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09/29/2010

One year ago: Amy Farris

September 29, 2010 |  6:00 am

Amy-farris Amy Farris was a fiddler-singer from Austin, Texas, who played and recorded with prominent Texas musicians in the roots-music scene before moving to Los Angeles to start a solo career. She died one year ago by her own hand, likely a consequence of the depression that  her friends said she struggled with much of her life.

In Austin, Farris performed with musicians like Ray Price, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis. She also was featured on an album of Exene Cervenka, founding member of Los Angeles punk band X, whom she had met when X was on tour.

Farris left Austin for Los Angeles in 2003 to record her only solo album, "Anyway," with singer-songwriter-guitarist Dave Alvin producing.

"She could do it all," Alvin said. "She was a great string arranger. She would multitrack the violin and viola and everything else and suddenly you've got the L.A. Philharmonic behind you. She was brilliant on that."

Along with her performance career, Farris also taught violin, and students and parents of students sang her praises when word of her death spread.

Alvin, Peter Case, Stan Ridgway and other members of the Southern California roots music community played a memorial concert in Farris' honor on Nov. 8, 2009.

For more, read Amy Farris' obituary by Times pop music writer Randy Lewis.

-- Michael Farr

Photo credit: Loren Minnick

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