Funk, Rock ‘n Milk: Jiver Farmer comes to town



Moooooooood music.

An impromptu jam session at The Hub in Johnson among three musicians who had never played together before quickly turned into a new band called Jive Farmer.

“The name is testament to the fact that Chris and Fabian have both grown up on a farm and are indeed farmers,” says Micah Carbonneau, drummer and vocalist for the band.

Carbonneau is a student at Lyndon State College in the Music Business and Industry program, and also plays in numerous local bands on drums or bass, including drums in progressive psychedelic outfit, Electric Sorcery.

Guitarist and vocalist Fabian Rainville transferred to Johnson State College from Berklee College of Music in 2010 and is in his last semester. He also plays in another funk band called Deja Brew. Thursday nights at The Hub in Johnson usually consisted of Rainville playing solo.

One of those nights a friend of his, bassist Chris Doncaster, joined in. Doncaster also brought Carbonneau to the mix and things clicked—enough so that they were invited back to play a Friday show.

Doncaster transferred to JSC in 2006 and graduated in 2009 with a BA in Jazz Performance. He also plays in a classic rock/classic country/blues band called Evansville Transit Authority, who have been playing around the North East Kingdom for the last 10 years. Other bands he has performed with include The Joint Venture Jam Band, which plays mostly originals and some covers along the lines of Grateful Dead type of vibe, and a group called The Merge, a 70’s-through-the-present dance band.

After only a few practices and shows, including one at The Crop in Stowe, the boys have become the solid musical entity demonstrated at a show played at The Hub on Sept. 11. Their mix of original songs and interesting covers were well performed and well received by the audience, who spent most of the night dancing. Their style moved effortlessly between funk, rock, reggae/ska, and even a little taste of progressive throughout the show.

A few highlights would include their instrumental covers of a few popular songs with a bit of a twist. The first to stand out was a funky version of Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies,” which included a staccato and punchy guitar part of the vocal melody from the original song. This got a good reaction from the crowd, most of whom got to their feet to dance along.

Another instrumental cover that stood out was Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused.” The guys turned it into a progressive jam which effortlessly moved through a few time signatures and only vaguely alluded to the original song at the beginning and the end.

The show also included a couple of guest musicians. Luke Laplant (one of Carbonneau’s band mates in Electric Sorcery) joined in for various songs on the baritone saxophone throughout the night. Laplant added a bit of a jazzy feel to the night and resonated throughout the place, even without a microphone. Mitchell Watson also joined in to sing for a cover of The Band’s “The Weight”.

About a third of the night’s set was original material. “Future plans for the band would be to rehearse more to learn and write new material,” says Carbonneau. “I’m excited about the collaborative effort. More gigs would be wonderful, and a quality recording of some sort.”

Funk, Rock ‘n Milk is what you’ll find in the ‘about’ section on the band’s Facebook page ( “Milk is really a life-sustaining essence,” says Carbonneau. “All of God’s creatures require milk to thrive – music is much the same way, minus the God stuff. I don’t know, I think it’s just a farm reference.”