Bill Monroe was quoted many times, "I made my music to go from my heart to the people's heart so we can both hear it". Faris Family honors this tradition. By writing and choosing songs that stir their hearts and then...
Genre: BLUEGRAS Secondary Genre: GOSPE
Bill Monroe was quoted many times, "I made my music to go from my heart to the people's heart so we can both hear it". Faris Family honors this tradition. By writing and choosing songs that stir their hearts and then performing them with powerful 'high lonesome' vocals and awe inspiring instrumental ability, they create a space in which to communicate with their listeners in ways few artists can.
Each time Faris Family stand a stage it is their shared goal to create memories their audience will want to repeat!
In 1991, Faris Family moved from the Ozark mountain country of Branson, MO to the Glacial Hills of Jefferson County, KS just 45 minutes West of the Kansas City metro area. Since '97, they have built a solid touring schedule entertaining tens of thousands of appreciative fans at hundreds of events throughout the U.S. and Canada. They maintain their personal and professional ties with the Ozarks by appearing annually for the past 8 years at Branson's 'Silver Dollar City' theme park and by being a mainstay of festival stages throughout Arkansas and Missouri.
Faris Family have appeared on broadcast and cable TV in: Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, and Kentucky. And, have performed live over radio in Kansas - including the Kansas Public Radio Network - Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, and 'WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour' which is syndicated over a network of 300 affiliates world wide
They have released ten CD projects since 1998, which have sold in excess of 30,000 copies. They have released 5 well received performance videos as well. Their 2007 release "Faris Family - Black Horse Inn" on their own independent label - Aurio - was nominated SPBGMA Midwest "Bluegrass Album of the Year". Selections from this album continue to receive light rotation on over 400 radio stations throughout the U.S. and abroad.
The family bring over a decade of professional experience, award winning music and a fresh youthful excitement to any stage
As of January 2009, Faris Family is proud to announce that family member Ed Faris has joined Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
Industry showcases include
2009 SPBGMA National Conventio Sheraton Music City Hote Nashville, TN
2008 SPBGMA National Conventio Sheraton Music City Hote Nashville, TN
2007 IBMA World of Bluegrass Conventio Official Showcase Artist Convention Center Nashville, T
Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) Midwest Convention fan awards include 46 nominations since 2002. These have resulted in 17 individual and group top honors including: 4 time "Bluegrass Band of the Year - Traditional" and 5 time "Entertaining Group of the Year"
Faris Family is available in both ALL GOSPEL or BLUEGRASS formats to fit your event needs
Band To Watch / Faris Family by Dave Higgs by Bluegrass Now - May 2008 Issue For the Ozawkie, Kansas based Faris Family, it’s all about making an unforgettable connection with the audience. “ My favorite Bill Monroe quote is ‘I made my music to go from my heart to yours so...
CD Review: Faris Family - Black Horse Inn by Bluegrass Now - May 2008 Issue The Faris Family, based in the Ozarks, reflects the best in bluegrass, projecting a fresh and innovative sound. The result is a pleasing blend of past present and future grass with just the right...
Band To Watch / Faris Family by Dave Higgs by Bluegrass Now - May 2008 Issue For the Ozawkie, Kansas based Faris Family, it’s all about making an unforgettable connection with the audience. “ My favorite Bill Monroe quote is ‘I made my music to go from my heart to yours so we could both hear it, ‘” Patriarch Bob Faris becomes deadly serious. “That’s a powerful statement that encapsulates all of entertainment. Monroe was talking about getting the feeling [of the song]
across to the listener. Everything we do - the way we stand on stage, sing the lyric and play the string - is to try and impart that experience to the fans.” “Every lyric sung, every note struck, you think it out and play what you feel,” guitarist Rick relates. “It’s really great having Mom and Dad around because they’ve always put feelings into songs they’ve written and the way they play.”
Indeed, The Faris Family plays with a fire, maturity and a stage presence that only comes from years of playing together. With each member of the group [Rick’s brothers JimBob (bass), Ed (banjo) and John (mandolin); and mother, Michelle, round out the sextet] mastering a variety of instruments, the band can play everything from in-your-face Neanderthal ‘grass to a more relaxed traditional country sound replete with twin and sometimes, triple fiddles. Michelle spices up everything with her entertaining emcee work. “The boys get a little nervous, if I start talking about them,” Michelle smiles, relishing in her ability to make her sons uncomfortable. “ They say, ‘ now, we have to set some ground rules here, ma. You can’t just be spewing out every goofball thing we did as children.’”
