midwayfair 14


21218 US   Feb 2013


Artist Bio

Influences:   Mark Knopfler, Josh Ritter, Tom Waits, The Waterboys, Richard Thompson, Gillian Welch, Indigo Girls, Sam Cooke, Marquez, Calvino, Eco, and many many others

My name's Jon. My band is Midway Fair, which includes Joe Scala (@joetime), who encouraged me to do FAWM starting in 2013; Rick Vaeder, who gave FAWM a shot a few years ago; and Tim Taormino.

2021: Well, I just dropped off the completed tracks for an album so I guess it's time to write another one.

I've been learning drums, so some of this year's tracks may get real ones for a change!

Good luck to everyone!

Gear's pretty nonstandard, so here's some geek notes:
RME Fireface UCX interface -> Logic Pro X.
Pres: ART Pro MPAII and some FET+Germanium pres I designed & built.
Rack comp: DIY Stereo 1176.
Mics: Lots of DIY stuff, mostly 47 or 12 flavored, some DIY ribbons, and various other nonsense.
Acoustic guitars: Koa Larrivee D5, Crafters of Tennessee D18, and a pretty handmade Japanese guitar my dad gave me last year.
Electric Guitars: Red tele w/ Kinmans, the Don Quixotecaster, and a Sheraton 50th anniversary.
Keys: Roland FP5
Bass: Epiphone Viola bass with rewound pickups by John Benson & some tinkering with the wiring by me.
Other: Weber Mandolin, Gold Tone banjo
Drums: Natal Ash, a Baltimore Drum Company maple snare (and an acrolite if I get it back from Tim), vintage Ziljian hats, a Meinl ride, and Istanbul crashes.


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  • @nadine 6 weeks

    You're welcome! I am not a Logic User, so I cannot say anything about these settings. This year, I plan to undertstand room concepts and reverb. It's so hard to get that straight. Kudos for that!

  • @gardeningangel1  Mar 5

    Thank you for directing my attention to Pillows and Blankets, an important moment in history that I had been woefully unaware of until now. 😉

  • @rockstarsmd  Mar 3

    Hello out there in Baltimore! I used to play your city pretty regularly, when I was D.C.-based, but alas that's been a lifetime ago! I played drums on all my FAWM songs (not too hard to tell, based on the simplicity and general sloppiness of the parts!), and had a blast doing it! I'm really lucky to have a handful of insanely-talented drummers in my life here in Madison, WI for my usual recording purposes. Man oh man do I miss being able to gig with any of my bands.... Ouch. The beforetimes seems so very long ago; I hope we can hold on and keep the covid numbers down whilst the vaccine is further distributed... I wanna play out! Let's do stay in touch, no?

  • @davidtaro  Feb 28

    Hi Jon. Thanks for the comments! It’d be a pleasure to keep in touch post-FAWM. I’ve added my email to my profile (with my actual surname rather than the bastardised version of my middle name which I use here cos it sounds cooler 😬). Am on soundcloud too, just gave you a follow! Earlier this month I had a little check out of the Midway Fair website - the live videos are great man, closest thing to a gig I’ve done since lockdown! Obviously I’m in the UK so chances of actually seeing you guys in person are slim, but would love to know if you and Joe have anything in the works on that front. Cheers!

  • @defaultdave  Feb 28

    Thanks for commenting on Mad Scientist Blues... you can’t keep a mad scientist down... at least one with anti-grav boots.

  • @prsongsmith  Feb 27

    Thanks for checking out “Kil’d By Several Accidents”! So glad you enjoyed it! A friend posted the image on Facebook, and I was curious about where it came from. That led me to do a little googling, and I found a link to the full text of the book it comes from, an early analysis of the causes of death in 17th c. England. John Graunt, the author, is widely considered the father of epidemiology and data-analysis. http://www.edstephan.org/Graunt/0.html Thanks again!

  • @ustaknow Feb 26

    Hahhh, thanks; slothcore, - it's such a special genre. I'd love to tag it that, I know I could out run'em if made them angry for it 😀

  • @hmorg  Feb 24

    Thanks for the comment on "Monolithic Halls"! The drum intro just popped into my head and my band's drummer later noted that it was the intro beat of a Finnish 80s glam rock hit among other things, but that's probably what I knew it from. The buzzing sound at the end is an Arturia Minibrute 2 synthesizer. I crafted a patch, made it drone a C# note and started fiddling with the knobs.

  • @aflinner  Feb 24

    Thanks for listening 🙂

  • @vomvorton  Feb 23

    Thank you so much for adding my song with @loveonamixtape to the recommended songs thread! Really made me feel happy at the end of a difficult day.

    Really enjoyed checking out a couple of your tracks, will be back for more. And your acoustic guitar is drop-dead gorgeous 😍

  • @shelleroo1  Feb 22

    Oh my goodness, thank you so much for your amazing comment! I got a little teary reading it!

