Faris Family Faces Change

A popular local musical group is undergoing a change. For the first time, the Faris Family will include a non-Faris family member.

The bluegrass group from Ozawkie has been performing on the road for 12 years - since the youngest of Bob and Michelle Faris' four boys, John, was 8-years old. Michelle Faris says they know when each other is going to breath when they play.

But the winds of change are blowing. Eddie Faris is leaving to realize a dream that dates back to attending a Ricky Skaggs concert in that first touring season, when he was 9-years old. Bob Faris recalls Eddie pointing to Darrin Vincent, Skaggs' guitar player, and saying, "I want that guy's job."

Over the years, Eddie and Darrin became friends. Last fall, Darrin called to see if it was okay for him to give Eddie's information to someone who might be interested in him. That someone was Ricky Skaggs. At age 2, Eddie now has what was Darrin's job all those years ago.

Eddie says getting the call from Skaggs was somewhat surreal, but he describes him as a "normal guy." He said they met in Tennessee in December to chat and sing a few songs before Eddie was offered a spot playing arch-top guitar and singing with Skaggs' trio. Hearing his father recall the story from his childhood, Eddie says it's been "cool" to see things come full-circle in reaching his goal.

But taking the stage without his parents and brothers Rick, Jim Bob and John will be different. Eddie says they lean on each other and have developed a dependency. However, he's excited to develop that same relationship with a new group of performing partners.

Bob and Michelle couldn't be prouder to see Eddie grow. Bob Faris says this is the sort of opportunity all the boys have been working toward.

The Faris Family has hired Jimmy Campbell from Missouri to fill Eddie's spot. Michelle Faris says he's "just as much of a nut" as her other sons, so he blends in well.

Eddie has his first shows with Ricky Skaggs January 9th and 10 in Alexandria, Virginia. He may rejoin the Faris Family periodically as his schedule allows.

Final Performance
The entire Faris Family has its last performance together 7 pm, Saturday, January 3, at the Delaware Township hall in Valley Falls. It benefits Heaven's Closet and Food Pantry.
Tickets: $10 ($8 w/ non-perishable food item)
Ages 15 and under: Free