Midway Fair plays “Pretty music about ugly things,” and their folk rock sound and songwriting are a seamless synthesis of British and American traditional styles with indie rock. Artists like Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler, Richard Thompson, Tom Waits, and The Waterboys are big influences. Although many of their songs are crafted to be lighthearted and fun, they tackle serious subjects like war, poverty, and (of course) love with poetic grace and intelligence.
“Reminds me a lot of Fairport Convention [...] The playing and craft are exquisite.” ~Jon Worley, Aid & Abet April 2011.
Like a group of minstrels found electric guitars and wrote an album over the course of 500 years. [...] Bottom line: For those that like The Incredible String Band and The Band, Midway Fair is the underdog with an album of powerful, sincere, and timeless songs.
~John Powell, www.Angelica-Music.com, July 18, 2011
Midway Fair is:
Jon Patton: Vocals, guitar, harmonica, mandolin, things with strings
Jen Parde: Vocals and piano
Joe Scala: Vocals and bass
Live band alumni:
Chris Rowe: Bass and vocals
Andrew Luttrell: Guitar, mandolin, and vocals.
Tim Taormino: Drums and percussion
Recording band alumni:
Mike Ward: Keyboards
Patrick Hughes: Drums
Mark Wall: Accordion, penny whistle, and vocals
Chris Freeland: claps, vocals, sequencing, percussion, bass
Timothy Bracken: Guitar
Casey Smith: Guitar and lute
Kristin Jones: Cello
Acacia Sears: Vocals
Heather Aubrey Lloyd: Vocals
Cellina Taormino: Vocals
About the members of the band:
Jon S. Patton was born in Baltimore in 1981 and has been a farmhand, construction worker, Russian linguist, teacher, clerk, editor, paralegal, and writer; he played as a street musician in Heidelberg, Germany; was a guest with a German jazz orchestra at age 17. He recorded a solo album, Hard Times, in 2003 in San Antonio.
Most of these things are much less impressive than they sound.
Jon is passionate about cooking, magical realism fiction, environmental issues, and theoretical astrophysics. He is also a frequent contributor to DriftwoodMagazine.com, a folk, world, and roots music blog.
Jen Parde is a singer, songwriter, arranger, and pianist. She’s been singing jazz since high school, and jazz is a distinctive influence on her style. Her solo work is also influenced by good pop and progressive-rock arranging, and she loves songs with solid yet reflective lyrics. Her passion is to merge meaningful lyrics with both an intense singing style and complex but evolving instrumental textures. In addition to performing, Jen also teaches piano and vocal technique. Her hobbies and interests include yoga, meditation, whole food/vegetarian eating, reading, salsa dancing, making jewelry, and playing games with friends. More information about Jen and her solo work is available at her website, jenniferparde.com.
Tim Taormino has won competition and parade awards with various bagpipe bands, including The Baltimore City Pipe Band, Loch Raven Pipes and Drums, and Na Fianna Irish Pipe Band. He played Irish folk and folk-rock with Baile ti Mor. He recorded demos of a David Bowie-style space-rock opera (“The Science Fiction of Asia Apollo” by Fred Sauter). For several years, he played with the progressive rock band BLAMMO! and, more recently, plays with Trio Novo, a Bossa Nova/jazz trio.
Joe Scala (bass and vocals) is a singer/songwriter in Baltimore. He gigs around town solo and with his wife (under the name Katie and Joe). Joe started playing bass with Midway Fair in June 2011 after the departure of Chris Rowe.