Fellaheen (with Amara Strings)
Live in Brooklyn

Directed by Dennis Connors

"Better Than Sleep" (Live)
Fellaheen 
Live in Brooklyn

Directed by Dennis Connors

Pomegranate Heart
From Fellaheen's album 
You Either Get Hands or Get Wings
Directed by Dennis Connors

Timbuktu
Fellaheen
You Either Get Hands or Get Wings

"Directed" by Papa Mustela

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strange music for strange times...