1/23/08

Nobody Writes About: Bridges Fell

bridges fell innocence again without a call
Seriously, I can't even find a picture. One of the only working links Google's able to provide me leads to this playlist at mixtape collective, which quips -- probably accurately -- that Google has more information about the playlist's creator than it does about Bridges Fell. This, then, is me jumping to take advantage of an excitingly rare opportunity: to remind the Internet of something that it used to know (bridgesfell.com used to exist), but has long since forgotten.

Formed at the University of Rhode Island just before the turn of the century, Bridges Fell was, for a short while and at least in my own estimation, a phenomenon. In fact, it's not an exaggeration to state that hearing them make the impossible leap from late-night local music showcase to daytime rotation at 95.5 WBRU with "Little Leah" was the reason I became interested in working at said station in the first place, and the reason I spent so much of my time in that city championing The Ocean State's local talent (and why I still do...cough, cough).

The first time I saw Bridges Fell play, it was on a giant stage in front of the Providence Place Mall, in an opening slot at a free outdoor concert headlined by Guster. They'd already been receiving some radio play, and although it was a decidedly Guster crowd, many of the local fans were familiar enough with the hometown heroes to pay attention. Those that did, I imagine, were all as impressed as I was by the 5 not-even-21-year-olds from URI exhibiting an impressive display of poise, talent, and style on what surely was the biggest stage they'd ever played at the time.

The man behind the whole deal was a URI student and RI native named Andrew Mook, a soft-spoken and gracious young songwriter with great melodic and dynamic instincts, and a real nose for like-minded, super-talented bandmates. I had a chance to meet him a few times in my local music role at BRU, and always ended our meetings musing to myself about how much more together he was than most "national" artists I came across. He just came off as a really nice, genuine guy.

When all was said and done, Bridges Fell gave us two good records -- Without A Call and Innocence Again -- and then they just sorta disappeared. The writing had been on the wall, I guess. There were rumors of label interest and band member cold feet. As together as Andrew was, his lineup kept changing, the way the lineup of a band made up of college students is wont to do, but the purity of the whole thing seemed diminished with every new iteration*. In the end, everybody involved just appeared to let it go. One of the saddest radio shows I ever did was the one during which Andrew came by to officially announce the end of Bridges Fell. I think I have that on tape somewhere.

As stated above, there's not much to be found anymore on the Web about Bridges Fell, but Andrew's not hard to find at all. He now directs an alternative service called "Sanctuary" at a church in Rhode Island, and keeps a blog. The blog has a few links to other musical projects Andrew's been involved in, and one Bridges Fell song streams on one of his myspace pages ("Against the Wall" here), although there's no direct mention of the project.

Perhaps Mr. Mook would rather not relive the past. I don't especially blame him, if that's the case. But I can't be the only one out there that still puts on my Bridges Fell records once in a while, I can't be the only one that types the name into Google once in a while, and is disappointed in the lack of results.

So...there. There's this now.

* I don't say this from the standpoint of an early fan that bemoans every change a band makes. It just seemed to be a very palpable change in stage chemistry. The twinkle, I guess, just sorta went away. When a band has some success, and then some members leave, it's tough to find new members that don't expect something more than just being in a band that's pretty good. I guess. I don't really feel like fleshing this out further. That's why it's a footnote.

6 comments:

  1. i remember them!!

    (this is where the scene slowly dissolves and we have a flashback to the bru conference room or something)

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  2. and a game of never have i ever. shudder.

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  3. great post - I agree man - Bridges Fell was more than a great local band they were a great band and their CD's were very polished... its a shame the music industry is broken and great music and musicians don't get paid for a job well done

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  4. Anyone know where I can get the 'Innocence Again CD' I would like the other one as well if possible!

    svfd455nt@hotmail.com

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  5. Hey Nathan,
    I just Imported Innocence Again to my Itunes Library and found your post here when I searched for artwork (since Gracenote had nothing). I discovered 'Bridges' for myself when they played a club near me in Ct. back in 2003(?). They must have been on the way out then, but I was quite impressed. Luckily, I bought he CD at the time since it would never be available again anywhere else. Anyway, I have a copy and am willing to sharewith you. Email me if you're interested. dcblues88@yahoo. Dan

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