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Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us

Various Artists

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iTunes 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.”

Customer Reviews

A Musician's musician's heart and soul

Phil's a musician's musician-- he's spent his life as an artist creating with and for other headliners. In a world where everyone prizes cute, photogenic, sexy singers with great pipes, he's the guy who makes them sound as good as they look. This album turns that premise on its head, as those musicians rally around Phil's writing to return the favor, and the result is a labor of love. You can practically feel it emanating from the studio. There are some wonderful tunes here (Fell Like a Feather, Give God the Blues,), one or two not-so-great(I Didn't Know it Was You is not the best vehicle for Emmylou), but this is a rare thing, and (due disclosure) Phil's a friend from a long time back: I recognize his heart. If you're a Christian of the tight cloth, you'll take exception to some of his lyrics. These are, after all, hymns for the rest of us. But if you've had a spell wandering and wondering as you went, you'll recognize these hymns as your own. Adopt them, that's why they're there.

A labor of love worth loving!

Seldom will an artist be dogged and determined enough to conceive and produce an album simply because he feels it must be done. But such was the case with Nashville-based producer-songwriter-performer Phil Madeira's desire to see "Mercyland" come to fruition. Pouring in his own sweat equity to a kitty donated by the loving support of Kickstarter fans, Madeira has ram-rodded THE Americana album of the year, bar none. Madeira is joined by a who's who of rising stars (Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Civil Wars) and established vets (his part-time boss, Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, jazz virtuoso John Scofield.) The lyrical direction speaks to the spiritual deep longing in all of us, as personified by the project's "mascot," the wounded bird (also painted by Phil.) Simply stunning, but stunningly simple, "Mercyland" is a true hand-made work of art.

Excellent - Mercyland

Fun and eclectic music. Great artists that touch your soul.

Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us
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Customer Ratings