12 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Veteran artist/producer Phil Madeira brings together a passel of stellar musicians to celebrate an inclusive vision of faith on Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us. The album’s (mostly) original tunes are both reverent and compassionate, emphasizing human unity over division. Mercyland’s sound is a rich Americana stew, combining folk, blues, and old-time country with an acoustic emphasis. Emmylou Harris is a central presence here, contributing the bittersweet “I Didn’t Know It Was You” and singing backup on The Civil Wars’ radiant “From This Valley.” The artist roster is impressively diverse, with The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ joyful romp “Lights in the Valley,” The North Mississippi All-Stars’ rootsy meditation “If I Was Jesus,” and John Scofield’s jazzy instrumental reading of the classic hymn “Peace in the Valley” embodying the project's musical scope. Christian stars Mat Kearney (“Walking over the Water”) and Cindy Morgan (“Leaning on You”) step out of their pop/rock comfort zones, while folk rocker Shawn Mullins offers a wry perspective on sectarianism with “Give God the Blues.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Veteran artist/producer Phil Madeira brings together a passel of stellar musicians to celebrate an inclusive vision of faith on Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us. The album’s (mostly) original tunes are both reverent and compassionate, emphasizing human unity over division. Mercyland’s sound is a rich Americana stew, combining folk, blues, and old-time country with an acoustic emphasis. Emmylou Harris is a central presence here, contributing the bittersweet “I Didn’t Know It Was You” and singing backup on The Civil Wars’ radiant “From This Valley.” The artist roster is impressively diverse, with The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ joyful romp “Lights in the Valley,” The North Mississippi All-Stars’ rootsy meditation “If I Was Jesus,” and John Scofield’s jazzy instrumental reading of the classic hymn “Peace in the Valley” embodying the project's musical scope. Christian stars Mat Kearney (“Walking over the Water”) and Cindy Morgan (“Leaning on You”) step out of their pop/rock comfort zones, while folk rocker Shawn Mullins offers a wry perspective on sectarianism with “Give God the Blues.”

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