FAME Review: Mike Farris and the Cumberland Saints - The Night the Cumberland Came Alive
 
Mike Farris and the Cumberland Saints - The Night the Cumberland Came Alive

The Night the
Cumberland Came Alive

Mike Farris and the
Cumberland Saints

Available from Mike Farris's web site.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb
(taoboy@cox.net)

Mike Farris was looking to do a disc of early, pre World War II, American music, and then the flood hit and destroyed so much of Nashville, and adversely affected so many people, so he felt compelled to do something to give them some relief and hope. This is a recording that took place on May 27, 2010 at the Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee to benefit Nashville flood victims and the homeless, organized by Mike Farris and an all-star cast of musicians. This isn't a full length CD but an EP disc that clocks in at 26 minutes. For this disc he is working with the wonderful gospel singers the McCrary Sisters and Derrek Phillips and Eric Holt from his own Roseland Rhythm Revue, both have appeared on his previous 2 discs, Salvation in Lights (here) and Shout! Live (here), however on this disc he has gone with a more acoustic sound, enlisting the likes of Sam Bush, Kenny Vaughn, Ketch Secor and Gill Landry (Old Crow Medicine Show), and Byron House. Though this is definitely a more acoustic group, Farris still brings that same enthusiasm, passion, and energy to these fine songs he has gathered.

The songs here are from a variety of song-writers from Memphis Slim to The Reverend Charlie Jackson, also included is one that he and Ketch Secor wrote, "Dear Lazarus", and one Farris received inspiration for from a song by Curley Weaver, You Were Born To Die, that he transformed into The Night The Cumberland Came Alive. He, like many others, uses the original as a template for the song and then might add a chorus or so to make the song into something more meaningful to him, sometimes it just organically evolves as the band is playing. No matter who wrote the song this singer/shouter puts his stamp on it with his energy and arrangements; just give a listen to the power in his voice on Wrapped Up, Tangled Up. The playing here with such a stellar cast of musicians is tight and energetic. A disc that shows how each can share the spotlight step out and take a tasteful solo, and keep the energy level cranked to maximum. It is short but the music is superb and the money goes to a worthy cause.

Track List:

  • The Night The Cumberland Came Alive
  • Wrapped Up, Tangled Up
  • Down on Me
  • Dear Lazarus
  • Mother Earth
  • Don't Let the Sun Go Down

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

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Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
 
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