MidDay Farm Report
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MidDay Farm Report

McMinnville, Tennessee, United States

McMinnville, Tennessee, United States
Rock Americana

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"Clock hands point north for MidDay Farm Report"

Both hands point north for MidDay Farm Report

TRAVIS SWANN, tswann@murfreesboropost.com
Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2012 12:00 am




The sounds of Ray Wylie Hubbard can spark many notions in the mind.

But when playing it in preparation for a family’s final barn dance, it, along with a few other factors helped ignite the MidDay Farm Report, a new rural rock ‘n’ roll group from Middle Tennessee.

The group is composed of members Tim Winton, Griffin Winton, Daniel Sheets and Chuck Haston.

"We all played together in different aspects. We rehearsed to say goodbye to the farm. It started rolling and it just came off cool," Tim Winton said about the group’s early beginnings.

"I was like we should explore this and see where it goes"

Taking it back to older times when things were trouble-free, the group takes the name from the moment in the day when time would stop for a few minutes to reflect and tune in to the radio.

More than 11 tracks on their latest self-titled album, the group crafts a social commentary of the world while perfecting the art of simple storytelling.

Kicking off the album is an introduction of audio clips and spoken word by Warren County historian and photographer, Bruce Atnip, who pours out a few lines of conversation with "both hands pointing north,"

"He had the voice and never left the area and also knows where we came from," Winton said about the choice for the introduction of the album.

The material is a mix of old songs mixed with new work such as "Politician" and "Hammer on Steel," a song inspired by Winton’s grandfather.

"We just went ahead and said what everyone was thinking. If you’re a career politician then I don’t have time for you," Winton said in reference to the subject matter of "Politician."

Another key track on the album is "Cherry Creek Mill," a song about skinny-dipping and good times growing up and the situations one may find them self in from time to time.

Winton had written this song years ago, but it definitely came into play at a meeting with ASCAP, where he shared the song with an executive across the table.

After exchanging the story and a few lyrics, the executive recalled similar times from his days in Texas, as the two states are similar in nature.

This one goes to show that wherever you are, there are always parallel stories that follow us all.

On the other hand, "Coal," another new song, was inspired by a mountain top removal group that Winton encountered while at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. The subject on this track is close to the heart of Winton, as he can see the clear cutting taking place from his old home place.

On their first effort, MidDay Farm report gives every listener a good account of rural America and where it has been and where it is going.

With the album behind the group now, the next step is the road as they just held their album release show a few weeks ago.

"It has exceeded my expectations to what we can come up with in a barn. If I never make another one, then I’m proud of this one."

"We’re looking forward to festival season and getting ready for the fall," Winton said about their upcoming plans.

To hear samples from the album, visit
mdfr.bandcamp.com where the album is also available for purchase. You can also find the group on Facebook as well. - Southern Manners


"MidDay Farm Report 4****"

