The traditional music of the Celtic Isles has been given one of its most dynamic settings by Fernhill. With a repertoire that includes pre-Christian dance tunes and romantic ballads, the Wales-based quartet has combined virtuosic instrumental skills,heartfelt vocals and an ethnomusicologist-like reverance for musical traditions to create an infectuous, soul-inspiring, sound. Toplas magazine wrote, "(Fernhill produces) some of the Welsh music scene's most adventurous international voyages", while, The Western Mail, added, "(Fernhill is) a prime mover in the crop of talented bands injecting new life and an exciting contemporary dramatic into traditional Welsh music".
Fernhill is the product of four highly talented musicians. Diatonic button accordion player Andy Cutting is a former member of Celt-rock band, Blowzabella, and balances his involvement with Fernhill by performing and recording in duos that he shares with fiddler, guitarist and vocalist Chris Wood and with British vocalist Karen Tweed. Bagpipe, hornpipe and oboe player Jonathan Shorland is a much-respected instrument builder. In 1993, he recorded an album, with cittern and reed instrument player Ceri Rhys Matthews, Welsh pipe music using instruments that he designed and built. In addition to playing with Fernhill, Matthews has performed and recorded as a soloist and with a band, Dynion Hysbys. Commissioned by the Welsh Arts Council to compose new music based on the traditional tune, "Brig Y Nos," for a modern dance company, he composed the theme song for the news program of Welsh National Television.
Vocalist Julie Murphy is considered one of Great Britain's leading traditional singers. In 1994, she formed a duo, Whirling Pope Joan, with hurdy gurdy player, Nigel Eaton, and collaborated with Sinfonye on a album of tunes by twelfth century composer,Hildegard of Bingen. According to The Living Tradition, "Murphy's vocals are superb.....She is relaxed and powerful and moves easily from hard-edged lyrics to soft, sensitive, ballads".