The Faris Family’s roots date back some thirty years when Bob and Michelle serendipitously met on stage at an open mic night. Bob was playing fiddle with a country band, backing up amateurs who wanted to try their luck, one of whom was Michelle. “We always say that I thought she was a bit of a flirt and she thought I was a big headed fiddler,” Bob laughs. “So it was love at first sight, I guess.” Bob’s musical career took him to Las Vegas, Branson and later, as a fiddler for country mega-star Reba McEntire, to Hee Haw and the Grand Ole Opry. In 1991, he retired from the music scene to help Michelle raise their four sons. That retirement didn’t last long.
“Bob always had pickers in the house when the boys were real young,” Michelle explains those formative years. “We always had a lot of extra instruments around the house. Eddie would hear [one of the pickers] play something he thought was really great. He’d grab that instrument and go to his room and soon I could hear him playing the same lick.” A trip to a bluegrass festival sealed the family’s fate. “The boys each chose their own instrument and asked their dad to teach them how to play,” Michelle marvels.
Not surprisingly, the boys were razzed by their high school friends for playing bluegrass with their family. “Except when O Brother Where Art Thou came out,” Michelle reminds them. “When the kids heard that JimBob could sing and Rick could play [Man of Constant Sorrow”], they were riding pretty high on the cow then.” “Yeah, they thought we were cool,” Rick grins.
The band descriptively bills itself as “the fresh sound of tradition,” an accurate phrase to describe its captivating sound. “While tradition is a positive for some people, others view it as being somewhat staid and stuffy,” Bob elaborates on the meaning of the phrase. “We find what we do builds on the tradition that springs from families such as the Monroe Brothers and the Carter Family through groups like The Chapmans and Cherryholmes.”
“We’re staying close to the roots and not getting too far away, but giving it a new pop and snap,” Michelle adds.
All the family’s hard work has come to fruition on its just released latest project, Black Horse Inn. Seven of the album’s fourteen tracks were penned by family members including Rick’s hard-driving tale of love gone wrong, “Leaving You to Bear.” “I just wrote down what I was feeling,” Rick states. “It was one of those days where I felt like the world was going to end.” “You can just feel the hurt, the anger and despair [in that song],” Michelle praises the intensity of Rick’s songwriting. “He’s got a great way of putting feelings into words.”
The band puts some nice moves on “East Virginia Blues,” “Those Memories of You” and the Dillards’ old “Whole World Round” which gets a particularly mournful treatment. “ One of the things we’re trying to do is to speak about our heritage in our part of the country,” Bob explains. “ The boys came up with that arrangement as a kind of homage to the way my old bluegrass band, The Coffey Brothers, used to play it.”
Above everything else, beyond imaginative arrangements, instrumental pyrotechnics and heart-pounding music, the Faris Family strives to love its audience. “Many years ago, I had the opportunity to work with Minnie Pearl,” Bob relates the milestone moment in his life. “I asked her if there was anything she would say to a young person who wanted to entertain people as a living. She immediately, without hesitation said, ‘Love your audience and they’ll love you back.’ That’s what we try and do as a family - love the audience through showing them respect, putting on an entertaining show and communicating something that will move them. We hope Minnie Pearl was right - that the audience will love us back. They’ve certainly done that so far and we appreciate it so much.”
More information on The Faris Family can be found at www.farisband.com. Bands wishing to appear in “Band to Watch” should send their most recent CD, band photo and promo materials to Dave Higgs, PO Box 4369, Clarksburg, WV 26302-4369.
CD Review: Faris Family - Black Horse Inn by Bluegrass Now - May 2008 Issue The Faris Family, based in the Ozarks, reflects the best in bluegrass, projecting a fresh and innovative sound. The result is a pleasing blend of past present and future grass with just the right touch of the bluegrass tradition. The family includes the father, Bob (guitar, fiddle) and mother, Michelle (upright bass), and their four sons: James (age 23, upright bass, fiddle), Richard (age 22, guitar, resophonic guitar), Edward (age 20, banjo, fiddle, guitar), and John (age 19, mandolin). Best of all the family is totally acoustic.
A hard working and dynamic band, The Faris Family was honored three times as “Bluegrass Band of the Year” (SPBGMA Midwest Bluegrass Awards). They were also the 2005 and 2006 “Entertaining Group of the Year,” the 2004 and 2006 “Traditional Bluegrass Band of the Year” and the 2003 “Vocal Group of the Year.” Wow! This reviewer, an occasional host for a bluegrass radio program, aired selections from this CD after one hearing.
Arrangements are tight. Harmony is thrilling. A high lonesome sound, heartfelt vocals, strong drive, and superior musicianship permeate each track. Musical highlights include a lively “Scraps On The Table,” a first rate cover for A.P. Carter’s “East Virginia Blues” and Alan O’Bryant’s “Those Memories of You,” as well as three of the band’s original songs.
On a five-point scale of excellence this release merits a five. (BM)