SHINE FOR ALL THE PEOPLE is the long-awaited follow up to 2007’s critically acclaimed SALVATION IN LIGHTS and includes both original material and Farris' trademark interpretations of traditional gospel steeped in the influence of rock, vintage Memphis soul and the swagger of New Orleans.
Farris’ musical vision has coalesced into a sound that, at once, harkens back to early soul records yet emerges completely fresh with this new studio record. The album’s 10 tracks are saturated with horns, B3, and gospel backing vocals, but Farris is the star here, as his voice is one of the greatest of our time while staking his claim as sole proprietor of a musical style uniquely his own.
SHINE FOR ALL THE PEOPLE opens with “River Jordan,” an almost cubano, horn-punctuated groove, driven by Farris’ soaring vocals that form a surprising link between Havana and Hattiesburg. Two Farris originals, “Power of Love” and “Real Fine Day,” convey the album’s uplifting message of survival and gratitude. The New Orleans-infused “Sparrow” takes a side trip to Preservation Hall, and the achingly poignant “Mercy Now,” from the pen of singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier—as delivered by Farris—stands tall as a plea of forgiveness for all mankind. This album bears witness to the determination of putting one foot in front of the other and to the power of music to get you there. “I’ve discovered that falling is a divine thing,” Mike adds. “It’s part and parcel of being human. The important thing is to keep the faith, get up and go on."
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