WHAT: Grammy-award-winning artist Mike Farris will be honored by the state of Tennessee and the city of Winchester with the installation of a “Tennessee Music Pathways” marker in his hometown. At the marker reveal, hear from Farris, along with local leaders, about the importance of this commemoration. The unveiling kicks off Mike Farris and the Fortunate Few’s at Twin Creeks Honeysuckle Pavilion where all proceeds from the live concert will go to benefit the Montana Scholarship Christmas program for local at-risk youth.
WHO: Photo and interview opportunities include:
• Mike Farris
• Ashley DeRossett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
• Terry Herald, Winchester Mayor
• David Alexander, Franklin County Mayor
• Beth Rhoton, City of Winchester
• Iris Rudder, Tennessee State Representative
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 27 at 3 p.m.
WHERE: 110 North College Street
*Media requested to RSVP in advance to email@example.com.
ABOUT MIKE FARRIS: During his solo career, Mike Farris has crossed between rock, blues, soul, and gospel to bring a current sensibility to traditional Southern music. He was honored at the 2008 Americana Music Awards as New/Emerging New Artist of the Year Award, and, in 2021, he won the Gospel Music Association Dove Award for Traditional Gospel Album of the Year. In 2015, he won a Grammy award for Best Roots Gospel Album for Shine For All The People, and in 2018 released the critically-acclaimed Silver And Stone, both on Compass Records.
Born in Winchester on Nov. 30, 1968, Farris grew up in several Franklin County Communities. Early on, he acquired a love of music from his father’s record collection and from the electric music mix on a local AM radio station, WCDT. Farris attended several local schools and became a standout baseball and football player. The principal of Broadview Elementary School in Winchester, Mike Foreman, instilled a love of performance in him.
Farris was living in Nashville when, in April 1991, he started a band with guitarist Rick White. Their name, Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies, was adapted from a Gary Larson cartoon. Signed by Atlantic Records, their first self-titled album was released in 1994. The band toured consistently, starring alongside the Allman Brothers band, the Dave Matthews Band, Meat Loaf, and Sheryl Crow. Two albums on Capricorn Records followed in 1996 and 1998, supported by arena tours with Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top.
Farris left the group to explore different genres of music. He eventually took the advice of his manager, Rose McGathy, to base his career around his love of traditional Southern music. Overcoming addiction issues led Farris to embrace Christianity. As a solo artist, he has performed at major festivals including Bonnaroo, MerleFest, South by Southwest and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. His career remains firmly rooted in the core styles of Southern music. Farris has also drawn on his personal narrative to work with addiction recovery programs, helping at-risk kids and young adults. His focus is to encourage kids to discover their personal direction and build their lives around it.
TN MUSIC PATHWAYS:
Launched by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development in 2018, Tennessee Music Pathways is an online planning guide that connects visitors to the state’s rich musical heritage at tnmusicpathways.com. From the largest cities to the smallest communities, Tennessee Music Pathways stretches across all 95 counties and features hundreds of landmarks from the seven genres of music that call Tennessee home.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Mary Katelyn Price, Tennessee Dept. of Tourist Development
Marykatelyn.firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-351-2334
EDITORS NOTE: Join the conversation on social using #TNmusicpathways.