A Family Affair

Black Horse Inn (Aurio)
Faris Family

By Bob Mitchell

The Faris Family, based in the Ozarks, reflects the best in Bluegrass, projecting a fresh and innovative sound. The result is a pleasing blend of past, present and future with just the right touch of Bluegrass tradition. The family includes father Bob Faris, guitar, fiddle; and mom Michelle, upright bass. and their four sons: James, 23, upright bass, fiddle; Richard, 22, guitar, resophonic guitar; Edward, 20, banjo, fiddle, guitar; and John, 19, mandolin. Best of all the family is 100 percent acoustic.

A hard working and dynamic band, The Family is a three time 'Bluegrass Band of the Year (SPBGMA Midwest Bluegrass Awards), the 2005 and 2006 "Entertaining Group of the Year, the 2004 and 2006 Traditional Bluegrass Band Of The Year and the 2003 Vocal Group Of The Year. Wow! This reviewer, an occasional host for a bluegrass radio program, aired selections from this CD after one hearing.

Arrangements are tight. Harmony is thrilling. A high lonesome sound, heartfelt vocals, strong drive and superior musicianship permeate each track. Musical highlights include a lively "Scraps on the Table," a first rate cover for A. P. Carter's "East Virginia Blues," and Alan O'Bryant's "Those Memories of You," as well as three of the band's original songs; "Leaving You Too Bear," "Deep Kentucky Mine," and "Cold Hearted Love."

On a five-point scale of excellence this release merits a five.

For more information go to www.farisband.com