Photo courtesy of Vicki Dameron.
Types of Artistry
The Far City Boys
Bluegrass gospel band
Forest City, NC (Rutherford County)
The Far City Boys perform bluegrass gospel music in Rutherford County and nearby areas. The group formed in 1995 with bassist Mike Street, his son Kevin, who plays guitar, Phillip Jenkins on guitar, and Roger Holland on banjo. They continue to perform, write music, and record, more than a decade after their start.
Singer and bass player Mike Street was born and raised in the Valdese community of Burke County. His father, Jim Street, was a banjo and Dobro player. "Daddy always played bluegrass music as far back as I can remember." When he was a teenager, the bass player in his dad's band showed him how to play the bass, and he played with his dad in a band called Larry Campbell and the Country Playboys. Later he played in Bluegrass Expressions with Peewee Davis and Herman Coffey, with the Bass Mountain Boys, and with Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen. Mike's son Kevin plays guitar and sings with Far City Boys. Kevin has been playing music seriously for more than a decade, and he carries on a three-generation gospel-singing tradition in his family. He has also performed with the Bass Mountain Boys.
Roger Holland began playing banjo as a teenager, taking lessons from Dan Padgett, an excellent local bluegrass banjo player. Roger has played banjo with several local and regional bluegrass groups including Carolina Crossfire. He also sings with Far City Boys. Phillip Jenkins plays guitar and sings tenor with Far City Boys. He also plays banjo and scrub board percussion. Phillip grew up in Rutherford County and carries on a legacy of family musical heritage from his banjo-playing great uncle Snuffy Jenkins, grandfather Hoke Jenkins, and father Oren Jenkins, who also played banjo. Michael Ballard has been playing and singing since he was very small. He plays mandolin, guitar, and bass, writes songs, and sings with the group, including a high lead part similar to Doyle Lawson's singing style. Eric Childers has played harmonica and rhythm guitar in area Southern gospel groups for many years. With help from Jaret Carter of the Circuit Riders, Eric learned to play Dobro, and he has since performed with the instrument with several groups, including the Far City Boys.
The Far City Boys are available for performances.