Mike Farris

Mike Farris

"Farris surrounds himself with a heavenly soundtrack that slides effortlessly between Stax soul, New Orleans gospel, and shuffling Southern blues, all of it punctuated with Farris's smoldering vocals and clear message of redemption."

-Harp Magazine

Mike Farris may be best known as lead vocalist and writer for the acclaimed '90s rock band The Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies, but it was only after he pursued his own musical direction in the early '00s that he found his calling. Taking a path that weaves together rock, blues, and gospel has allowed him to rediscover and reinterpret traditional Black gospel music and add his own mix of Stax-influenced blue-eyed soul.

In 2008, Farris won the prestigious Americana Music Award for Best New and Emerging Artist, as well as a Dove Award in 2009 for the Best Traditional Gospel album of the year for SHOUT! Live (2009). Festival appearances that year at Hardly Strictly, Telluride Bluegrass, Strawberry Festival, the ACL Festival, Bonnaroo, and many more solidified the impact of the live music experience that is Mike Farris & The Roseland Rhythm Revue. Farris performs solo, as an acoustic quartet, as a five-piece electric band, or with the nine-piece Revue, but no matter what the configuration, his energy and sheer talent always leaves the audience wanting more.

Sam Lewis is connecting the dots. Whether crossing genres or state lines, he has pieced together a story people need to hear...

Music was one of the few constants in Sam’s life. His family never stayed anywhere for long, which meant that friendships were forged between himself and the music he absorbed, from Roy Orbison to Van Morrison to Willie Nelson. The influence of Ray Charles can be felt from the first note to the last beat, making Sam’s debut a complimentary companion to Charles’ own, two-volume Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. Leaving home as soon as the opportunity arrived, Sam landed in Knoxville, and later Nashville.

Sam has spent hours, in fact years, collecting and arranging the relationships and experiences he has forged. To the average person, they seem like an amalgamation of time and happenstance, but to him, they are the moral of the story. “I never once felt, in this whole process that someone just kind of pointed. No one took me by the hand, but almost every single one of these connections were very personal. I was introduced to these people that helped make this record. These are gonna be people that I’m going to know the rest of my life.” Lewis has drawn us a clear picture of where he’s going, and thankfully, he has invited us along for the ride.


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