Mercy Bell's music appeals to my heart, mind, and soul all at once. She blends folk inspirations with an earthy, modern country, wrought with literary lyrics that sometimes require extra thought but always reward the effort.
Favorite track: Icarus.
"Traditional American music can be communal old time party entertainment, or it can be a lonely and thoughtful kind of thing, like in Mercy Bell's case. This lady moved to NYC bringing with her a duffle bag, an air mattress, and a guitar; and her warm and caring voice, which animates introspective, soulful songs about that ongoing absurd mystery we call life." -- The Deli NYC, Best of 2011 Traditional/Roots/Americana
“Once in a very long while you come across an artist that encompasses an entire era within the chords of their melodies or the dulcet tone of their voice. Brooklyn based folk musician Mercy Bell induces such an experience for music aficionados of all musical persuasions. Her voice is rich, clear, and pure; close your eyes and you are transported to the 60s where Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and Peter, Paul and Mary are putting on late night concerts for people looking for a change. Put on any of Mercy Bell’s songs and you are immediately transported to a better place.”
— Kerri Maniscalco, The New York Folk Arts Examiner
released August 11, 2011
"We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community." - Dorothy Day
This album wouldn't exist if it weren't for community. Thank you.
Music and Lyrics by Mercy Bell
Except for "Hard Times" Music and Lyrics written by Stephen Foster
Produced by Eucalyptus Productions
Sound Engineering by Danielle DePalma
Mixing & Mastering by Danielle DePalma
Production Advisement by Christina Picciano
Recorded at Seaside Lounge Recording Studios and Danielle's Kitchen
Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar - Mercy Bell
Upright Bass - Clay Wilson
Electric Bass - Danielle DePalma
Drums, Electric Guitar - Christina Picciano
Instrumental Acoustic Guitar - Jen Kutler
Cello - Dan Bindschedler
Mandolin - Gypsy George Mihalopoulos
Piano (The Fall, Lord Knows) - Maryanna Cannon Sokol
Electric Guitar, Wurlitzer, Piano (All Good Cowboys) - Justin Repasky
Pedal Steel - Matt Knapp
Harmonies - Ana-Maria Bell (All Good Cowboys, Flowers), Page Foster (Hard Times)
Chorus - John Michael Bell, Rachel Zamstein, Maryanna Cannon Sokol
Album Cover Design - Seraphina Bell
Physical CD Design - Kristine Thune
Album Photography - Sara Olivia Moore
Special Thanks: This record wouldn't exist if it weren't for the generous donations of over 150 people who contributed to the Kickstarter campaign. Here are some of them:
Angela Alverson, Jon Barker, Johnny Burkhalter, Mimi Burkhalter, Tom Celona, Madeleine Conger, MJ Fischer, Paul Geraedts, Louisa V. Harbage, Laurence Hill, Maggie & Jim Hopper, Neil Hume & Joy Watkins-Hume, John Li, Jeff Mas, Sandra Moore, Sara Olivia Moore, Curtis Peel, Vince & Leigh Talmage-Perez, Darlene Reese, Ross Reyes, Justin Val Rocha, Maria Ronquillo, Yee Jiun Song, Desa Zraick
To Danielle DePalma for making music and cooking with me.
To the crew, past and present, at 447 Danielle DePalma, Mike Multari, Seth Faulk, Hailey Wojcik, Geoff Lewit, Erin Friend, Julie Peel, Mike Tuccillo -- who all made music seem like home.
To Audrey Culver and Blood Bunny for spearheading the Kickstarter campaign.
To Marcelle Gauvin, John Harrison, Rhonda Fazio, Chris Hassan, Sabrina Sydnor, Jess Hodge, Wendy Linda, Christina Picciano, Mike Multari, and Jamey Hamm -- for giving me a chance.
To my grandparents Bill and Joan Hoxsie Bell, Patricia Joaquin Burkhalter, and my late grandaddy John Felton Burkhalter, my favorite cowboy.
To my family, all the cats, and puppy for being my love mafia.
To Sara Olivia Moore, for the love.
To God, Heaven and Co. for seeing all the candles I've lit in my day.
To New York City for making me realize everything is possible.
Oh my winter wings don't fail me now.
I've been crashing into sunsets, falling to the ground.
Well I moved to the city, with a dollar to my name.
With holes in both my shoes, and a pocket full of uh-oh honey.
Maybe I'm the fool, the one who steals the sunlight.
Maybe I'm the chord, who'll rhapsodize your sunrise.
Maybe I'm an Icarus, a heap out on the highway singing
Wake up in the morning, on the search for grace.
Walk the bars find a random stranger with a kind enough face.
I suppose that I would call you, just to hear you say hello.
But for all the life I've left untold, couldn't buy time on a telephone.
An inch above the breakdown,
an inch below the high.
If you find you Eden lacking,
do you stay or do you ride?
Words and music written by Mercy Bell
Track Name: Flowers [Everybody, Everywhere]
Singing la, di, da, di, da, di, day
The boys are out on my front stoop
bragging on my name.
Singing "Everybody, everywhere's wearing flowers in their hair, so come outside, come outside".
They say we waltzed the devil me and you.
But California raised me once and
taught me to reach for blue.
I've been crashing parties around the town,
with a sunburn and an aching heart,
and thought I'm trying to drown.
Track Name: All Good Cowboys
Take it down, put it in a jar with butterflies,
fill it up with some formaldehyde,
you won't see it again.
You said take it slow, it's a mood and it will come and go
but the joints I needed didn't grow,
and left me crippled in your eyes.
Oh and all good cowboys know
There ain't no good ol' home sweet home.
So I'll raise my protest, raise my drink
and I won't live here no more.
Cuz you never learned my name,
it was the one name you should know.
And I will lay me down,
I will lay me down, the road.
A dollar in another jukebox just to dance with you,
oh but all it does is play the blues,
and on and on they go.
No and I won't be, another mess to clean in aisle three,
this late night shift has got me questioning,
if daylight will come at all.
Here am I, staring standing on a borderline,
this life I'm leading really isn't mine,
it's sung in 4/4 time.
Track Name: Maybe Just Love This Christmas
He stumbles down the city block
Cuz a ramblin' man don't walk.
And his soul's on fire as he slips on ice,
stares at all the city lights.
To his bleary eyes they're joyous,
a riot and a chorus, singin'
Merry Christmas and joy to the world, singin' (repeat)
With a cup and old harmonica
he's singing by the train.
Got nowhere else to go tonight,
but sing his gutter 'frain.
He's a sweet and ragged savior,
who got out on good behavior, singin'
She filters down like starlight,
bouncing off the wall.
Dancing round with anyone,
with whatever breaks a heart.
Then she's gone and bells are ringing
last seen chasin stars singin'
I faked myself to the world
too many times before,
left me broke and empty,
with needles on the floor.
Is it science or religion,
that boom no explanation.
Maybe just love. Maybe just love. Maybe just love. Maybe just love.