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Fair to Midland more than fair

BALTIMORE - Darroh Sudderth has a lot riding on the CD his progressive rock band, Fair to Midland, will release in March.

There’s the success of the band, his friendship with his bandmates and his career as a musician. Or so it seems to Sudderth, 25, just before he sets off on his latest tour supporting the “Drawn and Quartered EP,” which was released in November.

“We just worked our tails off on that [CD] to ensure it was as good as it could be,” said Sudderth. “We probably spent a year making that album. We were all going to school and working on it and thinking if it didn’t work out, it could be the last thing we did.”

One listen and it seems that this will not only NOT be the last thing they will do, but they’ll also build a following quickly now that they were recruited and signed by Serjical Strike Records founder Serj Tankian.

“They are one of the best live unsigned bands I have ever seen. Their songs are moody and dynamic, not dependant on one catchy beat or emotion to present their art,” Tankian said in a statement.

Sudderth said the song writing and selection is a completely democratic process among band members. “Because we are so different and have such different musical tastes, it takes us a long time to write a song,” he said. “We have to keep in mind each other's styles and tastes.”

But while the music is impressive as evidenced by their signing, it’s Fair to Midland’s live show that critics said really sets them apart. Sudderth, for example, jumps about the stage with something like a wired rabbit throughout the whole set.

“I think we do have a pretty energetic live show,” he said. “We do always have a set list. I know it's cooler to say you don’t but we don’t like to leave the audience with dead air. We like it to be constant music.”