A ‘Farm party’ going down on Sunday at the Foothills Fall Festival
By Steve Wildsmith | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
She may look like a magazine-worthy model, but when it comes to country music, Krista Marie is just one of the boys.
Of course, Marie — who performs with Damien Horne and Nick Hoffman as the up-and-coming country trio The Farm this weekend at the Foothills Fall Festival — has been holding her own in a man’s world for a while now. Not only has she charted a few minor country hits as a solo artists (“Jeep Jeep,” “Tomboy”), she’s competed hard enough in ATV Motocross racing to seriously injure herself back in 2008, when she fractured four vertebrae and lacerated her liver.
Needless to say, when she’s rolling down the road in a tour bus with her band members and assorted crew, she can hold her own.
“We have a really good time together,” Marie told The Daily Times during a recent phone interview. “We’re very lucky that way. It’s almost like a marriage between the three of us. And on the road, there are nine of us total, all riding together and living together in the same quarters 24/7. But I love the guys, and I think they like me, so it’s really good!”
Less than two years ago, all three members of The Farm were enjoying success on their own. Horne was part of John Rich’s MuzikMafia songwriting group and was collaborating with guys like Keith Urban and other country music royalty. Marie was a solo artist signed to Broken Bow Records, and Hoffman toured for more than a decade as Kenny Chesney’s fiddle player.
“The three of us were doing what we loved to do, and by a twist of fate we met and got together to write, and it worked,” Marie said. “The first song we ever wrote together ended up being our first single. At the time, we had no idea it would be our first single, let alone that we would be in a group. But little by little, we continued to write, and it all worked out.
“Finally, we all decided that this thing is kind of cool, unique and special, and when you capture something special like that, you’ve got to run with it. So we put everything else aside and decided to focus everything on The Farm.”
The group’s first single, “Home Sweet Home,” cracked the Top 20 of the Billboard country singles chart last year, and in July, the band’s self-titled debut album was released. It’s packed full of sunny sing-alongs, feel-good rural rockers and a tender moment or two, including the group’s most recent single, “Be Grateful.” It’s a simple tune with a big message reminding everyone — from the listener to the members of The Farm themselves — to count their blessings.
“The three of us being out on the road, sometimes we get a little worn out,” Marie said. “We’re living the dream — ecstatic and happy and lucky to get the opportunity to do what we love to do so much — but every so often, we look at the glass half empty instead of half full. But every night on the stage, it’s a reminder to do just that: be grateful.
“This world is a crazy place, and there are a lot of crazy things going on, but there’s always somebody who has it worse than you do. Nothing’s the end of the world, and you just have to look at it that way and be positive. It’s a great thing to live by, and when I’m on stage and re-listen to the lyrics, I remind myself that I’m so lucky to be on the stage doing what I love. Even if I’m tired and beat-up and not feeling good, I’m living the dream.”
Mashing it up
At this weekend’s Foothills Fall Festival, they’ll share that dream with fans both old and new. Hoffman’s love of traditional country, Marie’s fondness for jazz and the Great American Songbook and Horne’s affinity for smooth country-soul all come together to succeed as part of a crazy-fun formula. On paper, Marie said, it wouldn’t seem like their backgrounds and voices would go together; live, they blow those preconceptions out of the water.
“When we perform live, there’s an energy and excitement that turns it into a big ol’ Farm party,” Marie said. “We bring a little jazz, a little soul, a little traditional country, and we mash it all up. Damien backflips around the stage and Nick’s the Slash of fiddle playing. When you get us on stage together, you get this really fun, cool party, and we all get to do a little bit of everything we love into this band.”