  • @celineellis  Feb 20

    thank you so much for your lovely words! alt-country is normaly where i fit when i write and perform to be fair, but FAWM is such a liberating expereince for me i experiment and try stuff out

  • @shelleroo1  Feb 18

    Thanks so much for your comments on Mother Mary! I'll have to listen closely to that line. I don't have the song remotely memorized yet, so I'm sure I'm all over the place. 😉 Much appreciated!

  • @skibum1066  Feb 18

    Nice sound, simple sweet melody, great guitar back up. It was a pleasure

  • @davidtaro  Feb 15

    Think you might have cracked it with the single note falsetto suggestion. Will try that, but it works in my head. Thanks for your help, Jon!

  • @davidtaro  Feb 14

    Hi there! Thanks so much for the feedback and recommendation on Fairytale Blues. You're absolutely spot on with the point about the pre-chorus falsetto thing. I was worried I was ripping off a Lana del Rey tune, and didn't notice I was actually borrowing from... well, one of my favourite songs 😬 ! So I had a go at something different - just brought it down an octave (I think). Not sure it has the same punch, but would love your thoughts if you have time (and if you have any ideas for something else that might work.....?). I've popped it here: https://soundcloud.com/david_taro/fairytale-blues-v2/s-xyIS6WPxojm (no worries if not btw - FAWM month is already busy enough with writing stuff). Anyway, again, really appreciate you taking the time! Look forward to hearing your upcoming stuff too. Cheers.

  • @gardeningangel1  Feb 14

    Thank you so much for your comments and recommendation on "The Wreck At Home"! It means so much to me to have that song in particular be so well received. The guitar effects are onboard my VYPYR amp, a recent acquisition that I've been having a lot of fun with.

  • @prsongsmith  Feb 13

    Thanks so much for listening to “Boulevard Montmartre” — really appreciate the thoughtful comments. I *did* intentionally leave the melody unresolved through most of the song — good ear to notice that — but I think the connection with the lyric might have been more subconscious! I built the whole progression around diminished chords, and I really like the way they push toward particular resolutions, but I tried not to stay there very long. Thanks again!

  • @joetime  Feb 13

    Check this one out by @gardeningangel1 ... https://fawm.org/songs/117052/

  • @joetime  Feb 10

    Re: fade outs: there’s a switch on the iPad called “fade out”... which makes this literally too easy to resist So yeah it just takes your last section and fades it... ie that was the last chorus!

  • @phenola Feb 9

    Hey, thanks for the comment on my song "You're Completely Incompetent". To answer your question about the chord stabs in the chorus, those are not V7, but diminished. So that repeated progression is

    A -> F#dim -> F7 -> E

    Specifically, it was played XX4545 (notated from low E string to high E string).

    Hope that helps

  • @persaab Feb 9

    Thank you for nice comment. Long live sloths.

  • @prsongsmith  Feb 8

    Thanks for taking the time to check out “Cascadia Subduction” So glad you enjoyed it.!

  • @bethdesombre  Feb 8

    Thanks so much for your comments on (and recommendation of) What is Written; I keep going back and forth between "I love this!" and "Is this complete nonsense?" so it's great to have your vote of confidence. "Fearless" is the Fearless songwriter week; happens multiple times of the year, but there's always one during FAWM -- 7 songs in 7 days, to prompts. (the site is here: https://fearless.fearlesssongwriter.com/)

  • @defaultdave  Feb 7

    Thanks for dropping by to say hi.... I had kind of an idea for a concept album, but no songs are fleshing out.

    Been struggling making music lately. Focusing on just making some tracks to give me inspiration.

  • @rayboneor  Feb 6

    Thanks for stopping by. I actually had your Spirit Bear song cued up last night, but I was sort of fawmed out, so I saved it for this morning.

    I had that same issue with soundcloud...but it seems to have resolved itself. Go figure!

  • @standup  Feb 6

    Thanks for listening to a couple of tunes. The death ray sound came from a modular synth rig, a couple of oscillators and LFO’s.

  • @scubed  Feb 6

    Thanks very much for listening and commenting on my skirmish song! Having been written and recorded in the space of an hour, it’s certainly just a rough draft at this point. I’ll keep your suggestion in mind when I come back to it later.

  • @hamiltonpoolhall  Feb 3

    Now that's funny. I *have* written FAWM songs about cats, but this is not (intentionally) one of them. Good to see you back, looking forward to listening!

  • @ginomakesmusic  Feb 2

    Thanks man, and welcome back!! Happy FAWM! 😀

  • @timothybracken Feb 1

    Yo! Good to be back haha.

  • @gardeningangel1  Feb 1

    Hello, great to see you again! Congrats on completing an album. My favorite way to celebrate finishing an album is to start a new one 😊