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Mercyland

2012-06-10

Phil Medeira, Emmylou Harris's guitarist and well-respected musician, songwriter and producer, decided that God was getting a lot of bad PR from his so-called followers and asked some talented friends to help write and perform some "hymns for the rest of us." The result is Mercyland, a fine set of eclectic musical styles that puts a much more positive spin on faith than what we see on television or quoted in newspapers. The Shawn Mullens tune "Give God the Blues" sums up the sentiment: "God don't hate the Muslims/God don't hate the Jews/God don't hate the Christians/But we all give God the blues." Buddy Miller follows up with a strong offering titled "I Believe in You" (not the Dylan tune). The Civil Wars and Carolina Chocolate Drops deliver excellent traditional numbers; the North Mississippi All-Stars add some more of Mullens's straight-talk with "If I Was Jesus"; and even jazz guitarist John Scofield assists with a gorgeous guitar solo of the standard "Peace in the Valley." If only God could fire some of the nutcakes that claim his blessings to scorch people and instead hire this group of artists to represent him--well, there'd be a little more peace in the valley. Michael J. 06/12 F-Americana (Gospel)

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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