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Grammy Award Winner Mike Farris Joining Hope Rocks Festival

Written By Editor on 8/7/18 | 8/7/18

2015 Grammy Award Winner Mike Farris will join Wild Adriatic as the headlining acts at the 2018 Hope Rocks Festival scheduled for August 18 and 19 at Cantine Veterans’ Memorial Complex in Saugerties, NY.

The Hope Rocks Festival which began last year as a “”first of its kind” community response to the epidemic of unnatural death caused by opioid addiction and suicide, takes the qualities of a music and arts festival to focus on these issues. Over 3000 people attended the 2017 event.     Free and open to all, Hope Rocks offers onsite counseling, speakers presenting their personal addiction experiences and a myriad of activities, including: approximately 30 live musical performances across multiple stages; a motorcade; softball; volleyball; basketball; tennis; pickleball; human foosball; art exhibition; and, crafters. New to the 2018 festival is a walk- and bike-a-thon, children’s area, petting zoo and t-shirt design contest.

            Farris, former frontman for Atlantic Recording Artists’ Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies, a 90’s southern boogie/blues band from Nashville, has battled the demons of addiction since he was 15 years old.  Drugs and alcohol were constant companions of Farris, whose blues playing and singing have drawn the admiration of the legends of the music business.

American Country music singer/songwriter Marty Stuart describes Farris’ impact, "He's like a secret weapon — he's loaded with soul. He sings notes that would make Patsy Cline and Mavis Staples cry and shout. He's got it and that's all there is to it. He just keeps on doing his thing singing songs the way he feels them. He's melting hearts with his voice one at a time.”*

Farris recently celebrated 7 years of sobriety and has discovered a rebirth both spiritually and physically.  His solo records Salvation in Lights (2007), SHOUT! Live (2010) and the Best Roots Gospel Grammy winning Shine For All the People (2014), have coincided with his journey out of the darkness of despair.  He has used these experiences to create blues based gospel sermons of redemption and renewal which are carried across all boundaries by his powerfully mesmerizing soulful voice.    He is presently touring the country in anticipation of his latest album, Silver and Stone set to be released on September 7th and features legendary drummer Gene Chrisman, Reese Wymans (Double Trouble), Doug Lancio (Patti Griffin) and Joe Bonamassa.

Sharing the festival top billing is American rock band Wild Adriatic from Saratoga Springs, NY.  Wild Adriatic has been touring North America consistently for 5 years and has captured the attention of hundreds of thousands of fans.  Relix magazine describes them as "Flawlessly tight with infectious melodies & tons of soul."   USA Today says, “Wild Adriatic is an act to get behind.”

Joe Defino, Saugerties teacher and festival organizer feels music has an impact on the Hope Rocks mission.  “We need to respond as a community to the suffering caused by addiction and mental uncertainty.  Every member of these acts are supportive of our objective.  Along with all the other performers and volunteers, we can bring the message of hope to those who are having difficulty. Music has the power to heal and save lives.”

Festival organizers are continuing to round out the lineup which will include over 35 acts over the two day festival.  The festival is free and will run from noon to 7 on Saturday, August 18 and from noon to five on Sunday.

 For more information on the festival and its activities, visit

*Rolling Stone Magazine, May 21, 2015.

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