Farm Fresh on Apple Music

Farm Fresh

Farm Fresh was formed in Brandon, Manitoba in 1993 from the remnants of the high school band Post Office. The name is an adequate description: while the band took their cue from hip-hop acts like the Beastie Boys (thus the "fresh"), much of the subject material was straight from the prairie experience (thus the "farm"). Early gigs featured MCs Pat Skene and Rod Bailey freestyling over backing tracks laid-down earlier by Bailey and DJ Tyler Sneesby, though they would occasionally team up with a full live-action jazz ensemble for special performances. Silly crowd-pleasers like "Celine Dion" and "Farm Fresh Sucks" eventually gave way to a more polished songwriting style by the time the band's first EP came out in 1994.

The band relocated to Winnipeg, and continued to perform live and release new material on its own label, Peanuts & Corn. The Space EP was followed by the Crazy Friction EP, which was really more of a full-length album. Shortly after the release of Crazy Friction, Farm Fresh hooked up with The Rheostatics and provided backing for the Rheos during the tour in support of the Group of Seven album. Sneesby wound up on the next Rheostatics album, and Martin Tielli provided vocals for a Farm Fresh song. That song stayed in the can until the release of the Played Out album, which compiled Farm Fresh's two official releases as well as three bonus tracks.

Farm Fresh went on hiatus in late 1996. Skene eventually re-emerged with a new project, Fermented Reptile. Bailey went on to form McEnroe, but became almost as active as a producer for other Winnipeg hip-hop bands. In addition to joining The Hummers, Sneesby provided turntables for both McEnroe and Fermented Reptile. Peanuts and Corn is still active and also releases music by other Winnipeg artists in addition to post-Farm Fresh projects. ~ Sean Carruthers

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