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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Oh, Mary Don't You Weep - Mike Farris

Mike Farris (b. ca. 1968) is an American musician. He was the founder and lead singer of Nashville, Tennessee group Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies, but has been a solo act since 2001. He has put out 2 studio releases as well as a one live record as Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Revue as well as a charity EP as Mike Farris and the Cumberland Saints. His music is diverse but tends to be rooted in early American gospel and blues.
Farris's parents divorced when he was eleven years old; he began using drugs and alcohol from an early age, and almost died from an overdose before he was 21 years old. He recovered and went on to form the group Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies in 1990; they released three major-label albums and had sustained success on the U.S. rock charts in the 1990s. After their breakup, Farris sang with SCW, Peaceful Knievel and for a time fronted Double Trouble, the backing band for Stevie Ray Vaughan. Farris became a practicing Christian and rejected drugs and alcohol, and released his first solo album in 2002. 2007 saw him release his second solo effort, the strongly Southern-influenced Salvation in Lights, on INO/Columbia Records. Farris played SXSW and Creation Festival later in 2008. The live “Sunday Night Shout!” was recorded live at the Station Inn in Nashville TN on October 12, 2008 but was a digital only release. On April 14, 2009, Farris released SHOUT! Live, as Mike Farris & the Roseland Rhythm Revue, featuring the McCrary Sisters that was recorded over 4 nights at his Station Inn residency.

In May 2010, after the devastating floods of Middle Tennessee, Mike gathered up some "A" list Nashville musicians to record a charity EP entitled The Night the Cumberland Came Alive. Recorded in 6 hours at the historic Downtown Presbyterian Church the six song EP consisted of music inspired by the early jug bands and pre-war era of roots gospel, blues and country. Dubbed Mike Farris and the Cumberland Saints, proceeds of the project were donated to benefit the victims of the flood via the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. The Cumberland Saints line up featured: Sam Bush, Ketch Secor and Gill Landry from Old Crow Medicine Show, Bryon House, Kenny Vaughan along with members of the Roseland Rhythm Revue and the McCrary Sisters.

The end of 2010 saw Mike begin recording of his follow-up to Salvation in Lights with Kevin McKendree and other members of Delbert McClinton's band. Release is scheduled for mid 2011.
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