Mercy Bell — a heart crushingly talented singer/songwriter Examiner introduced you to June 2010 — recently released her first studio album.
It’s. So. Good. Seriously, it’s swoon-worthy good.
It’s titled “All Good Cowboys” and is an honest-to-goodness community based record. You may remember that back in December the call went out for music lovers to help Mercy with her Kickstarter campaign funding. Unsurprisingly, fans from all over jumped at the chance to become part of making someone’s dream a reality (and snag some really cool prizes in return – you know how I LOVE win-win situations).
With the success of reaching her target goal (and beyond) Mercy was able to head into the studio to record one of Examiner’s top picks for best new music of 2011. Her seasoned voice shines through on each song so expertly, it’s hard to remember that this is only her first record.
The album opens with “Icarus” and proves that Bell can not only sing, she can write one hell of a catchy tune. But her talent doesn’t plateau there. The entire album steadily builds on itself, with each song complimenting the next in a crescendo of… musical awesome.
The second song “Flowers (Everybody, Everywhere)” is a throwback to old folk songs of the sixties, with a contemporary flare that makes it accessible for music fans of all ages.
The title track “All Good Cowboys” is another gem with excellent, thought provoking lyrics like these:
“Take it down put it in a jar with butterflies, fill it up with some formaldehyde you won’t see it here again. You say 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. And all good cowboys know there ain’t a good old home sweet home.”
Really, there are so many standouts on the album it’s impossible to pick just one favorite. “The Fall,”“Dirty Keds,” and “Patchwork”numbers four, five, and six respectively are filled with the same passion as the opening tracks.
“Wild Fire,” is truly something special. It should be listened to over and over to fully appreciate the full-on beauty of it. It’s got a Johnny Cash-esque feel to it; once you hear it you’ll know exactly what I mean.
“Black Dress,” and “Hard Times*” are both packed with excellent melodies and are easy to listen to repeatedly. The album closes with “Lord Knows” and it’s the perfect way to end the musical journey only Bell can take you on. It leaves you wanting for more, but feeling pretty darn satisfied with your recent emotional travels.
If this record doesn’t crawl beneath your skin and attach itself to your heart strings, you might want to get yourself checked out by a professional.
If you haven’t done so already, be sure to pick up your own copy by visiting the following links listed below:
Mercy Bell iTunes
Mercy Bell bandcamp
Keep up with Mercy Bell via her social media links:
Mercy Bell Twitter @MercyBell
Mercy Bell Tumblr
Mercy Bell Facebook
* “Hard Times” music and lyrics by Stephen Foster.
Here are some of the fantastic people that you can hear on the record:
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 credit:
Album Cover Design – Seraphina Bell
Physical CD Design – Kristine Thune
Album Photography – Sara Olivia Moore
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