Tim Winton is a talented singer songwriter who, thanks to his vocals and ability to write some tremendously literate songs and melodies, could have been born for the purpose of performing high quality alt. country. Tim handles the lead vocals plus guitar, dobro, banjo and harmonica, with his son Griffin on harmony vocals, guitar, mandolin and harmonica. To round out this really tight, talented quartet Chuck Haston is on drums and percussion with Daniel Sheets playing upright bass. There are not too many father and son based bands in alt. country and whilst there is no apparent‘generation gap,’ their sound does benefit from the close harmonies between the two and if this debut album is an example of the talent they can call upon, their future should be really bright.
Virtually all of the instrumentation is acoustic and the playing is always excellent as is the
production and arrangements in which you can pick out all of the individual instruments. It takes a lot of confidence to produce a debut of this quality and sparseness and when you listen to the quite gripping story lines and the singing it is no wonder they have that confidence. There are some tremendous tales contained within these eleven songs with most being written by Tim. The exceptions to this are Pretty Thing and Annie June by Sam Young, Farm Song (no other way) by Allen Ramsey and The Cherry Creek Mill by Kent Henderson and Tim Winton.
Although this is not a ‘concept album’ as such, many of the songs seem to be rooted in southern U.S working communities and the trials and tribulations they face through life, often from outsiders, i.e. money men and politicians. There is a thirty second intro that sets the scene, with the Midday Farm report apparently being a radio programme for the farmers. I’m guessing the programme is fictitious although the fact that I’ve been unable to track it down is no guarantee of such. There is a short vocal and electric guitar break midway, Pretty Thing, that includes radio distortion, which when you take into account some of the stories ensures there is a loose theme that runs through this well thought out recording. Coal is a tremendous song, with the gorgeous sound of a dobro on a really strong story of someone who turns to strip coal mining to make ends meet and the rifts the practice causes in communities and to the land itself. It really is a terrific and thought provoking alt. country tale with Tim’s vocals having just the right amount of gravel to them. This is followed by the just as excellent Hammer On Steel, a nice repetitive slow to medium paced tale about the passing down through family of practical skills. The song has a metronomic tempo that actually echoes ‘a hammer on steel,’ ensuring the tale could just as easily be a metaphor for the industrial manufacturing of the steel industry. A really atmospheric song. Allen Ramsey’s The Farm Song (no other way) is a nice walking shuffle with acoustic guitar and lovely banjo with atmospheric harmonica on another sad story song, this one about a man who takes to smuggling drugs to get the money to keep the family farm going. There is the tremendously well written ‘comedy song’ Golf a paean to a game (or is it a sport?) that actually makes watching the grass grow an interesting passtime (or is it a sport?) It is areally good humourous tale that works and flows incredibly well. Politicians has a lovely mandolin sound on as good a summing up of these disreputable beings as any cynic (realist!?) could wish for!
It seems strange that with Tims overall musical quality he has had to wait this long to make a debut album and hopefully this excellent recording has opened the floodgates to his and the bands creativity.
- American Roots UK


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

MidDay Farm Report? Well….they’re like cornbread. That southern alchemy that’s one part recipe and equal parts history, influence, taste, and style. Then there’s always the ubiquitous secret ingredient, passed down through generations from mouth to ear. Add a dollop of rural middle Tennessee ladled into a hot skillet of wide-eyed Americana, and the result is authentic, honest music that satisfies, served up by four accomplished musicians. With one foot set squarely in the present and the other on the broken ground of the past. MidDay Farm Report has crafted a sound that’s all their own :“Rural Route Rock’n’Roll.”

Spring of 2012 saw the release of their self titled debut disc MidDay Farm Report on nunmuney records. Recorded in a barn in the winter of 2011, you can practically hear the commitment and the do-it-yourself attitude. MDFR is made up of father and son multi-instrumentalists Tim and Griffin Winton, who provide lead-vocals and genetically-driven harmonies. Rounding out the bottom end is Daniel Sheets on upright bass and Chuck Haston laying down the beat on drums and percussion.

The influences of the individual members are much like the cardinal points of a compass, each one arriving from uniquely different locations. MidDay Farm Report is the meridian that connects it all. Using a foundation of purely acoustic instruments, the sessions had both a spirit of necessity and simplicity; yet the result is anything but antiquated. The stripped down aesthetic allow the songs to reveal their individual truths.

The one-two punch of the socially and environmentally conscious Coal or the tell-it-like-it-is sting of Politicians display the band’s in your face attitude and keen sense of the here and now. Songs like the working man’s spiritual Joe or the bittersweet reminiscence of Annie June speak straight to the heart with a sense of intimacy and understanding. But just to be clear, these boys aren’t all serious. The tongue-in-cheek, and probably true, humor of Golf is a live audience favorite as is the rollicking coming of age story in Cherry Creek Mill.

This is the music of blue tic fabric and rusted roofs. Asphalt chip roads and long forgotten family farm houses, cradled in weeds and punished by time. It’s the glance in the rearview mirror as you head toward a new beginning. It’s Old South grace and charm, interpreting a new south reality. It’s a reality where Wal Mart has replaced the mom and pop stores that once lined a thriving down town. It’s moonshine and ditch weed giving way to the Kudzu like stranglehold of meth. It’s the eventuality of an auction sign on a 100 year old family farm and the subdivision that follows. This is also the music of living room jam sessions where you’ll likely hear a Dylan song followed by Gov’t Mule, Edward Sharpe, or the latest MDFR original. It’s lazy Sunday afternoons reading O’Connor, Hemingway, and Cather. It’s swapping stories and rousing, stimulating discussions at the kitchen table with good friends. So pull up a chair, friend. There’s sweet tea in the Fridgidaire, the cornbread’s hot out of the oven, and both hands on the clock are pointing north. It’s time for the MidDay Farm Report.