Mike Farris “Mercy Now” (2014)

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All I could think to say after first hearing this song was, “What a goddamn voice.” The production is fantastic – the strings, the horns, the organ, the backing singers – but goddamn, that voice is incredible. It belongs to Mike Farris, a guy who had a somewhat notable run in the ‘90’s as the founder and lead singer of hard rock band Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies (their real name), briefly fronted another group called Peaceful Knievel (I’m serious), and then found sweet salvation in gospel.  Goddamn.

This entrancing tune is from his 2014 album Shine For All The People, a Grammy winner for best Roots/Gospel album, where he seems to channel some Sam Cooke and some Al Green, two men also blessed with saintly voices, who too could readily meld pop with the spiritual. Farris is originally from a town called Winchester, Tennessee, where I imagine they must have quite a cathedral. Good lord, that’s bad.  And for that lame attempted connection…I could use a little mercy now. Sing it, Mike.


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