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The Farm

The Farm – 2012 (Warner)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by The Farm

The Farm seem constructed to touch all bases. The two-male (Nick Hoffman and Damien Horne) one female (Krista Marie, a former Broken Bow artist) line-up come up with a bunch of generally big sounding, commercially viable songs. Home Sweet Home, the trio's charting single, merges vocal interplay, an ever present fiddle, courtesy of Hoffman (Kenny Chesney's fiddler for 10 years), and a lot of big chord guitar work. They tend to repeat the formula throughout the 11 songs.

Farm Party leads off the disc with fast fiddle, but then the body of the song starts, and it's clear that these guys are well schooled in Big & Rich. (that should not be a surprise since Horne is a former member of Rich's songwriting group MuzikMafia). For good measure, they mention Merle, Hank and Willie, and that ought to make them wince based on what they're about to hear - loud, funky rock with a lot of fiddle.

The Farm tone it down on the ballad Be Grateful, a welcome change, with Krista Marie's strong vocals before handing it off to her mates. She gets few chances to shine, although turns in pretty vocals on Every Time I Fall. Nowhere Road sounds like something Little Big Town would tackle - mid-tempo and catchy with vocal interplay. Horne adds a bit of a very credible soulful, bluesy bent to the spiritual Train I'm On. All three singers get jazzy on the long closing, Walkin'.

They go reggae with Little Boat, and it sure would make you think that Kenny Chesney was a guest vocalist on it. Like a chunk of the material, the song is catchy, but it's also a case of been there, done that thanks to Chesney and Zac Brown.

The Farm present a bunch of good sounding songs, but they have not grown a cohesive or identifiable sound in a set that can't come together.