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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Bob Martin - Midwest Farm Disaster (1972 us, fine country protest folk rock, 2017 japan remaster)



Bob Martin is a highly talented singer songwriter from Lowell, Massachusetts who released Midwest Farm Disaster in 1972. Martin is still making records today but this one is generally acknowledged as his masterpiece and is perhaps one of the finest singer songwriter albums ever recorded.

Martin’s voice is gravelly and weathered but soulful. Think of a strange Kevin Coyne, Van Morrison, and Bob Lind blend and you’d be right on target. The lyrics are top shelf too, the equal or better of most major or critically acclaimed artists out there. The album’s sound is very close to Gene Clark’s White Light or Bob Lind’s Since There Were Circles LP, a stark, beautiful blend of folk and country that reveals its depth with repeated listens. Each song has something new to offer, and Bob brings us into his working class world with great American stories about local drunks, small town farm life, hard times, prison convicts, and working on the mill.

“Blind Marie” is a moving singer songwriter track that sounds like a classic, it also happens to be the album’s most accessible song that should have gained Martin commercial notoriety. Tracks like the Woody Guthrie influenced “Third War Rag” and “Frog Dick, South Dakota” are coloured by a distinct sense of humor but are also packed with good, catchy melodies and wonderfully sarcastic lyrics. Other songs like the intense “Mill Town” and the title track are dark tales that relate to Bob’s earlier life on the farm and are superb examples of real Americana. The album ends with “Deer Island Prison,” which might be thought of as the album’s centerpiece. Martin turns in a stunning vocal and lyrical performance that must surely rank as one of the great, unsung confessionals.

This is an excellent and unforgettable LP full of rich drifter music and mandatory listening for those who are into deep, rustic singer songwriter albums.
by Jason Nardelli


Tracks
1. Captain Jesus - 3:46
2. Third War Rag - 2:36
3. Mill Town - 5:18
4. Changes In Me - 4:36
5. Old Rass - 3:15
6. Sister Rose And The Frist Salvation Band - 2:58
7. Midwest Farm Disaster - 4:26
8. Frog Dick, South Dakota - 2:45
9. Blind Marie - 3:16
10.Charlie Zink - 3:28
11.Deer Island Prison - 4:57
Words and Music by Bob Martin

Musicians
*Bob Martin - Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica
*David Briggs - Keyboards
*Billy Sanford - Dobro, Guitar
*Kenny Buttrey - Drums
*Norbert Putnam - Bass
*Various Nashville Sidemen

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8 comments:

Alexandr Markevich said...

Thanks, Marios.

Echiré79 said...

Very good album
Thanks Marios

mscmichael said...

Thanks very much...

Dylan Thomas said...

Thanks a lot my friend. Never heard of him, but looks good if for nothing else the folks who back him up.

Yiannis/John said...

Thanks a lot!

Miles said...

Wow! Why I haven't heard of this guy before? That clip featuring 'Mill Town' is incredible. I look forward to hearing more. Thanks for the introduction.

Vaughn Abbott said...

When last I heard Bob is still in the Lowell, MA area and continues to perform in and around pubs there.

Anonymous said...

Bob was our economics teacher at Nashoba Regional High School in Bolton, Mass at the time of the release of Midwest Farm Disaster. It was a big deal for all of us. We went to see his shows all over the Cambridge folk scene. We all enjoyed spotting Bob on dead center in the middle of the back cover of the Woodstock album, next to his wife Anne Marie. Over the years Bob remained true to his music. Nothing is over produced, just true Bob. I am not sure if he is still doing shows, but it would be a treat to see him perform again.