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Farrow brings its music and message to Buffalo Porchfest

A picture of the seven band members of Farrow.
Farrow marks its third year of playing together at Buffalo Porchfest.

It's been three good years for the Buffalo-based band Farrow and there appears to be promising prospects ahead. But the band, formed by lead singer and writer Mike Farrow and bassist-writer Andre' Pilette, almost never came to be.

"The first time I heard his basslines. I said, they were a little too happy for me," Farrow admitted when he and Pilette recently visited WBFO.

"I was bringing more social justice things to the music, speaking about the oppression that I've experienced or the people around me."

Pilette offered a "couple of the darker" basslines and a productive writing partnership took off. Twenty songs emerged in three months together. At last count, that number has risen to 46. Their shows feature almost exclusively original songs.

Mike Farrow and Andre Pilette of the band Farrow discuss their group, how they began and the messages behind their music

Farrow's first show was performed in front of Pilette's house as part of the 2019 Porchfest and it was far from fully formed. What is now a seven-member band didn't even have a guitarist at the start but the response was encouraging.

Pilette points out how Mike Farrow's big voice grabbed attention. "You just saw people's ears perk up and just head over." While it's common practice for Porchfest crowds to keep moving. "The crowd just kept ballooning. People that were there stayed for our 40-minute set."

Despite the pandemic squelching some opportunities to perform, the band has 44 shows on its resume. They're looking forward to their next show:Buffalo Porchfest. This Saturday they'll be part of a busy day at their venue at Potomac and Elmwood. Eleven solo and group acts will perform throughout the day. Farrow takes the stage at 4 p.m.

"It's a day that reminds me that Buffalo is a music city," Farrow said of Porchfest. "You get some good old fashioned classic rock. You got some blues. You got some funk. You got some in between. It's one of my favorite events of the city."

It starts a busy summer for the band. The agenda includes appearances at Larkin Square Summer Series and the Cazenovia Park Summer Series.

"And then this is all culminating to Saturday, July 9, we're doing our debut album release party, at which point the songs should be up on all streaming platforms," Pilette said.

"And we're gonna throw down at Sportsman's Tavern that night."

Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.