March 15, 2012
Fort Worth, TX USA
Review by Tim Taylor
Photos by Terry Walsh
It's rare to find an artist as honest and passionate as Mike Farris these days. After experiencing moderate success with his old band, the Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies, Farris discovered himself hopelessly addicted to drugs and alcohol. In the following years, he sobered up and found his faith, which was the inspiration behind 2007's Salvation in Lights and his most recent music. While performing an intimate acoustic show opening for the Steeldrivers at Fort Worth's new Cendera Center, he spoke candidly about his troubled past. The musician also mixed his original songs like "Selah! Selah!" with some classic spirituals such as "Can't No Grave Hold This Body Down" and a haunting version of "Oh, Mary Don't You Weep".
There were a lot of people in this crowd who had never heard Mike Farris, let alone his magnificent voice. He quickly had them under his spell once he opened his mouth to sing. When Farris engaged the audience, he did so with no pretense. The singer had everyone feeling like they were just hanging out together. Most the crowd could have listened to this artist the entire evening. Unfortunately, he was limited to just 45 minutes, prompting him to say, "Now's the part of the show when, if we were in a Pentecostal church, all hell would break loose!" He then led the inspired crowd into a soulful, sing-along version of "This Little Light of Mine". He walked off the stage leaving people hollering for more. If you haven't heard of this soulful troubadour, don't waste another minute. Do it now!