Amy Farris R.I.P.
By David Chiu
I was shocked to find out last month on the Internet that Amy Farris, a Los Angeles-based singer and fiddle player, died on Sept. 26 at age 40. (The Los Angeles Times recently reported that her death was ruled a suicide by the county coroner’s office). Farris has played with the likes of Exene Cervenka, Brian Wilson, Kelly Willis, Alejandro Escovedo and Bruce Robison. In 2004, she released her only album Anyway, which was produced by the Blasters’ Dave Alvin. Most recently, Farris was a member of Alvin’s latest group the Guilty Women, which put out an album earlier this year.
On Farris’ Web site, her family requests that instead of flowers, donations should be made to Hungry For Music, a nonprofit organization that gives musical instruments to underprivileged children.
Five years ago, I interviewed Farris for NewBeats.com, in which she spoke about the record, her life and influences. She cited the Los Angeles punk band X as a favorite and even covered their song “Poor Girl” on her album. She once said about being her own artist after playing the role of a side musician for others: “It feels great. I knew I wanted to do it for a long time but for one reason or another it’s taken me to have the confidence and finances and everything else together. Now it feels wonderful.”
You can read my interview with Farris from 2004 here.
Photo by Loren Minnick