Mike Farris is set to release his newest studio album, SHINE FOR ALL THE PEOPLE, on September 16, 2014. This long-awaited follow up to 2007’s critically acclaimed SALVATION IN LIGHTS includes both original material and Farris’ trademark interpretations of traditional gospel steeped in the influence of rock, vintage Memphis soul and the swagger of New Orleans.
Farris’ musical vision has coalesced into a sound that, at once, harkens back to early soul records yet emerges completely fresh with this new studio record. The album’s 10 tracks are saturated with horns, B3, and gospel backing vocals, but Farris is the star here, as his voice is one of the greatest of our time while staking his claim as sole proprietor of a musical style uniquely his own.
SHINE FOR ALL THE PEOPLE opens with “River Jordan,” an almost cubano, horn-punctuated groove, driven by Farris’ soaring vocals that form a surprising link between Havana and Hattiesburg. Two Farris originals, “Power of Love” and “Real Fine Day,” convey the album’s uplifting message of survival and gratitude. The New Orleans-infused “Sparrow” takes a side trip to Preservation Hall, and the achingly poignant “Mercy Now,” from the pen of singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier—as delivered by Farris—stands tall as a plea of forgiveness for all mankind. This album bears witness to the determination of putting one foot in front of the other and to the power of music to get you there. “I’ve discovered that falling is a divine thing,” Mike adds. “It’s part and parcel of being human. The important thing is to keep the faith, get up and go on."
“He looks a little like Prince and sounds somewhere in the neighborhood of Little Richard, James Brown and Aretha Franklin. Farris’ supercharged voice slices through the band like a knife.” —Suzanne Cadgene, Elmore Magazine
Mike Farris began his solo career in the in the early 2000’s intertwining rock, blues and gospel in a way that allowed him to rediscover and reinterpret traditional black spiritual music by adding his own mix of vintage southern soul. In 2008, Farris won the prestigious Americana Music Award for Best New & Emerging Artist and later a Dove Award in 2010 for Best Traditional Gospel Album of the year with SHOUT! Live. He has appeared at multiple festivals including Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Telluride, Strawberry Festival, ACL Festival & Bonnaroo electrifying audiences with the impact of his live performances with his 9 piece band, The Roseland Rhythm Revue. In 2010, Mike was joined by some of Nashville’s finest musicians including Ketch Secor and Gill Landry from Old Crow Medicine Show, Sam Bush, Kenny Vaughan, Byron House and others to record an EP called THE NIGHT THE CUMBERLAND CAME ALIVE to benefit victims of the Nashville flood. He has contributed vocals to Patty Griffin’s Grammy Award Winning DOWNTOWN CHURCH project, as well as Rodney Crowell’s latest album, TARPAPER SKY. Additionally, Farris was invited to be a featured performer at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 16th Annual American Masters concert in 2011 honoring Aretha Franklin along with such acts as Lauryn Hill, Chaka Khan, Cissy Houston, Ronald Isley, Dennis Edwards and Melinda Doolittle.