Bob Martin | Midwest Farm Disaster

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Midwest Farm Disaster

by Bob Martin

Martin's lyrics have a very American style to them, simple and understated yet concise and often powerful. This is not the poetry of metaphor and myth but the straightforward art of the folk storyteller. from Sound Bytes- (2001)
Genre: Folk: Political Folk
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Captain Jesus
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3:46 album only
2. Third War Rag
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2:36 album only
3. Mill Town
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5:17 album only
4. Changes in Me
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4:36 album only
5. Old Rass
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3:15 album only
6. Sister Rose and the First Salvation Band
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2:58 album only
7. Midwest Farm Disaster
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4:26 album only
8. Frog Dick South Dakota
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2:45 album only
9. Blind Marie
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3:16 album only
10. Charlie Zink
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3:28 album only
11. Deer Island Prison
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4:57 album only


Album Notes
Bob Martin recorded Midwest Farm Disaster at Nashville Studios in 1972 after he was discovered at Gerdes Folk City in NYC by label reps who signed him to RCA Victor. He worked closely with Chet Atkins, a studio executive at the time and exceptional musicians including drummer Kenneth Buttrey, a key player on Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde album.

The record has been out of print since the mid 1970s, however its popularity has remained strong and after years of fan requests, Bob Martin put the recording onto compact disc and made it available on his own imprint Riversong Records.


to write a review

Jon Tullis

Midwest farm Disaster
It is great to hear this album of songs again. This album was one of my favorites of the time it was released; right up there with similar sounding recordings such as Dylan's Nashville Skyline, Bob Frank's self titled release on Vanguard. It sounds as good as ever..maybe even better after all these years. I am struck by the excellent arrangements to the songs and how good the musicianship is. Just listen to how well the bass line weaves in and out on Changes In Me and lends itself to the melody. Some great work here. The very sharp,deliberate, and edgy sound to Martin's vocal delivery is very effective, and it is a fine collection of songs. This album works on a lot of levels. I think it will go over well for new listeners too, but is a sentimental favorite of mine. My only disapointment in the re-issue is that it didn't include a little booklet of info on Martin and the album, and the print size of the lyrics is way too small for these aging eyes! Anyway, three cheers to Bob Martin and thanks for this re-issue of a classic!

O.B. Edwards

Small and Beautiful World
I stumbled onto the LP in San Jose California, soon after it was released in 1972. It was in with a bunch of used albums and special releases. I knew nothing about Bob Martin, but I liked the cover photo and it was cheap. I really loved the songs and Bob's voice. I felt like I had discovered a hidden treasure. The story doesn't end there.

Many years later, around 1997, I found myself living back east. Curcumstances had brought me to teaching job in Patucketville, Ma. Long story short, Bob was teaching at the same school. It took me til about December to ask him if he was the guy on the pig. I thought it was some farmer from the midwest. We both were so surprized by the situation. I got to know him during that year and found him an amazing individual as well as artist. I'm back living on the west coast and I still have the album and of course it's signed by the artist.

Andrew Hawkey

Long-overdue reappearance of a classic
I have a clear memory of finding this back in the early seventies, in a specialist London import shop, listening to a couple of tracks, and (stupidly) rejecting it in favour of something more 'mellow' (Jesse Colin Young, probably!). Ah well ... In more recent times Bob's CDs have become crucial listening in this household, and belatedly picking up Midwest Farm Disaster on vinyl a couple of years back made me realize what I'd been missing! Its CD reissue is timely - Bob's pretty active all of a sudden, and a UK tour later in 2008 is being planned, they say - maybe he'll even make it to France, where I now live - sure hope so. It's a period piece, for sure, but one that's stood the test of time remarkably well (better than Jesse Colin Young, that's for sure!): a couple of tracks (Third World Rag, for instance) verge on being novelty items, but the bulk of the material here is outstanding. The combination of Bob's literacy, his uncompromising voice, and the empathy of those Nashville cats adds up to something very special. The heart-stopping starkness of Mill Town, and the magical piano figure on Blind Marie, just two of the many things I love about this disc ... Bob's time has come, and Farm Disaster is the foundation on which he's built his career.

jim lowry

just great music
I bought the vinyl back when it first came out because of the cover and the lyrics. It just looked like my kind of stuff. Turned out to be still one of my top five artists in a very extensive collection. Bob is a lyricist of the highest order. If you are from New England you probably see Bob all the time but I had the rare pleasure of seeing him in Texas when "Next TO Nothing" came out. He was superb. His wife and daughter were travelling with him and I asked them to please do everything they could to get this music on CD so it could be better preserved. This is just a note of thanks.

If you are looking for truly great folk music Midwest Farm Disaster is the highest I could recommend.

carl latham

one of the greatest albums of all time
I have owned a copy of this album since the early 70`s I found it in a used record store. A friend of mine once offered me his entire Jerry Lee Lewis record collection for this one album,,,I didn`t take the offer. This has been still is and will always be one of my favorite albums. It has always been on my current play list no matter where my music tastes have wandered through the years. There is something on this album that anyone can relate to. It is a powerful piece of music, you will laugh, cry and want to listen again and again !!!!!!!!!!!

mel gingerich

Midwest Farm Disaster
My mother bought this album for me back in the 70's and I loved it. Tried to find more recently and was unable to find it anywhere. I was excited to find it in December on CDbaby. It's been a real treat to hear those great songs again. Thanks Mel

Allan M Kotila

Midwest Farm Disaster
I first heard this while in high school. Bob taught economics and his album was for sale at the student store. I loved it then and I love it now. His lyrics and voice work so well together. Had the music scene gone differently Bob might have been a household name! Thanks for the music Bob.

Richard Steward

Midwest Farm Disaster
I bought the original vinyl within weeks of issue. It was probably because of the album cover and the fact that Bob knew what was going on in the midwest. I had traveled the country pretty low to ground, lived that way then, and knew what was going on. Thought he might be a kindred soul. He was. I carried the songs in my mind for years, some pretty tough years. Lost the album because I lost everything and I mean everything. Wandered homeless for a while. Took a decade to get back on my feet. I thought one day to get on the computer to see if I could find the lyrics to a couple songs I had forgotten. Imagine my surprise! Reissue. Since then, I have been in touch with Bob's family and I hope to meet him in September. We live about 80 miles apart in Massachusetts. He was born and raised 25 miles from where I started in Gloucester. Another reason his songs resonate "I was born in the turning of the tide/just his side of a mill town by the see." Me, too. This is one for all time. The lowdown. The truth. The actuality of living through these times and places. Play it over and over and you will find a realm. If you are already in that realm, you will find some company.

Steven Harris

Some beautiful songs
I love some of the songs on this album.

Paul Bonney

Bob Martin- Midwest Farm Disaster
Bob was my high school economics teacher. At the time he was a regular on the Boston folk scene. It was not unusual to see a group of his students at Passim\'s or other similar venues. We all knew Bob was not the average teacher back in high school when we spotted his face on the back cover of the Woodstock album. That is Bob right smack in the middle of the album, looking up at the stage. I still have the vinyl version of Midwest Farm Disaster and glad to see Bob finally released it on cd. Thanks Bob, thanks for all your great music, it is just good today as it was was when \"times were what they used to be\". Timeless for sure.