Search Archives Search Calendar Search Bands Search Reviews

The Fire Marshals of Bethlehem

Formed in 2003 by guitarists John Croslin of the Reivers and Kevin Carney of the Wannabes, the Fire Marshals of Bethlehem named themselves for the punch line of a joke that begins, “Who decides when there’s no room at the inn?” Despite their moniker, the Fire Marshals ply a refined, melancholy brand of pop music that's a logical descendant of Croslin and Carney’s earlier bands and the mid-1980s Austin scene in general. Vocalist Julie Lowery, bassist Hunter Darby, drummer David Mider, and violinist Jenny Smith rounded out the band’s initial lineup, the singer and the stringer proving delineating factors in the band’s sonic pastiche. The sextet’s self-released, Croslin-produced debut, Songs for Housework, followed in 2005. Owing to their friendship with Austin musician-turned-TV-producer Rob Thomas, FMOB songs such as “Rabbit” and “Famous Lover” were heard on the TV series Veronica Mars later that year. After recording Housework, Croslin and Carney left to make way for former Way Outs guitarist Robbie Araiza and keyboardist John Ratliff. FMOB continue to perform live on occasion while recording material for their second album. Lowery, Darby, and Ratliff can also be seen in the Diamond Smugglers, an uproariously ribald Neil Diamond tribute band. – Greg Beets

If you are a local performer and would like to be in The Austin Chronicle Musicians Register, sign up here.
PAST RECOMMENDED SHOWS:
01/13/06 @ Stubb's
Heard on Veronica Mars
Conventional wisdom among geeks suggests that not only is Veronica Mars one of the best-written shows on television, it’s perhaps the show with the smartest soundtrack. Credit goes to ex-Austinite and Hey Zeus bassist Rob Thomas (see this week’s cover story), who for Mars sent more than his share of money back to ATX by using music from bands like Spoon. Thomas has lined up four more local acts here: Davíd Garza, the Fire Marshals of Bethlehem, the Daylight Titans, and the Rite Flyers. It’s a night you can’t TiVo.
04/22/05 @ Hole in the Wall
The Fighting Brothers McCarthy, the Fire Marshals of Bethlehem
The Fighting Brothers McCarthy load in their swanky guitar hooks and whirling keyboards along with the enticing sibling harmonies of Steve and Kevin McCarthy. The Fire Marshals of Bethlehem, meanwhile, constitute the latest outlet for Reiver/guitarist/über producer John Croslin, joined by Wannabe Kevin Carney and friends for a healthy dose of harmonic jangle cut with fiddle.
03/16/04 @ Hole in the Wall
Swollen Circus
Hipsters the world over show up for SXSW a night early for gigs like this, a sprawling night of all-too-brief sets by vets and buzz bands hosted by Michael Hall and Walter Salas-Humara of the Silos. Returning to its Hole in the Wall home base, this edition of the Circus features spots by the likes of Tom Freund, the Fire Marshalls of Bethlehem (led by John Croslin), and punk-folk diva Mary Lou Lord backed by NYC’s Gingersol. Show at 9pm.
Last Updated: March 8, 2008

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Origin: 2003
Genre: Pop/Rock
Full Discography:
Songs for Housework (2005)