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Bobby Friss

Force (1975) Fate, Bobby Friss Band. (Guitar, vocals)

Bobby Friss

Bobby Friss


Although his career began in central Michigan in 1975 with a band called Force, most of Friss’ achievements have come since returning to his native Florida in 1985 to form his own band. Since that time, Friss has steadily risen to the top of the Southeast’s active rock club scene, enlisting legions of fans at colleges,beach clubs and big city bars throughout Florida and the Southeast.

Having earned the reputation as one of the hardest working and most popular musicians in Florida, Friss broke the regional mode for the first time in 1988 with the release of Cut Loose. The independently recorded, self-produced LP found its way onto several Florida AOR stations with the single “You Can’t Come Back” and eventually sold nearly 10,000 copies in Florida alone.

In addition, the band’s fever-pitched live shows attracted the attention of the Miller Genuine Draft Band Network, a national sponsorship program known for promoting the best showcase nightclub bands in the country.

After spending most of 1989 on the road in support of Cut Loose, Friss returned to the studio to begin recording his second album. Filled with eight Friss-penned originals, Fate highlights Friss’ optimistic outlook on life.

“Cut Loose was a compilation of songs I had been playing for 10 years,” said Friss in reference to his debut LP. “Fate reflects a much more personal view. The songs are all very story-oriented. My philosophy is that optimism always overpowers tragedy, and I think that message comes across on this album in a way that is entertaining.”

So far, critics have agreed. At Florida’s 1991 Jammy awards – where Friss was named the Top Rock Vocalist – Fate won honors for Best Album. The Gainesville Sun called Fate “…diverse, incredibly well played and downright enjoyable.” The Courier Journal in Louisville, KY., stated that “Fate has infectious energy, a cross between Seger, Henry Lee Summer and Bon Jovi.

In addition to the critical acclaim, the album has attracted theattention of program directors. The single “A Month of Sundays” has already found its way into rotation on several AOR stations, and the band’s first video – for the song “Welcome Home” – has been well received by the video stations across the country.

2003 was a big year for the band with the release of two CD’s. ‘The Ballads of the Cherry Republic’ is a tribute to the farmers, people, and places of Northern Michigan, especially the Glen Arbor Area with the emporium called the ‘Cherry Republic’ the home capital. This is a different side of Bobby’s writing with a more scaled down, acoustic sound, including violin, mandolin, and even banjo. ‘Live from Bike Week’ was recorded in Daytona Beach, FL and really captures the feel of the band onstage. Jerry Riggs is at his best on guitar and the overall sound of the CD is the biggest the band has found yet.

The release of the ‘Best Of Bobby Friss’ in 2005 included 16 tracks from Bobby’s previous CD’s including a bonus track ‘The Only Way’ that was recorded for a country feel project back in 2000. Over an hour and a half of great music all re-mastered to really bring out the best of the band’s performances.

Bobby Friss will continue his touring, recording, and entertaining into the millinium with the same exhausting energy as the first night he set foot on stage many shows ago.

Contact: The Bobby Bliss Band @ 734-383-3275

4 Responses to Bobby Friss

  1. Steve Fountain says:

    Hi Bobby,

    Just wanted to say hi. Always wondered what journey you, Tommy, Bud-man and Skeeter took when Force disbanded. I ran into Tommy after the breakup and he had bought a bar in Mt. Pleasant.
    I first saw Force in the 70’s when you played the Wayside in Mt. Pleasant and the Creek Saloon in Big Rapids. I was always a huge fan,
    I always thought Force was going to hit it big and have videos in rotation on MTV.
    I managed Winters Creek Golf Course and Saloon from ’83 til ’89 and had the opportunity to meet you and the boys. I was always a huge supporter of Force…… those were the days !!!!
    Hope all is well, best of luck !!!

    • Shelly (Skeeter) Ferrell says:

      Steve, great to see you on this site! A lot of old band photos, stories and articles are archived on the Facebook page “Phoenix, Force, Bobby Friss and Beyond”, check it out!

    • Tom Jones says:

      Steve – I played in OZZ at the Creek before you were working there but always wondered what happened to Roger and Robin that ran the place. Do you have any idea?

  2. Brandon Crapo says:

    Friss recently put on his website bobbyfriss.com a number of recordings of his work including songs done by his first band “force”. He fronted force along with bandmates Tom Minelli on guitar, Brian Budzinski on bass, and Skeet Ferrell on drums

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