“I’ve come to know the Farm Fresh Bluegrass Band since returning to California in 2004. We share the same hometown (Garden Valley), along with a love of music that is both creative and new, as well as authentic and timeless. They’re a delightful group of young people, whose band name suggests how they approach music. Start with a tradition (in this case, bluegrass music), the roots of which run deep into our shared musical landscape. The sounds of Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, the Stanley Brothers, and Reno and Smiley have been studied and planted in their band sound. The resulting crop is tended with care, and pollinated with their own unique take on life. Here’s a traditional sound, full of fresh creative flavor. Farm Fresh, certified great music by yours truly,… Keith Little, 2007.”
Farm Fresh is very excited to finally release their long-awaited debut CD, Southbound Train. It includes some well-known traditionals like Matterhorn and the four-part gospel Wicked Path of Sin. The beautiful voice and songwriting of Ruth Thornton is featured on the heartfelt I Do, as well as on 4x4, an off-road adventure of a love song. Kenny’s voice is feature on Where Peaceful Waters Flow, a haunting shipwreck ballad, and on his own song, another lonely one called Wheels Keep Turning. Friday Night, written by Sam, is a fun, upbeat, going-out-on-the-town song full of peppy mandolin licks. Life of Pain and Pray for the Children switch gears with a more serious look at the troubling side of life. The album finishes off with a driving rendition of Jesse McReynolds’ Southbound Train.
Farm Fresh currently has five members; Sam Hoel, who plays mandolin and guitar, sings and writes songs and is the band emcee; Kenny Schnetz, who plays bass and guitar, and also sings and writes songs; Steven Costa, who plays banjo and does sound for the band; Ruth Thornton, who plays guitar and fiddle, sings, and writes songs; and Abby Costa, who plays fiddle and sings harmony vocals. All five have been friends since they were toddlers, and have been listening to bluegrass music almost as long. The band came together in 2003 when the group decided to work up a few songs and perform them for a 4-H project. They had so much fun playing together that they decided to stay together as a band, and have played together since then, constantly progressing and honing their own interpretation of bluegrass music.