High Flying 'Fables'

By KELLY KEYS | News-Telegram Staff Writer

June 28, 2007 - If you’ve ever been to the Wal-Mart in Sulphur Springs, you’ve likely seen the "New Releases" CD display in the electronics section. And if you’ve been there lately, you’ve seen signs spanning three rows of the display that read “Local Band!” and “Hometown Boys!” advertising the June 12 album release from Sulphur Springs-born band Fair to Midland, "Fables From a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True."

Photo Courtesy of MSO Public Relations

The band Fair to Midland, which includes (left to right) Cliff Campbell (guitar), Darroh Sudderth (vocals), Brett Stowers (drums), John Dicken (bass) and Matt Langley (keyboards), started out in Sulphur Springs in 1998. Now their first major album release, “Fables From a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times is True,” is on the Billboard charts and garnering both critical and commercial success.

This is FTM’s first album under the Serjical Strike record label, founded by Serj Tankian, frontman of System Of A Down, and it's getting critical and commercial notice.

"Fables From a Mayfly" reached number 137 on the Billboard 200 Top Albums. The album is also number 2 this week on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart, which tracks the best-selling albums by new and developing bands and artists, and earned a "Hot Shot" designation as the album with the greatest airplay and sales gains in its debut week.

The featured single, "Dance of the Manatee," hit number 22 on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart last week. "Fables" was also one of the featured new releases on the iTunes Music Store the week of its release and cracked the Dallas Morning News' Top 10 Local Pop Albums list.

The band was founded by members Darroh (Andrew) Sudderth (vocals) and guitarist Cliff Campbell around 1998 and has been a staple of the area's music scene ever since. FTM now includes Brett Stowers on drums, Jon Dicken on bass and Matt Langley on keyboards. They released an independently recorded and distributed album, "inter.funda.stifle," before being signed to Serjical Strike in April of 2006. 

Some of the songs on "Fables" were originally on "inter.funda.stifle" and have been reworked for the new release along with a raft of new songs.

�It�s a more mature album,� said guitarist Campbell, who credits a better understanding of how they like to write songs as a major contribution to the album�s success.

Along with the new CD release, the band has been enjoying life on tour. They've completed a set of shows in Europe, playing such famous venues as Germany’s Rock Im Park and Rock Am Ring, and they are now back in the States with other bands 69 Eyes, Wednesday 13, and Night Kills The Day. 

As for long-term goals, the band hopes to just keep touring and building a fan base so they can continue to make music.

�We�re in such a fickle industry, so just having longevity in music is rare,� said Sudderth, who describes the band as �a little left of center.�

For some, however, the band is a little harder to describe. Comparisons have been made to the likes of Tool, The Mars Volta, Coheed and Cambria, and Dredg, but FTM seems to defy categorization. "Fables" is a surprising mix of musical stylings, which showcases the band's ability to pull each style off with ease.

They’ve already generated a huge following locally, and worldwide praise is quickly building, especially in response to Sudderth’s vocals, which make him “one of the most courageous singers in rock music," according to Jennifer Cray, music critic with www.Ink19.com.

Currently, the band is finishing up a swing through California, but will be back in Texas in July. Following a show in El Paso with Papa Roach, Trapt and Burden Brothers, Fair to Midland will return to Dallas on July 2 to play at a 7 p.m. show at the House of Blues. Tickets are $20 and $21 to the House of Blues show in the Cambridge Room, open to all ages. Call 214-978-2583 or visit the website at http://hob.com/venues/clubvenues/dallas/.

Following the Dallas show, they'll play 12 more dates in the U.S. before returning to Europe for another dozen shows in August.

If you’re unable to attend a live performance, head to the "New Releases" display at Wal-Mart.

Just look for the signs.


www.fairtomidland.com

http://www.myspace.com/fairtomidland

High Flying ‘Fables’

Fair to Midland has grown from the little band from Sulphur Springs to a major player

�in the modern rock scene

By KELLY KEYS | News-Telegram Staff Writer

If you’ve ever been to the Wal-Mart in Sulphur Springs, you’ve likely seen the "New Releases" CD display in the electronics section. And if you’ve been there lately, you’ve seen signs spanning three rows of the display that read “Local Band!” and “Hometown Boys!” advertising the June 12 album release from Sulphur Springs-born band Fair to Midland, "Fables From a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True."

This is FTM’s first album under the Serjical Strike record label, founded by Serj Tankian, frontman of System Of A Down, and it's getting critical and commercial notice.

"Fables From a Mayfly" reached number 137 on the Billboard 200 Top Albums. The album is also number 2 this week on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart, which tracks the best-selling albums by new and developing bands and artists, and earned a "Hot Shot" designation as the album with the greatest airplay and sales gains in its debut week.

The featured single, "Dance of the Manatee," hit number 22 on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart last week. "Fables" was also one of the featured new releases on the iTunes Music Store the week of its release and cracked the Dallas Morning News' Top 10 Local Pop Albums list.

The band was founded by members Darroh (Andrew) Sudderth (vocals) and guitarist Cliff Campbell around 1998 and has been a staple of the area's music scene ever since. FTM now includes Brett Stowers on drums, Jon Dicken on bass and Matt Langley on keyboards. They released an independently recorded and distributed album, "inter.funda.stifle," before being signed to Serjical Strike in April of 2006. 

Some of the songs on "Fables" were originally on "inter.funda.stifle" and have been reworked for the new release along with a raft of new songs.

�It�s a more mature album,� said guitarist Campbell, who credits a better understanding of how they like to write songs as a major contribution to the album�s success.

Along with the new CD release, the band has been enjoying life on tour. They've completed a set of shows in Europe, playing such famous venues as Germany’s Rock Im Park and Rock Am Ring, and they are now back in the States with other bands 69 Eyes, Wednesday 13, and Night Kills The Day. 

As for long-term goals, the band hopes to just keep touring and building a fan base so they can continue to make music.

�We�re in such a fickle industry, so just having longevity in music is rare,� said Sudderth, who describes the band as �a little left of center.�

For some, however, the band is a little harder to describe. Comparisons have been made to the likes of Tool, The Mars Volta, Coheed and Cambria, and Dredg, but FTM seems to defy categorization. "Fables" is a surprising mix of musical stylings, which showcases the band's ability to pull each style off with ease.

They’ve already generated a huge following locally, and worldwide praise is quickly building, especially in response to Sudderth’s vocals, which make him “one of the most courageous singers in rock music," according to Jennifer Cray, music critic with www.Ink19.com.

Currently, the band is finishing up a swing through California, but will be back in Texas in July. Following a show in El Paso with Papa Roach, Trapt and Burden Brothers, Fair to Midland will return to Dallas on July 2 to play at a 7 p.m. show at the House of Blues. Tickets are $20 and $21 to the House of Blues show in the Cambridge Room, open to all ages. Call 214-978-2583 or visit the website at http://hob.com/venues/clubvenues/dallas/.

Following the Dallas show, they'll play 12 more dates in the U.S. before returning to Europe for another dozen shows in August.

If you’re unable to attend a live performance, head to the "New Releases" display at Wal-Mart.

Just look for the signs.

On the Internet:

www.fairtomidland.com

http://www.myspace.com/fairtomidland

www.msopr.com/

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