Mike Farris at the Ram Jam Kingston

Mike Farris, Sunday 20th January 2019, Ram Jam Records at The Grey Horse, Kingston

Mike Farris

Playing: Sunday 20th January, Ram Jam Records at The Grey Horse
46B Richmond Road, Kingston Upon Thames, KT2 5EE.
Doors: 19:30 Tickets: £12.00

Coming off of an incredible Grammy win for 2015’s SHINE FOR ALL THE PEOPLE (Best Roots Gospel album). Mike Farris keeps it earthy and personal on SILVER & STONE, released 7th September 2018.  The title refers to his wife Julie’s wedding ring, and the album is a celebration of their 23 years of marriage and her steadfastness in sticking by him through his years struggling with addiction and alcoholism. Now sober for 7 years, Farris has the energy and conviction of a man saved.

In 2005 he was both clean and sober.  But with two ruptured discs, back surgery and the death of his beloved manager Rose McGathy all within a few weeks of the record’s release, a rolling fog settled in. With it, denial.  Mike had become addicted to pain medication. Any new album would have to take a back seat to a gut-check, life-changing recovery. Mike went to rehab and finally began excavating the root causes of his addiction with the help of support groups at AA and NA. An isolator by nature, he struggled laying all his burdens on the table to complete strangers, but gained encouragement through the stories of others. Each honest step led to fertile, hopeful ground.

Mike could now get back to the process of creating new music, but there was a distinctive trajectory shift in Mike. “So many avenues of music flow through me, 100s of years of music, the music that I grew up with-from Blues, Rock, R&B and gospel-there had always been this pressure to try to force it into a box that would sell somehow. It’s crazy and overwhelming at times, the weight of trying to meet expectations and make a living, but this time, that all fell away. I know now that this gift only exists to encourage people in their struggles, and if there’s any power in it, it’s not from me.”

 

“With a supersized voice filled with the electricity of Saturday night and the godly grace of Sunday mornings .” Rolling Stone Country