Style: Roots gospel; compare to Black Crowes, Robert Plant, Mavis Staples

Top tracks: "The Night the Cumberland Came Alive," "Dear Lazarus"

No Nashville performer is better suited to vocalize the raw emotions of the city's recent trials—the historic floods of May 2010—than Mike Farris. Famous for his down-and-dirty, sweat-drenched delivery of self-penned spirituals, the Americana soulster adds his fiery gospel touch to a six-song EP inspired by and benefiting those affected by the flood. Joined by his musical compadres—including the ineffable McCrary Sisters—Farris holed up for a day in Nashville's Downtown Presbyterian Church to capture the unrefined spontaneity of his impassioned gospel revue. And it works brilliantly. Call it folk, roots, rock, or just good 'ol gospel, Farris's music is a poignant help in this Tennessee town's restoration.

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The Night the Cumberland Came Alive
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4 Stars - Excellent
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Release Date
October 1, 2010
Label
Entertainment One
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