The Church of Philadelphia is an experimental gospel band from Texas, comprised of a carpenter, a master gardener, two filmmakers, a hairdresser, and a bookkeeper. These missionaries marry a love for creative expression with a revelation of the Creator’s love for the world. The result is a majestic, cinematic sound with revival-like fervor. This is The Church of Philadelphia.
Their diverse musical backgrounds and experiences include sharing bills with the likes of Roger Waters, Frank Black and the Catholics, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Blonde Redhead, At The Drive In, and Depeche Mode.
The Church of Philadelphia is comprised of:
Chris McFarland - Began his journey into music as a junior high sax prodigy who won second in the nation among private schools only later to grow a perfect disdain for the instrument due to the never-ending onslaught of Kenny-G requests.
Brian Tharpe – Once held up at the Canadian border with Snoop Dog and the Smoking Grooves Tour for nearly an hour because The Canada Border Service Agency did not believe he was really staying with the Arcade Fire and attending a conference on “the glory of God”.
Lindsey Tharpe – Won the high school talent show singing a revised version of “This Little Light of Mine”.
Joey Mathews - Pretended to know how to play the piano so he could pick up his first gig making a couple bucks off the old ladies down at a local bridge event. Was found out when he couldn’t play “Happy Birthday” at the request of an eighty year old.
Aaron Tharpe - Rapped on a Grammy-nominated kid's record when he was seven. Lost to The Lion King soundtrack.
Sharla Mathews – Started her career performing singing telegrams, which would later pave the way to appearances at the prestigious Grand Ole Gospel show in Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry.
On June 30, 2006 the band released its first piece of music, a self-titled E.P. recorded at Portland’s Type Foundry Studios with Jason Powers. Following the release, they immediately went to work playing their songs of redemption in clubs and churches throughout Texas.
In the 6 years since the debut release, their community has continued to multiply with several members marrying, followed by the arrival of an army of children (future band members.) Although drunk on the bliss of family life, The Church of Philadelphia decided to come out of their long hiatus in October of 2012 to record their follow up full-length album "We're Gonna Dance Tonight." The album is comprised of the band’s earliest work, a tribute to their original vision. They began production in November 2012 at Cacophony Recorders in Austin, TX with the ever-gifted Erik Wofford at the helm.
With the album due out early 2014, the band is looking forward with a fresh fire in their hearts to releasing these songs to those who have ears to hear what the Church is singing.