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FARPOINT

Prog Folk • United States


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Farpoint biography
FARPOINT are a 6-piece outfit from South Carolina whose melodic style alternates between acoustic folksy ballads and harder-edged blues rock. You can't deny their 'Christian' leanings although they never smack you around with preachy lyrics. In addition to standard rock instrumentation, they use classical guitar, mandolin, flute and various types of percussion. Vocal duties are shared between two very different vocalist, female Dana Oxendine's angelic voice and Clark Boone's husky/gravelly type reminiscent of Ritchie Havens on "How Can I" and "Icarus Ascending" from Steve Hackett's "Please Don't Touch" album.

With loads of 12-string acoustic guitar and a generally organic sound, their album "First Light" (2002) has a a medieval, almost pastoral YES flavour. "Grace' (2003), featuring an excellent lead guitarist by the name of Mike Avins, boasts a much more aggressive sound although it still contains plenty of acoustic parts (piano, 12-string) but without the medieval flavour. "From Dreaming to Dreaming" (2004) sees the band reaching new heights in song writing, performance and production. With only a very subtle nod to YES this time around - and a not-so-subtle one to PINK FLOYD - the band's energy level is higher than ever and features plenty of spacey synth with only the occasional folksy ballad.

"First Light" should appeal to straight-up folk prog lovers; "Grace" is more likely to draw GLASS HAMMER fans whereas "From Dreaming to Dreaming" will certainly please fans of The MOODY BLUES as this one captures both the sound and spirit of that band.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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Water of LifeWater of Life
CD Baby 2012
Audio CD$8.14
$9.91 (used)
KindredKindred
10T Records 2011
Audio CD$8.98
$40.05 (used)
Cold Star Quiet StarCold Star Quiet Star
CD Baby 2008
Audio CD$12.99
$13.49 (used)
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Farpoint Kindred CD US $12.51 Buy It Now 3 days
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FARPOINT discography


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FARPOINT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.02 | 5 ratings
First Light
2002
3.00 | 2 ratings
Grace
2003
3.28 | 6 ratings
From Dreaming To Dreaming
2004
3.75 | 4 ratings
Cold Star Quiet Star
2008
3.20 | 11 ratings
Kindred
2011

FARPOINT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 3 ratings
Water of Life: Live at the Sumter Opera House
2012

FARPOINT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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FARPOINT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

FARPOINT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Kindred by FARPOINT album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.20 | 11 ratings

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Kindred
Farpoint Prog Folk

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars US act FARPOINT has been around in one form or another since 1997, when Kevin Jarvis and Rick Walker hooked up and decided to form a band. They have been active as a live and recording unit ever since, with 5 full-length albums to their name. The most recent of these is "Kindred", which was issued by the US label 10t Records in the summer of 2011.

Neither demanding nor challenging in any manner worth mentioning, spirited and positive moods is the name of the game for Farpoint on their latest production. Accessible compositions with an emphasis on melodies where the acoustic guitar is the main provider of lead motifs prevail. Subtle details from folk music and symphonic art rock flavour the arrangements, and occasional sophisticated structural manoeuvres add an art rock dimension to the proceedings. By and large an album that should appeal to those who enjoy advanced singer/songwriter material in my opinion; most songs possess just as much appeal to a mainstream-oriented audience as to one with their main preferences within the art rock universe.

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 From Dreaming To Dreaming by FARPOINT album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.28 | 6 ratings

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From Dreaming To Dreaming
Farpoint Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars Not much has changed in the Farpoint universe from their debut to their third album. It's pretty much the same formula of raunchy R&B influenced songs alternating with folkier ballads, all with an earnest Christian slant. Acoustic guitars and organs predominate, with the gruff male and angelic female vocals reminding of MOSTLY AUTUMN, although here the contrast is even greater.

