Tag Archives: Gospel

Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Revue at Rock The Desert in Midland, TX [SHOW/NEW MUSIC]

Earlier this month, I was invited to hop on the tour bus with the production crew for a band called Skillet.  The weekend included a 15-hour drive to Midland, TX, a six-hour load-in/setup, a three-hour load out, and another 15-hour drive back to Nashville.  This is only a portion of what goes into the band’s hour set filled with lights, pyro, cryo, mechanical stage pieces, and a drum riser that lifts 20 feet in the air and spins 360 degrees.  It all makes for a pretty awesome concert experience.  That’s almost a given when a band invests their money in production, but most bands don’t have the money to afford even a basic lighting rig.  Well, how are independent bands supposed to compete with thousands of dollars of production gear?  Easy answer.  They don’t have to!

This is where Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Revue come into play as a prime example.  They pre-headlined before this set filled with monster production.  He didn’t have fire, or strobe lights, or a crazy drum riser, but he didn’t need it.  The energy, positivity, and musicianship that he brought to the stage with his band was enough to get everyone’s attention.  The band members, including Mike Farris, are pros and touring veterans with many years of experience.  For example, most touring bands encourage their drummer to play with a click and a lot of bands have backing tracks that make this necessary.  Mike’s band and drummer was so tight and so raw that they didn’t have to use either.  With horns, organ, electric guitar, bass, drums, and the McCrary Sisters, their music was driving, pure, organic, and fun.  Unfortunately, the band doesn’t have any live videos from their recent tour, but check out this video of Mike Farris playing “The Night the Cumberland Came Alive.”

Mike Farris was the founder and lead singer of a blues-rock band from Nashville, TN called Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies, but has continued his career as a solo act since 2001.  He won an Americana Music Award for New/Emerging Artist Of The Year in 2008 and a GMA Dove Award for Traditional Gospel Album of the Year for SHOUT! Live in 2010.  Today, he tours and makes music as a gospel music artist with his band called the Roseland Rhythm Revue.  His music focuses on early American gospel and blues, distinguishable from today’s contemporary gospel artists.  The Roseland Rhythm Revue has some of the great touring musicians of today including the McCrary Sisters (Bob Dylan’s backup singers).  Mike’s latest project is a six song EP released last year called The Night the Cumberland Came Alive, which was created to support the victims of the Middle Tennessee floods that occurred nearly two years ago.

All facts aside, Mike Farris is a truly incredible live performer.  If you ever get a chance to see him play, don’t let the opportunity pass you by!

By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

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Choir Boy, Johnnie Gets His R&B Fix [Audio]

The congregation slowly begins to fill the seats while a soft Gospel melody is being played on the piano. Neatly dressed in a blue suit, Johnnie Williams starts singing, “This is the best place… Being in the house of God.” Hitting every rift and run, people wave their hands in the air feeling good and praising God. His voice soothed the listening ears with his words, that even with your eyes closed you envisioned serenity from his tone.  The Preacher’s grandson voice is truly a gift that has enhanced since  he began playing when he was sixteen, every Friday and Sunday in church, but no one had a clue that his passion outside church was R&B.

Some may argue that R&B music could be losing it’s touch to Pop music since current artist such as Rihanna, Beyonce, and Usher have had transitional success. Then there is autotune, which has been silenced and shunned by Jay- Z, but it hasn’t stopped artists who look for a more unique sound without belting out every song like Whitney Houstson, Jazmine Sulilivan, and Jeniffer Hudson. In some cases  singers don’t feel the need to sing in key or at all, however, Johnnie Williams is the complete opposite.

Johnnie has been singing since the tender age of 8 in a church choir, “I like singing but I didn’t start until I was in he 10th grade. I went to my friend Kelly’s house and heard a group called HCL (High Class Lovers.) I went home and did my own demo and came back the next week and let them hear it, and they let me join. I listened to the demo recently, and that thing is the worst, I definitely gotten better.” Shortly after, HCL had changed their name to Prospect and won a talent show at Abington Senior high school. After their triumph the group parted ways, but Johnnie strived became great and he continued pursuing his music and began writing and producing with his band mate, Kelly. Johnnie’s hard work hadn’t gone unseen. Fortunately, he had the opportunity to meet Damon from the famous R&B group No Question, who discussed the possibilities of a comeback after the group’s hiatus, but this time with Johnnie as a member.  After auditioning for it he became a member and they started working and completed 4 songs, but soon after differences erupted among the members about unmade promises that weren’t kept, “Deals with money were on the table and when it came down to it everything kept falling through, so I separated ties.”

Once the group fell through, that situation had not discouraged him, yet motivated him to focus on his own music.  Johnnie went back on his grind at his in home studio where he produces 10-20 beats per week and writes all his material from his inspirations, “My inspiration comes from people around me, people I know, and people that touch me emotionally and personally.” Almost immediately, Johnnie had heard that MTV was having auditions for Diddy’s Making the Band, Season 4 in search for the next boy group, “I auditioned on Myspace and they gave me the VIP ristband so I din’t have to wait in line.” He went to a New York club where the auditions were held and sung Usher’s, “Let it Burn” for Michael Bivins, Slam, and Ankhra and was passed to the 2nd round. The next day Johnnie had to prepare for the combination of dancing and singing portion,  “I got past the dance round but didn’t pass the singing round because I lost my voice after standing outside in the winter cold waiting for my auditions.”

