These folks come as close as possible in presenting the spirit
Fuel-injected folk music
Will take you back to the roots...with their spirited,
[Best Instrumental Musician Curtis Darrah] does is rather magical,
bringing the entire complex nature of things bluegrass to a vibrant,
Filled with riches
Folkgrassmountain music on the bayouis the perfect description of the music of Fair to Middlin. Anne Darrah, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, and Curtis Darrah, on Dobro, mandolin, banjo, finger-picked acoustic guitar, Weissenborn and National slide guitars, and vocals, explore some less-traveled byways of Americas musical roots. Their music is a mix of high-energy bluegrass, old-time folk and Americana. Songs range from mountain bluegrass standards of the Stanleys to the Dust Bowl ballads of Woody Guthrie, with stops along the way for music from contemporary songwriters working in the old-time tradition such as Gillian Welch and Steve Earle, plus exciting original instrumentals.
Whether performing spirited, driving music on the trail of the lonesome pine or haunting ballads yearning for a home here or in the hereafter, Fair to Middlin is dedicated to capturing the roots of old-time acoustic folk music and exploring its emotional and historical content.
A typical Fair to Middlin set may kick off with the blistering bluegrass standard Ole Slewfoot (the only bluegrass song ever written about a bear) and end with Gillian Welchs dark murder ballad, Caleb Meyer.
The driving rhythms of bluegrass and the simple honesty of old-time mountain and folk music make these songs a real kick to play and fun to listen to, even for audiences unfamiliar with the style, Curtis explains. The more sophisticated the world becomes, the more people appreciate the raw emotions of this simpler time. The joy and the sorrow in these songs are powerful: no matter how many years ago they were written, they still ring true, adds Anne.
selection of the duo’s featured appearances have
Fair to Middlin’s first CD was released in June 2001 on their own label, Home From The Mill Recordings. Turn Your Radio On: Fair to Middlin Captured Live! features 11 songs from radio performances, including seven tracks with Michael Doucet on fiddle from their Maine to La. simulcast. In October 2001 they were featured with a cut on a KRVS promotional disc, Live in Cypress Space. The selection, "Down in the Willow Garden," was a performance originally broadcast on Sept. 27, 2000, during Medicine Ball Caravan. All songs on this CD were from live KRVS broadcasts in Lafayette and Lake Charles, La., and also included tracks by The Derek Trucks Band, Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Terrance Simien and the Mallet Playboys, Rory Block, Monte Montgomery and Sonny Landreth, Theresa Andersson Group, Les Zoubilioux, Tab Benoit, The Gerd Quartet, Rachael Sage, Kevin & Kathe Danzig and Richard Gilewitz.
Theyve begun working on a new studio recording at their Home from the Mill studio. This recording, with the working title Down Home, will feature Fair to Middlin with guest appearances from some special friends.
Fair to Middlin was featured in the Touring Arts Segment of the Acadiana Arts Councils Arts in Education program for Fall 2002. Fair to Middlins Curtis and Anne Darrah were joined for this school programOld-Time Folk Music by their special guest, Lafayette fiddler Dave Trainer.
selected performances the duo is occasionally joined by Dave, upright
bassist Butch Cooksey of Independence,
La., or multi-instrumentalist Doug Anderson of
Wiggins, Miss. An outstanding and hard-driving bluegrass bassist,
Butch has performed for decades with his family’s gospel
band, the Cooksey Family, as well as dates with bluegrass legends
such as Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley. Doug, a powerful mandolinist
with an affinity for bluegrass as well as older musical styles,
is also accomplished on acoustic guitar, as well as the banjo,
his first instrument. He is a veteran of a number of Mississippi
bands, including his current group, The Larry Wallace Band.
For further information or bookings, contact Anne or Curtis Darrah.
Fair to Middlin
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