On "From Dreaming to Dreaming", most of the harder edged tracks occur early, and seem less authentic than the more melodic tunes. Probably the best example of the combination of styles into one piece is the sublime "Crying In the Rain", with its crunching organ dominated verses giving way to a sensitive floating chorus in which both singers play call and response roles. But the track of most progressive interest is the 10 minute "Sojourn", which combines immediately catchy moments with more intricate segments. The lead guitar is especially soaring here. Other noteworthy tunes include "Nothing at all" and its sister "Anything at all", and "O Lost", which reminds me of late 60s/early 70s folk music brought into the new millennium. Lovely flute work here, and a final muscular boost of electric guitar.

As usual, FARPOINT delivers an above average disc of accessible prog folk with symphonic and heavy tendencies. At this point it might be unrealistic to expect more, but I suppose one can dream.

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 First Light  by FARPOINT album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.02 | 5 ratings

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First Light
Farpoint Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars FARPOINT were found in 1997 in Sumter,South California, when guitarist/keyboardist Kevin Jarvis and drummer Rick Walker joined their forces,soon to be supported by female singer Dana Oxendine.The band even paricipated at the 98' Yescamp,covering several YES songs with Don Fink on bass,Michelle Wakler on keyboards and Carl Boone on male vocals,later to become a stable member of FARPOINT.In 2000 they release a limited edition single with two songs,this time with Frank Tyson on basses.Both Rick and Michelle Walker would also quit,with two members jumping on board: Jonathan Rodriguez on drums and Mike Avins on guitars.With this line-up FARPOINT release ''First light'' in 2002 as a private press.

In ''First light'' the love of FARPOINT both for Folk music and Progressive/Art Rock are more than evident.Do not expect something overly complicated,although the album contains several YES- like chord progressions.The overall atmosphere is quite soft and dreamy, with the typical rock instrumentation exchanging with a heavy amount of acoustic and 12-string guitars from song to song.The rockier songs have some good instrumental parts with bluesy guitars and the rhythm section on the front,while keyboards and a few piano parts are mostly used as background instrument.Add to these elements the intense typical American voice of Boone,resulting some decent art rock musicianship with a rural edge.Several tracks though contain acoustic passages in a ballad style, accompanied by soft keys and hailed by the magnificent and sensitive voice of Dana Oxendine,who raises my emotions to another level.The 14-min. ''To the river'' is an absolute amalgam of the afore-mentioned influences:US Art Rock/Folk with tons of acoustic guitars,more dominant keys,a tight rhythm section,ethereal backing vocals by Oxendine and expressive singing by Boone.

FARPOINT won't blow you away with their God-sent talent or complicated breaks...but they play some damn good Art Rock from their heart,deeped in sensitivity and originality.A nice purchase,mostly for fans of Acoustic Prog or the US sound.

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 Grace by FARPOINT album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Grace
Farpoint Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars On FARPOINT's sophomore effort we find a toning down of the folk and Celtic elements in favor of a slicker and slightly harder edged style. As a result, "Grace" may be of greater interest to the average neo progressive fan. Whether one considers this a step up or step down for the South Carolina band will depend on one's preferred company among the sub genres.

I don't wish to suggest that the alteration is radical by any means, but we do find more dominant and somewhat distorted lead guitars than previously. Farpoint still opts for Christian slanted spiritual themes and tends to melodic and lengthy compositions with fairly conventional and pleasant arrangements. The twin vocals of Dana Oxendine and Clark Boone trade off each other, often in the same passage, which remains a positive force in the lineup.

Not surprisingly, it is in the material that is more overtly Christian that Farpoint shows the most conviction and verve, particularly in the divine title cut with its devotional lightly chanted vocals. Even here, the message scores points across the spiritual spectrum because no preaching is involved, just reflections on one man's epiphany.

Other favorites are the more acoustic "Dawn" with Oxendine's chirpy flutes and dulcet vox, and "Ghost", which sounds like a more focused and toned down KARNATAKA and IONA. "H2Origins" and "Yesterday" are both played at a similar tempo and could have been pared down or even merged. But it is later in the disk that the quality factor flags, as "Nevermore" and "Falling Down" just sound like conventional AOR and soft rock respectively. An argument for keeping within a 60 minute guideline for CDs, especially in a prolific band that is (or was) releasing almost annually.

