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Q&A: Farmer & The Markets


We’d wager that in recent years, however, nearly all of the visitors to the market have been stopped in their tracks at least once by a talented group of young street musicians called Farmer & The Markets.

The band, made up of locals Jackson Lafargue, Philip Shepherd, Cody Nielsen, and Ashtyn Nilsen, play a diverse mix of cover songs in several genres, from classic rock to modern indie music. They bang on boxes, strum guitars, and glock the glockenspiel while children dance, and passers-by stop and sing along.

Recently, the band has begun playing stages outside of the streets of the Fayetteville square. They were on the bill of the Fayetteville Roots Festival last year, and they performed at the Walton Arts Center during at the TEDx event held in April.

Farmer and the Markets - Only in Arkansas

To us, they’ve become one of Fayetteville’s many treasures. We got in touch with them earlier this week, and they were nice enough to answer some questions.

Tell us a bit about how you guys got started playing together with Farmer & The Markets. How’d you settle on the name?

Jackson: We first started out around three years ago as an informal trio consisting of me playing percussion, Philip playing glockenspiel/percussion, and another friend of ours from our high school who played guitar. We simply wanted to make some extra cash on the weekends and initially never intended it to be an actual established group. Eventually our guitar player was replaced by Cody Nielsen, who was also in Surf de Soleil with Philip. Some weeks later, Cody brought Ashtyn along, and as a result, we made the most money we’d ever made at a market up to that point. That same day, as we were wrapping up, we were talking about how it seemed that everyone was asking us if we had a name. Cody spontaneously blurted out “Farmer & The Markets” and it has stuck ever since. …

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Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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