Img 2048

Our Story

Sarah and the Arrows emerged out of mutual and musical admiration between friends who were fortunate enough to overlap in the folk circles of Philadelphia, PA. Sarah and the Arrows includes Sarah Napolitan on the guitar, Rosie McNamara Jones on the violin, Stacy Weathers on the banjo, and Lee Vuotto on the bass. The group predominantly plays the original songs of Sarah Napolitan, as well as some by Stacy Weathers. The group also enjoys covering a wide variety of songs known well in contemporary, folk, and country circles.
 
Sarah
Sarah Napolitan- Sarah’s grandmother Hazel handed her down the Epiphone she’d bought secondhand after World War II in hopes that her granddaughter would learn to play Janis Joplin’s ‘Bobby McGee’. Sarah had been crafting poetry about the natural world and life events since early elementary school, and had been singing raucous show tunes with her father or making up songs on too long road trips with her family as a young thing. With the guitar in her hands, all of these pieces of creative expression were molded together, and Sarah began writing songs. Armed with an ancient four track and an arsenal of borrowed instruments, Sarah created her first album, Scrapeless and Nameless and True (1999), in her basement during her junior year of high school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Sarah began performing publicly in 2011 at venues such as the Mermaid Inn and The Philadelphia Folk Festival with The Turnips (Lee Vuotto, Gene Smith, Ernie Tokay, John Strauss), and some of her original songs were featured on their album Sciacky’s Clock (2012). Sarah then went on to release her own album of original songs called Friday Night In (2013) recorded at Little Spiders Studio in Phoenixville, PA. She has recorded with various other artists including Matthew Gordon, Jim Brann, and Jason Parish. Sarah has traveled several times across the country and has worked for the AmeriCorps Program in Portland, OR. She currently resides in Mt. Airy, and in her civilian life she is a certified public school psychologist, volunteers at her local soup kitchen, is a Big Sister in the Big Brother/Big Sister program, and is an avid hiker and nature lover. Sarah is honored to play music with the remarkable women of the Arrows.
Stacy this
Stacy Weathers- Inspired by a wandering banjo player in the early hours of the morning at her first Philadelphia Folk Festival when she was sixteen years old, Stacy decided that one day she too wanted to be able to play lonesome banjo tunes under the night sky. Since that time, Stacy has been exploring the possibilities of both clawhammer and finger picking techniques on the banjo. She developed her style from participating in the Philadelphia old-time, bluegrass and folk communities, and from her travels in Europe, the Middle East, and Central America. Her approach to the instrument therefore reflects the influence of a variety of genres. She is also a knowledgeable and powerful singer of traditional American and English ballads. Stacy’s past musical projects include playing in the traditional folk music band Cruel Sister, performing at children’s religious services, recording with local singer songwriters, and playing in the neo-traditional old time band, Stolen Thyme. She also plays with Meghan Cary and the Analog Gypsies and Kicking Down Doors. When not playing banjo, Stacy is a teacher, writer, and parent who enjoys immersing her children in the bluegrass festival culture.


 
Lee

Lee Vuotto- Lee has a long history of music appreciation but when she started volunteering at Philadelphia Folk Festival during the mid-nineties she realized she also wanted to play music. Browsing instruments at the former Pro Drum Shop in Glenside, PA she tried on a left-handed Fender Squier P-bass and took a chance. It was a slow and clumsy start that lasted years: committing time to practice, developing finger strength, ear training, learning riffs, and feeling at ease. Encouraged by musician friends and especially her dad, who played guitar as a young lad in the 1930’s, Lee found her confidence and a way to incorporate bass-playing as part of her already-busy life. With much trepidation Lee founder herself on stage, filling in on bass in 2011 with the Turnips for two shows in Dulcimer Grove at The Philadelphia Folk Festival. That’s when she met her next inspiration in Sarah Napolitan, and continued to play with the Turnips into 2014. Mostly self-taught Lee makes an occasional trip to Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch in Ohio taking workshops with acclaimed bass masters Jack Casady of Hot Tuna and Jefferson Airplane,  and George Porter, Jr. of The Funky Meters. Along with Sarah & the Arrows Lee plays music with many local friends including Lost Local Boys, Buzzkill Angel, Matt Gordon, The Keepers, Lost & Found as well as the emerging rocker band Dracula’s Miniskirt.
Rosie

Photo taken by Mark Shreiber (2014)

Rosie McNamara-Jones has been playing and performing music in Philadelphia since 1985. Enrolled in classical music studies at Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music, she found her way into the local band scene as the violinist for the college band, Sky Grits. Eventually she began sitting in or recording with many others among the vibrant Philadelphia indie music scene, such as Big Mess Theater and The Ben Vaughn Combo. She met Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner, Mark Schreiber, Palmer Yale and Alan Hewitt to form the group The Low Road, which performed extensively around Philadelphia from 1990 - 1997, winning “Best Local Band” nods from Philadelphia City Paper, Philadelphia Magazine and noted as a “band to watch” from Entertainment Weekly. During this time, they signed to Caroline’s Passenger Records, released two CDS, and toured the country as the opening act for groups like Los Lobos, Ben Folds Five, The Story, Billy Bragg and The Barenaked Ladies. After the Low Road, she joined Matt Pond PA and recorded on two CDs. She then played and recorded with local group, The Wayward Wind (currently on hiatus). Along with Sarah and The Arrows, she also performs regularly as a member of Joey Sweeney and His Long Hair Arkastra and The Molly Blooms. She lives in Fishtown (Philadelphia) with her husband and two daughters, and is the Development Director for Juvenile Law Center.