While I can taste the sincerity and humility in the strains of FARPOINT, I can't give more than a guarded recommendation for this disk. It's nice for sure, but somewhat more conventional and less eye opening than one might expect from a state of grace.

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 First Light  by FARPOINT album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.02 | 5 ratings

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First Light
Farpoint Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars Farpoint could be described as Mostly Autumn's cousins from the American south. Like MA they play a melodic mixture of celtic folk and prog, and distribute vocal duties among a male and female vocalist. Yet they really don't sound that similar. Farpoint seems to have a wider variety of musical influences and lyrically tend to the Christian as opposed to the more earthy spiritual, which perhaps contributes to a someone naiive quality in this debut. While the jagged edges do smooth out in later releases, this innocence remains a characteristic of the Farpoint sound.

One of the highlights is "Words of Pain", in which the flute playing of Dana Oxendine shines over the acoustic guitar, before she releases the flute and treats us to an engagingly melancholy vocal performance. Like many bands that feature masculine and feminine vox, I do love it when they sing together or share duties in the same song, an event which doesn't happen nearly often enough. As a result, I really lap up tunes like "Long Slow Journey", which seems to nod a bit compositionally to "All Along the Watchtower". Clarke Boone's raspy friendly voice contrasts pleasantly with Oxendine's more ethereal delivery. The heavy folk instrumental "Tartans" conjures the British Isles traditions of South Carolina. To conjure up a reference more obscure than the artist, it reminds me of some of guitarist Paul Brett's late 70s instrumentals. "Ex-Animo" is quite the opposite, a delicate ode on acoustic guitar and piano.

Not everything here is up to the same quality. Later albums would be a bit more consistent but this is still a surprisingly strong debut.

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 From Dreaming To Dreaming by FARPOINT album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.28 | 6 ratings

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From Dreaming To Dreaming
Farpoint Prog Folk

Review by rclevesq

4 stars Farpoint is a six member band from South Carolina, USA giving us some very interesting, simple and direct progressive rock full of light and energy. Their approach is reminiscent of folk progressive with a touch of hard country rock. Some songs remind me of Mostly Autumn, the Moody Blues and some guitar riffs of Nick Barrett of Pendragon. Hence, we have here some hard edge rock mixed with impressive vocals and symphonic progressive. Still, there is some unique blend of music here. Straight guitars playing the very high notes with almost no distortion, great female vocalist in Dana Oxendine) with an alternating male vocalist in the likes of Ritchie Havens (Clark Boone), excellent twelve string guitar, bass and drums with wonderful flute. The music is simple, straight and to the point. The musicians of Farpoint mean serious business and it shows in the energy, the straight style, and in the writing and lyrics. This album has some excellent and wonderful songs such as Sojourn, Crying in the Rain, O Lost and Ashley's song. If you want more than 74 min of progressive rock music with some variety in songs, this is it. I am anxious to see the next album from this band.

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 From Dreaming To Dreaming by FARPOINT album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.28 | 6 ratings

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From Dreaming To Dreaming
Farpoint Prog Folk

Review by rjeffreyr

3 stars I guess that this is the first review on this site of this group. I lvery much liked this CD, it is not a masterpiece, but is very enjoyable. The music is more on the folk side of prog, and while very good, not very complicated either. Regardless, it is extremely enjoyable. The interplay between the vocals of Clark Boone and Diana Oxendine are lovely. For the most part, he does one song, then she does one, with some songs having an interplay between the two of them. He has somewhat of an off, gruff voice (on early listens was somewhat reminicent of the vocalist for Crash Test Dummies), and she has a beautiful voice. The rest of the musicians are quite good, with some very good keyboard and guitar work. Oxendine also has some nice flute overlays also. There is one masterpiece song on this, Sojurn, which is the longest song, and just a great, great song. In particular, the way Boone and Oxendine play off each other on the vocals is fabulous, and the song has a wondeful melody. Overall, the CD is very melodic. All the songs are good, but only Sojurn being a masterpiece. Overall I wood give the CD 3 3/4 stars. Its more than good, but not excellent.

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