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About

Midway Fair plays “Pretty music about ugly things,” and their folk rock sound and songwriting are a seamless synthesis of British and American folk rock styles. Sweeping, cinematic story-songs influenced by Tom Waits, Gillian Welch, Josh Ritter, and The Waterboys are propelled by dazzling fingerstyle guitar work in the vein of Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) and Richard Thompson, tight multi-part harmonies, and dramatic rhythms. 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, and mandolin (and miscellaneous instruments on recordings)
Joe Scala: Guitar and vocals
Rick Veader: Bass and vocals
Chris Hamilton: Drums and vocals

Live band alumni:
Jen Parde: Vocals and piano
Tim Taormino: Drums and percussion
Chris Rowe: Bass and vocals
Andrew Luttrell: Guitar, mandolin, and vocals.

Recording band alumni:
Mike Ward: Keyboards
Patrick Hughes: Drums
Mark Wall: Accordion, penny whistle, and vocals
Chris Freeland: engineering, claps, vocals, sequencing, percussion, drums, 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  writes “pretty music about ugly things” — presenting complex, and often dark, subject matter through the accessible medium of song to challenge the listener’s sense of good, right, and beautiful.

Jon’s story-songs often have elements of magical realism, a historical context, or literary connection, such as “1851” about the French Revolution of 1848 (the one most people have never heard of) or “Don Quixote’s Deathbed Conversation with Sancho Panza” about his favorite novel. He also performs his own modern rewrites of ancient British ballads and original ballads written in that style as a form of deconstruction of the folk tradition, such as a traditional-sounding ballad about King Henry V’s victory at Agincourt or the Scottish ballad “Twa Corbies” transplanted to an American roadside during the Great Recession.
Jon plays throughout the Baltimore area  Midway Fair and as a sideperson for several local songwriters.

Joseph Scala cuts-and-pastes from indie, rock, alt-country, pop and folk to create his not-quite-perfectly-charming style. He plays regularly in Baltimore with his band The Marksmen, and in 2015 released Skin + Bones, a full-length self-produced album. He also performs in Katie Bowers Band and Midway Fair, and has produced EPs for other Charm City acts like Baltimericana and Mosno Al-Moseeki. As an active member of the Baltimore songwriting community, Joe’s songs tend to find their way into the catalogs of other Baltimore musicians.

Rick Veader is a lifelong musician. His eclectic musical tastes range from showtunes and Sousa marches through the various eras of rock, punk, country, celtic, barbershop, and, most recently, American roots music styles. He has played Tuba in a number of marching and concert bands, Irish whistle in Not Quite Tipsy, harmonica for Rosie and the Rivets,  and bass guitar in …And Now For.

Chris Hamilton is a familiar face in the Baltimore music scene. He’s played in dozens of bands but is best known as the frontman for Radiation Puppy.

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