Since his MTV auditions, he became good friends with Dyshon, who was a finalist on Making the Band and helped him with background vocals for Dayshon’s solo project as well as his own project. Currently, he’s constantly posting music on Youtube, and plans on taking Neyo’s place in the music industry as a writer, proudcer, and singer and doesn’t mind just writing for other artist,  “I do music just to do it, I want a deal, but I do music for people and do songs to sell them.” His new single is called Confession (I Love You), which is a slow ballad written and produced by him that is receiving a lot of positive feedback, “It’s my favorite song I’ve ever recorded, because out of all the songs I’ve done, I let my all out on this one.”

By: Mereb Gebremariam | Beat-Play Ambassador Philadelphia | @MerebwithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

David Crowder Band – “SMS (Shine)” [VIDEO]

Very cool stop-motion video using a light bright. Check out the David Crowder Band.

The Realest Playlist #1 – 50 Amazing Indie Songs & Music Vids

1. Healing & EasyListening / Powerpop / Progressive

Fang Island – “Life Coach”


2. Rock / Punk

Underground Heroes – “Faceless Revolution”

Unamerican” Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vT4MxmY1UM&feature=related


3. Rock / New Wave / Electro

Me My Head – “Autumn”


4. Hip Hop / Soul
Toki Wright – “More Fiya”


5. Experimental/Rock
Minus the Bear – “My Time”


6. Trance / Psychedelic / Big Beat
Tame Impala – “Half Full Glass of Wine”


7. Electronica / Techno / Club
Blamma! Blamma! – “Carry Me Home”


8. Experimental / Progressive / Pop

A Public Betrayal – “Monster 2”


9. Pop/Other
Coma Cinema – “Only”


10. Americana / Folk / Folk Rock
Arrow in the Sky – Last Breath


11. Acoustic / Rock / Indie

Lissie – “In Sleep” (Live)


12. Other / Hip Hop / Turntablism

Ruckus Roboticus – “Here We Go”


13. Reggae/Rock

Rebelution – “Outta Control”

Studio Version: http://www.thesixtyone.com/#/s/3SJzWlFBeIU/


14. Pop

Katerina Graham – “Boom Kat”


15. Electro / Techno / Powerpop

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – “Garden”


16. Alternative / Pop / Rock / Electronic

Temple Scene – “Helsinki”

Temple Scene Recording “Helsinki” : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRNsqNdCPWQ


17. Indie / Psychedelic / Shoegaze

Mono Stereo – “Orange is Green”


18. Spoken Word/Other

Te V Smith – “Decline of the Diaspora”

Live version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmOaf_a_CUo


19. Hip Hop

Dot – RIDIC Verse


20. Electronica / Funk / Electro

Kraak & Smaak – “Squeeze me”


21. Rock

TAB – “She Said No (I Love You)”


22. Punk Rock
The Futureheads – “I Can Do That”


23. Folk/Acoustic
Dave Peyton – “Waiting For You(part 2)”


24. Rock/Pop Rock

Shout Out Louds – “Fall Hard”

interview World Cafe XPN: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127929142


25. Alternative/Rock

ARTEFACTO – “Desespero”


26. Acousmatic / Tape music / Pop

Neon Indian – “Ephemeral Artery”

Live @SXSW: http://vimeo.com/10582992


27. Pop / Acoustic / Rock

Holiday Parade – “Never Enough”


28. Acoustic / Indie / Pop

Kina Grannis – “Strong Enough”

Valentine “ (Official Music Video): http://www.youtube.com/user/kinagrannis#p/c/EE19FA17759D07CD


29. Pop / Soul / Latin

Ria – “Change” Live


30. Indie / Pop / Rock

Zac Clark – “Amelia”


31. House

MOWGLI – CARAIBI EP minimix

Live: http://www.youtube.com/user/DEADFISHTV#p/a/u/2/YIb8HE4e534


32. Hip Hop

Emmanuel Jackson – Rippin it


33. Pop

of Montreal – Coquet Coquette


34. Rock

Johnny Ash – “Conspiring Along the Way”



35. Healing and Easy Listening
Band of Horses – “Compliments”

36. Rock
The Suburban Sound – “The Best Day of Your Life”
Studio Version: http://www.myspace.com/thesuburbansound

Acoustic Version:


37. Noise Pop

Sleigh Bells – “Tell ‘Em”


38. Pop/Rock

Strike Four – “A Shot In the Dark”

http://www.thesixtyone.com/#/s/kglFSiKg7BT/


39. Lyrical / Minimalist

Washed Out – “Belong”


40. Rock / Indie / Experimental

Repeater – “Missing”


41. Ambient/Electronic/Visual

Juseung Stephen Lee – “Music Video”


42. Metal/Experimental/Alternative

Rememberance of Pain – “Free From Redemption”


43. Rock / Alternative / Funk

Fat City Reprise – “Cowgirl”


44. Pyschedelic / Ambient / Gospel

Speck Mountain – “Angela”


45. Pop / Soul / New Wave

The XX – “Night Time” Live


46. Synthrock / New Wave / Alternative

The Birthday Massacre – “To Die For”


47. Club / Thrash / Pop

Hooray For Earth – “Form”


48. Synth / Dance/ Electro

synthosaurus – “Futuredance” (Live)


49. Comedy / Hip Hop / Beatbox

Reggie Watts – “Fuck Shit Stack”


50. Post punk / Latin / Folk

Guitars As Guns – “Gag (Guitars aren’t Guns)”

http://guitarsasguns.bandcamp.com/


Old School Extra:

Hip Hop / Old School / Experimental

Jungle Brothers – “Brain”

Official Music Video (Edited version):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAJDaprlVvk&feature=related