Bombadil (band)

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Background information
Origin Durham, North Carolina, United States
Genres Americana, folk, pop
Years active 2005 (2005)–present
Labels Ramseur Records
  • Daniel Michalak
  • James Phillips
  • Stacy Harden
Past members
  • Bryan Rahija
  • John Michalak
  • Stuart Robinson

Bombadil is a three-piece Americana, folk-pop band from Durham, North Carolina with guitar, bass, piano, and drums as their primary instruments.[1][2] The band are known for their creative and heartfelt lyrics, lush vocal harmonies, thoughtful arrangements, and engaging live show.[3][4]


Bombadil began in early 2004 after guitarist Bryan Rahija and bassist Daniel Michalak were studying abroad in Bolivia as students at Duke University.[2][3][5] They recorded several demos at an elementary school in La Paz during their spare time.

After returning to the U.S., Michalak recruited his brother John to write drum parts. Pianist and friend Stuart Robinson joined the band a few months later.

After a busy year of touring and writing, Bombadil signed with Ramseur Records of Concord, North Carolina after playing a show with The Avett Brothers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[1][6][7] The group immediately set out recording a debut EP, which was released in May 2006.[8] John Michalak left the band to pursue medical school and was replaced by James Phillips in the fall of 2007.[3]

The group released their first full-length album entitled A Buzz, A Buzz on April 29, 2008.[5][7] The band toured throughout the United States, playing festivals like Bonnaroo,[9] FloydFest, Pickathon, and Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion to support the album.[1][10]

Their second album, Tarpits and Canyonlands, was recorded with Scott Solter and released on July 7, 2009. Critics would go on to call it "the album that should have made Bombadil famous."[11] The band went on hiatus from July 2009 to December 2010, due to Daniel suffering from nerve damage in his hands.[12][13] Stuart Robinson also briefly left the band during this time to pursue academic interests,[7] but later returned.

The band gathered in Portland, Oregon to record a follow up to Tarpits and Canyonlands in November 2010. The album was recorded by drummer James Phillips in a barn on Pendarvis Farm (the same barn where The Decemberists recorded The King is Dead).[14] The album, released on November 8, 2011, is named All That the Rain Promises.[15] The title is a reference to the mushroom collecting book All That the Rain Promises and More.

In the summer of 2011, the four members moved back to Durham to record Metrics of Affection, which was released on July 25, 2014. After recording Metrics of Affection, Bryan Rahija left the band to attend business school at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.[16]

In Rahija's absence, the other members recorded Hold On, their 5th full-length album. The album was released on March 24, 2015.[17] "Amy's Friend," a song from the album, was used on the soundtrack to the movie Trainwreck.[18] On March 4, 2015 it was announced that Stuart Robinson would be leaving the band to pursue personal interests, and Daniel and James would continue writing and touring as Bombadil.[7][19]

During September 2016, the band, with new member Stacy Harden,[20] recorded Fences,[21] their 6th full-length album, with producer John Vanderslice in San Francisco.[22] Bryan Rahija contributed guitar tracks. The album was released on March 3, 2017.


Current members[edit]

  • Daniel Michalak (vocals, bass, piano, guitar, ukulele, harmonica)
  • James Phillips (vocals, drums, bass, piano, synth)
  • Stacy Harden (vocals, guitar, bass, piano, drums)

Past members[edit]

  • Bryan Rahija (guitar)
  • John Michalak (drums)
  • Stuart Robinson (piano and vocals)
  • Stephen Bennett (drums)
  • Nicholas Vandenberg (vocals, guitar, bass, piano)


Full-length albums[edit]


  • Bombadil (May 2006)
  • Still Bombadil Issue#1: Score for Cell Phone, Rubber Band & Wine Glass (limited edition EP, March 2015)


  • Thank You (limited edition 7-inch, June 2012)


  • "Sad Birthday" (June 2014)[23]
  • "Sunny December"
  • "A Question"
  • "Coughing on the F Train"


  1. ^ a b c Newby, Tim (10 July 2009). "Bombadil: Strangely Addictive". Honest Tune. Archived from the original on 17 January 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Bombadil: 'Jellybean Wine'". NPR. 21 April 2006. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Newby, Tim (30 April 2008). "Band of the Week: Bombadil". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "iGIF Exclusive: Bombadil". I Guess I'm Floating. 20 April 2006. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Newby, Tim (4 June 2008). "Bombadil wins fans over, song by song, in DC". Honest Tune. Archived from the original on 17 January 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  6. ^ Parker, Chris (2006-08-09). "Middle-earth mirth". Indy Week. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  7. ^ a b c d Currin, Grayson Haver (9 November 2011). "The sad, strange and sweet voyage of Bombadill". Indy Week. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  8. ^ Currin, Grayson (19 July 2006). "For the week of July 19 through July 25". Indy Week. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "Bombadil". Bonnaroo. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Bombadil On Mountain Stage". NPR. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  11. ^ Currin, Grayson Haver. "The sad, strange and sweet voyage of Bombadil". Indy Week. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  12. ^ "Sad news: canceling shows for a little while". Bombadil. 2009-06-01. Archived from the original on 2011-10-08. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  13. ^ "Bombadil show tomorrow, 12/29!". Bombadil. 2010-12-28. Archived from the original on 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  14. ^ Reed, Bryan C. (26 September 2011). "Bombadil announces new album, All That The Rain Promises, out Nov. 8". Shuffle Magazine. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  15. ^ Strowe, Jeff (13 February 2012). "Bombadil: All That The Rain Promises". Pop Matters. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  16. ^ Mills, Fred. "MUSIC THAT HEALS THE SAVAGE… Bombadil". Blurt. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  17. ^ Armstrong, Chuck. "Bombadil Announce Plans for Fifth Studio LP, 'Hold On,' Set for 2015 Release". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  18. ^ Hussey, Allison. "Bombadil makes it to the big screen in Trainwreck, sort of". INDY Week. Susan Harper. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  19. ^ "Lineup Change". Bombadil. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  20. ^ Beedie, James. "Album Review: Manna Frost Trio - Overgrowth". Folk Radio. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  21. ^ Hall, Sarah Fuller. "Bombadil Transcends Barriers". No Depression. Retrieved 28 February 2017. 
  22. ^ Presti, Anthony. "Musician & Producer John Vanderslice Discusses Tiny Telephone & Oakland Studio". SFStation. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  23. ^ "Future Releases on Alternative Radio Stations". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 2014-06-12. 

External links[edit]