Mike Farris' latest release, SHOUT! Live, a rollicking live recording captured at the legendary Station Inn is a snapshot of what he brings to the live music world. To quote Mike "it's like being strapped to the front of a freight train" and there's no stopping it.
In the two years since Salvation In Lights, Farris' live performances across the country, including Bonnaroo, SXSW, Austin City Limits Festival, and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, have left music novices, fans and seasoned artists with the same awe-struck response. His live shows, in no small part, led to this music veteran taking home the Americana Music Award in 2008 "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' incomparable vocal performance.
Truth be told, that gift, that kind of soul bearing authenticity where the singer becomes one with the song, is the result of a hard-fought fight. Like many of Farris' own musical heroes, from Son House, Pop Staples, and Mahalia Jackson to Coltrane, Cash and Cooke, to Jimmie Rodgers, Louis Armstrong and the brothers Vaughn (for whom Farris did a stint in Double Trouble) this southern-bred rock-n-soul'er has fought his share of personal demons, emerging from the shadows with a new song.
Only this time around, the song itself is ancient. A marriage of traditional black gospel, 70s Stax soul and southern blues, Farris is even stronger than revealed on his 2003 solo debut, Goodnight Sun. His undeniable voice, his skillful arrangements and perhaps most of all, the joy and passion with which he delivers both, breathe new life into long-forgotten spirituals and vintage-y originals, excavating priceless treasures.