Mike Farris’s Silver & Stone

By Brian Rock

“Do you like good music – ah, that sweet Soul music?” If so, then Mike Farris’ new album is definitely for you. Still riding the wave from his 2015 Gospel Grammy Award for Shine For All The People, Farris makes a big splash in Soul with Silver & Stone.

From the opening “ooh, ooh, ooh,” backing vocals on “Tennessee Girl” you’re transported to another era. When Farris starts singing, “Sit right down, let me tell you the facts…” in his Solomon Burke meets Robert Cray voice, you realize that you’re being transported to the very height of the 60’s Soul music scene. The influence of Soul masters like Sam Cooke, Percy Sledge, R.B. Greaves, Wilson Pickett and Ray Charles resonate through each chord.

Farris doesn’t sing so much as he testifies. Even when he sings of romantic love;, his gritty Gospel voice, layered over Hammond organ, backing vocals, and a killer horn section, elevates each song into a hymn of love. On the tender ballads, like “Are You Lonely For Me Baby,” “Hope She’ll Be Happier,” “Miss Somebody,” and “Moving Me,” his voice conveys the depth and yearning of a broken heart. On the uptempo numbers like “Tennessee Girl,” “Can I Get a Witness,” “Let Me Love You Baby,” and “Snap Your Fingers,” his voice explodes with the rapturous joy of new love. In fact, the album’s title, Silver and Stone is a reference to his wife’s wedding ring. And the authenticity of his proclamations of love on this album is a testament to the wife who has stood by his side for 23 years and helped him through his darkest periods of self-doubt and addiction. With her love, he has overcome both. The love and warmth that his album radiates is his gift to her in return. Luckily for us, he has chosen to share this gift with everyone.

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Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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