Sophie Wellington is a Boston-based musician who draws inspiration from old time fiddle music, percussive dance, and jazz improvisation. These influences, along with her unique upbringing and training, lend to her unique sound and spontaneous approach to music.
Growing up in Staunton, VA, Sophie's love of music was encouraged by her parents, concert pianist Lynne Mackey and old time musician and dance caller Bill Wellington. She was brought up in various community spaces including contra dances, choirs, music festivals and camps. These communities offered her the chance to generate and move to music both in performance settings and casually in sessions and collaborative gatherings.
In 2021, she earned her bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music. She majored in Professional Music with concentrations in vocal jazz performance and the American Roots Music Program. Since graduating, Sophie recorded and released her debut solo record Roving Jewel, a collection of various sonic spaces that contribute to her quirky musical perspective. Old time fiiddle tunes, percussive dance duets, and vocal jazz standards mimic the eclectic energy reminiscent of the many music parties she's attended, where every room hosts a session of a different genre. Improvisation, specifically the intuitive expression of musical ideas, is at the heart of her approach to playing. By using this spontaneous element to interpret rhythm, harmony, and melody, she engages the listener – and the music itself – in a conversation.
Sophie travels extensively during the summers, attending festivals and camps. She is passionate about teaching, sharing a musical perspective that is based on building awareness through the connection of movement and music. In the summer and fall of 2023, she was a faculty member at various camps around the eastern United States. She taught advanced fiddle at the Blue Ridge Old Time Music Week at Mars Hill University, Earful of Fiddle in Rodney MI, Augusta Heritage Center's Old Time Music Week and Fall Old Time Retreat in historic Cass, WV.
Sophie is a passionate performer with an innate and multi-dimensional understanding of how music moves, and how to innovate within sound and space, structure and form. In 2023 she was the recipient of a grant from Club Passim's Iguana Music Fund for her work integrating music and dance as a singular expression. She has also found success competing in fiddle and traditional song competitions. At Hoppin John Old Time and Bluegrass Festival in 2021, she won first place in three categories: Old Time Fiddle, Old Time Band, and Flatfooting. At the same festival in 2023, she won first place in the Folk Song category and fourth in Old Time Fiddle.
In addition to playing solo programs, she plays in several bands including old time powerhouse Dumpster Debbie and classic country outfit The Talking Hearts. In 2024, she's thrilled to be joining acclaimed musician and storyteller Willi Carlisle for his album release tour Welcome To Critterland. She lends her support on fiddle, guitar, vocals and her own two feet (percussiv dance).
The Talking Hearts are a cutting edge honky tonk band from Boston. Channeling the spirit of country music icons Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams, and Buck Owens, The Talking Hearts play witty and relatable original songs written by fiddler Rachel Rosenberg about folks who’ve done her wrong. The songs feature the thick three-part harmony singing of Rachel, Sophie Wellington (guitar) and Zach Meyer (mandolin), with bassist Dan Bui and drummer Mike Harmon laying down a solid rhythmic groove. Pull up your cowboy boots and dance along to our debut album, Over Your Spell, featuring ten original country songs!
Sophie's debut solo album Roving Jewel is a confluence of various musical influences - old time, jazz, percussive dance and more. This eclectic collection of sonic spaces includes traditional and reimagined fiddle tunes, dance duets, and jazz standards supported by an all star cast of musicians. Reminiscent of music parties and festivals she's attended where there's a different genre of jam in every room, you can meander through her influences from track to track, uncovering the path that led to her unique sound.
Dedicated trad musicians who come from a broad range of musical influence, such as old-time, country, cajun, jazz, bluegrass, and most importantly, many forms of dance music! Boiling all of this down into a driving and rich old-time groove, we render cultural authenticity into a tasteful and exciting mezcla! We add some spice to these traditional styles with tasteful driving percussive elements like drums, banjo uke, and cajun t’fer! Our sound is a high-energy, make-you-move, trancey and groovy sonic experience.