Farm Jam Festival set for Labor Day Weekend 2019 in Colville, Washington.
With the advent of technology and volatility of the music business, indie music is becoming more popular and a better way for bands to be successful or profitable in time. Building a fan base is challenging for indie bands.
The first-ever FarmJam Music & Camping Festival is independent (also known as indie) in a major way. Festival producers announced the first of many bands. With the release of tickets, festival producers stated, “The vision is simple. We provide a highly visible and professional platform for quality original music to be seen and heard globally.”
What sprung from that foundation is the Northwest’s premier independent festival that spotlights indie music in a major way.
The Red Dirt Rangers have carried the banner for indie bands and Red Dirt music since before the band’s founding in 1988 at a two-story, five- bedroom, funky old place called the Farm. Ben Han, John Cooper, and Brad Piccolo became an integral part of the Farm’s musical brotherhood, trading songs and licks with the likes of Jimmy LaFave, Tom Skinner, Bob Childers and Randy Crouch.
As Rangers mandolinist-vocalist Cooper has noted, “The Farm was as much an attitude as a physical structure. It allowed a setting where freedom rang and all things were possible. Out of this setting came the music.” The mission of FarmJam is to support indie bands like the Red Dirt Rangers, who forge their own original path.
Cooper, said, “True American music has always been independent. Anywhere you look you see it. Jazz and blues from the Mississippi river towns like New Orleans, Memphis, and St.Louis.” When talking about independent music and music diversity, Cooper further stated, “Western Swing, Cajun, Tex-Mex, Funk, Folk, Bluegrass, Rock n Roll, Country, Soul, Grunge, Rhythm and Blues is happening in places like Athens, Minneapolis, Austin, LA, Seattle, Tulsa, NYC…it goes on and on.” According to festival producers, this festival celebrates those styles by offering a diverse lineup.
Restrictions from major record labels inhibits the freedom to write and record songs. Major record labels are layered in personalities and politics. Cooper added, “Independent music will always be made. Cause that’s what independent musicians do. Make their music, their way, for themselves and their people.” The free spirit of America and independent music go hand in hand.
FarmJam producers and promoters released the expanded lineup before the first major announcement in 2019. The lineup included pop, rock, reggae, Americana, and country with more rock and roll announcements made recently. Rock acts include Blackfoot Gypsies and more. Previous announcements include Whitney Rose, Will Porter, The Stylees, Will Porter, and international talent, Blake Noble.
Whitney Rose’s sound has sparked excitement throughout the country music industry. She has released four studio albums through Cameron House Records and Six Shooter Records. Her self-titled debut album Whitney Rose was released in 2012 and Heartbreaker Of The Year in 2015. The EP South Texas Suite was released in 2017. Rule 62 was released in October 2017. Rose has a long history of success and entertaining crowds.
Will Porter has numerous albums published and many tours over the years. Will Porter knows how to entertain. Porter is a solo-artist and music producer who has played more than 1,000 shows and worked in major studios. Porter now operates Porterhouse Studios in Love County. Will Porter has played in clubs, amphitheaters, and a variety of venues across the Midwest and South. “I’ve played many, many shows. Heading out West with guys like the Red Dirt Rangers is a great opportunity to be seen and heard,” Porter stated.
“This is an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of FarmJam promotions and connecting with people in the Pacific Northwest,” said Porter when discussing his career and tours. Porter went on to discuss the lineup of artists. He noted that a diverse lineup means that a diverse crowd will bring new fans, new music ideas, and new networking opportunities. Porter said, “The fans will be entertained and the bands will be treated like Rockstars because I have known Trevor Lane (festival producer) for 15 years. He treats the bands well, encourages us to gig swap and he knows the struggle of indie bands.” Porter stated festival producers are organized. “Greg and Trevor make an amazing team from everything I’ve seen. I’m certain EVERYONE [emphasis added] will have a great time at FarmJam,” Porter stated.
The Stylees formed in 2002 in Northeastern Oklahoma, known as Green Country, and their home-base of Tulsa, Oklahoma. In a town with a rich musical legacy known as the “Tulsa Sound” The Stylees are proud to be a part of a scene that sprang forth Leon Russell, The Gap Band, J.J. Cale, and many other musicians who helped put the “Tulsa Sound” and T-Town (Tulsa) on the musical map. They’ve played at Wakarusa, D-fest, Reggae Fest Tulsa, Reggae Fest OKC, Groove Fest , Mayfest, Bluesfest, and many charity or benefit concerts. The Stylees have played along with The Wailers, Steel Pulse, Matisyahu, Slightly Stoopid, Local Hero, Third world, Joseph Israel, Citizen Mundi, Jirraf, Trauma, Circa 360 and many others. Sam and the Stylees have something for everyone. Reggae, Rock, Funk, and Blues are some of the many influences the band draws upon. They’ve taken their spot in Spin Magazine, The Beat Magazine, Urban Tulsa Weekly, Tulsa World, television, and debuted on a variety of radio stations.
Bryant Lamar (the band is known as B Lamar & A Day of Stars) is an an up and coming pop artist. With studios and offices in San Diego, B Lamar discussed what FarmJam means to an aspiring independent artist who only plays original music. “The FarmJam producers have shown us they can capture new markets,” said Lamar. He went on to say, “Knowing there is a premiere festival for original music and independent bands helped my team look at new strategies.” B Lamar has a strong presence in San Diego and Los Angeles. He said, “The creation of FarmJam alongside a promotion team helped build new music listens exceeding 9,000 new fans each month by including the Pacific Northwest,” said Lamar. Lamar was excited to be among such an eclectic group of talent and new music fans. Lamar also echoed Porter, “These producers really have a strong handle on artist relations, promotions, and supporting our ideas or giving us feedback on other industry matters.”
Bands apply on the website for consideration in future lineup announcements, promotions, and advertising. Tickets are available on the festival website www.FarmJamFestival.com. Vendors can apply in March 2019.