February 4 2018 is the 1st International House Concert Day, The European House Concert Hub and FSR are celebrating by organising the 1st International House Concert Festival. Talk to Rob Ellen if you would like to be involved.

 

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VARIOUS —MERCYLAND HYMNS FOR THE REST OF US (Mercyland Records)

ALBUM OF THE MONTH 

www.mercylandmusic.com

 

www.philmadeiria.com

 

 

What an album! What an eclectic bunch of musicians, singers and songs! All killers! From The Civil Wars kicking it away via the opening track ‘From This Valley’ right on through to John Scofield (Miles Davis) who leads the boys (Al Perkins, Byron House, Bryan Owings and Phil Madeira) through an instrumental version of ‘Peace In The Valley’.

The idea of making an album of songs speaking of the basic theme of ‘What if God is love? And what a great job he has done is that of Madeira’s. Regardless of your beliefs and for those who don’t have any —what a great day it was when Phil was on his boss, Emmylou Harris’ tour bus and a crazy TV preacher came on Satelite TV. It prompted him to try and counterbalance the bad PR God gains from his own flock, and come through with a bunch of people doing their version of what filters through to their respective heart. I tell you now what great music they make. So fine is the project I already have it pencilled in as a Grammy Nomination favourite, such the impact it has made with me. Unlike some tributes or movie soundtracks that have seen music’s finest put their shoulders behind this one possesses a bunch of great new songs.

 

Madeira plays his part, performing organ, electric, acoustic, bass guitar, Hammond organ, accordion and Dobro as one of the accompanying musicians. Like with those already noted and an additional one brought in by the respective acts —their work is impeccable, to give you an idea of the quality and how the music touched me after being blown away by Shawn Mullins’ stunning ‘Give God The Blues’. Co-written with Chuck Cannon and Phil it is a blast. With the lyrics, ‘God don’t hate the Muslims, God don’t hate the Jews, God don’t hate the Christians etc…., but we all give God the blues’ it offers great, universal wisdom.

 

Phil had a hand in nine of the songs, one he wrote, himself (‘I Believe In You’) has Bubby Miller performing like his life depended on it. So here you are on the third cut and you already have two out and out winners. It doesn’t there either, since coming up fast on the rails you have big favourites The Carolina Chocolate Drops switch on ‘Lights In The Valley’ and there's Madeira in the company of the McCrary Sisters pour a stiff one via the title-track ‘Mercyland’. Moody, sobering and soulful to the bone it marries the best of Memphis soul and Alabama’s Muscle Shoals sound! Take a bow Phil Madeira for this is a keeper (co-penned with Merrill Farnsworth; the same line-up is also responsible for ‘Light Of Your Love’ performed by Dan Tyminski) and it isn’t on its own.

 

For immediately followed are songs by two new names to me, Matt Kearney and Cindy Morgan. Oh, boy that Cindy has a great cool singing voice (she is a gospel singer) and with it aided by Phil’s acoustic guitar, seamless harmony vocals and David Mansfield’s subtle fiddle on first hearing it took my breath away! Kearney for his part owns a vocal style of which he reminds me of someone but struggle to partner. Maybe that was meant, since with his ability to press forth, move on he has that of greatness on his shoulder already. Powerful stuff.

 

Next up is the firm, accomplished voice of Amy Stroup (of the band, Sugar And The Hi-Lows) with ‘Fell Like A Feather’ —her music, like that of The North Mississippi All-Stars (‘If I Was Jesus’) who with Phil on accordion eases majestic fashion along gospel road. Luther’s unshaven, blues tones aided by bass and his brother, Cody’s percussion through it like it was something they rounded their day with. As for Alison Krauss band member and solo act, Dan Tyminski he is found pounding out a soul and not bluegrass feel on the organ (and more) aided ‘Light Of Your Love’.

 

Finally, there is Emmylou Harris and her ensemble. One that includes the impressive The Civil Wars (after all she lends her vocals to their track) turn back the years to sing ‘I Didn’t Know It Was You’. Madeira also needs complimenting on the production of the record. For the stripped down, spare feel allows players and vocalists alike the room not always handed them. A lesson to everyone listening!

 

                                                Maurice Hope    

Views: 97

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This site is the sister site to The House Concert Hub community and has been inherited in the main by kind donation of Shaun Belcher and Trailer Star.

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1
Rod Picott
70 pts.
Out Past The Wires
Welding Rod Music
GC,AN,LM,SZ,TK
2
JW Roy & The Royal Family
62 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
EM,PJ,DH
3
Steph Cameron
61 pts.
Daybreak over Jackson Street
Pheromona
ML
4
JD McPherson
54 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
AR,RK,LK
5
Sarah Morris
53 pts.
Hearts In Need Of Repair
Independent
 
6
Turnpike Troubadours
52 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
MA,GF
7
Chris Hillman
51 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Rounder
 
8
Hayward Williams
39 pts.
Pretenders
Why River Records
KG,JB,JBO
9
Joe Henry
38 pts.
Thrum
Ear Music
 
10
Jim White
37 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
JJ
12
Margo Price
35 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
 
11
Mark Martyre
35 pts.
Rivers
Independent
MF
13
Mavis Staples
32 pts.
If All I Was Was Black
Anti
HO
 
Peter Oren
32 pts.
Anthropocene
Western Vinyl
RB,HB
15
Fred Wickham
29 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
 
16
Jeffrey Martin
27 pts.
One Go Around
Fluff & Gravy Records
HDB
17
Blitzen Trapper
25 pts.
Wild and Reckless
Lojinx
JDO
 
Jeff Crosby
25 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records
FCE,FC,JS
19
Dori Freeman
24 pts.
Letters Never Read
Blue Hens Music
 
 
Hardpan
24 pts.
Hardpan
Blue Rose Records
WR
21
The Deep Dark Woods
21 pts.
Yarrow
Six Shooter
JF
22
Lilly Hiatt
20 pts.
Trinity Lane
New West
TJ
 
Tom Russell
20 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
JAB
24
Eilen Jewell
19 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
MW
25
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
FS

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