Mike Farris is an incomparable vocalist whose musical and personal journey has finally led him to find his true voice. His vocals consistently leave audiences astonished and awed.
Devastated when his parents divorced when he was 11 years old, Farris endured a long struggle to balance his life and considerable talent. Beginning in his teenage years, his music and his Christian faith have pulled him from the depths and carried him to heights that few people are lucky enough to experience.
In the 1990’s, Farris formed the seminal blues jam band the Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies, who released three major label albums with sustained success on the charts. He later fronted several other groups, including SCW and Peaceful Knievel, and Double Trouble after the death of Stevie Ray Vaughn.
Farris’s first solo album, Goodnight Sun, was released in 2002. In 2007, Farris released the gospel rocking Salvation in Lights, which featured backup vocals by the McCrary Sisters, daughters of the legendary tenor Sam McCrary of the Fairfield Four. The CD received much critical acclaim.
Farris began regularly performing with The McCrary as the Roseland Rhythm Review. Although all are phenomenal singers in their own right, the combination of Farris and the McCrary Sisters is greater than the sum of the parts. To quote Mike "it's like being strapped to the front of a freight train" and there's no stopping it.
Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Review have released two live albums, Sunday Night Shout!, and Shout! Live. Both were recorded live at the Station Inn in Nashville where Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Review regularly perform. Their festival performances have included Bonnaroo, the Creation Festival, SXSW, Austin City Limits Festival, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, and Telluride.
The impact of Mike Farris’s live shows undoubtedly contributed to this music veteran taking home the Americana Music Award in 2008 for "New/Emerging Artist of the Year." Peter Frampton, Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin, Ricky Skaggs, Bruce Hornsby, Jackson Browne, Marty Stuart and many other artists have taken note of Farris's one-of-a-kind vocal talent. Fans say that from the first time they heard him perform, they’ve never missed a show.
Behind the Song
Of all the songs on the CD, this is the one that best expresses the feelings of utter devastation caused by misfortunes such as Katrina. Ann and Regina McCrary are singing the low backup vocals and also the spooky high parts that sound like a theremin or else real ghosts in a graveyard. I've really enjoyed getting to know Mike Farris and I like him a lot. Anyone with that much talent would have a right to be egotistical, but Mike is at the opposite extreme. He is a down-to-earth man of great and wide-ranging intellectual curiosity, and the subject that seems to be of the least interest to him is himself. He has gone out of his way many times, in many ways, to help with this project.