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Mercyland: Hymns for the Rest of Us

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=2000.0&backing[backer_reward_id]=507356&clicked_reward=true&logged_in=true&ref=history]This is interesting.

I was on my boss Emmylou’s tour bus in 2008 when a really crazy TV preacher came on the satellite TV and caused me to wonder how to counterbalance this bad PR God continues to get from his own flock.

So, I came up with the simple idea of gathering together a few great musical artists singing songs written around the basic theme of “What If God Is Love?”

I mentioned it to Emmylou Harris, and she said, “I’m in”. So did The Civil Wars.

And then came Buddy Miller- my good friend and one of my favorite singers of all time, not to mention a killah guitarist.

John Scofield, yes, he of Miles Davis fame and the funkiest, most soulful guitar player ever. And a beautiful guy.

Mat Kearney- I kept hearing about how great this guy was, and then met him on New Year’s Eve. I hadn’t heard a note of his singing, but felt the tug to invite him to partake in the Mercyland endeavor. Glad I did.

The great Shawn Mullins- wait til you hear the song we wrote together with our pal Chuck~ “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…” Shawn has got the goods.

Cindy Morgan, one of the best singers and writers I know, love child of Dolly Parton and Donny Hathaway.

Amy Stroup- of Sugar and the Hi-Lows fame, and the coolest chick with the saddest voice.

The North Mississippi Allstars… you never know until you ask, and Luther and Cody said “yes”, and wound up stealing all our hearts with their gooey soul.

The Carolina Chocolate Drops- Just their name makes me want to break my ‘no sugar for Lent’ pledge, but their music satisfies even the most primeval wanting.

Dan Tyminski- Oh, you remember- “Man of Constant Sorrow”, y’all. Dan came in with his Martin guitar and threw down with Scofield and the boys- bluegrass and jazz boogaloo-ing on and on about the Prodigal Son.

Special guests The McCrary Sisters got their mojo workin on my track “Mercyland”.

With some of the best musicians between Nashville and New York City…

My dream was simple~ to finish this record by hook or crook, and maybe do a little good in this hard old world. It meant moving from my big McMansion in suburbia into a small place in town, and selling off a few priceless guitars and vintage drums. It meant settling for less with a few folks who owed me more. And it meant committing money I wasn’t sure I had to pressing up copies and paying engineers and musicians. Call it faith, I guess.

Now it’s time to roll. I’ve got a beautiful project whose message is timeless, and crosses lots of borderlines. It’s hard to argue with good music. And whatever you believe or don’t believe about God, I think you’ll be able to find yourself in a community that calls itself “The Rest Of Us”, because isn’t that how most of us feel when we hear these crazy people rant on and on about God or the lack thereof? What about the rest of us? -Those of us who aren’t Fundamentalists, be it the Christian ilk, the Muslim, or the Atheist?

I hope you’ll buy one or two of these CDs or some of the other offerings of our little Kickstarter page. It will help to really get this thing off the ground and maybe start a love revolution in these times of smugness and self-righteousness. 'Cause that’s what Mercyland is all about~ love and kindness. May it be so.

Thanks for whatever you can do to help!

From Mercyland,

Phil Madeira

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I'm listening to this album for the first time just now, on Spotify, and wow-- this is by far my favorite Civil Wars song ever.

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I've had this in rotation for about two weeks now. I think my favorite track is the duet with Cindy Morgan, "Leaning On You." Overall, it's a pretty good collection.

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Josh and Stephen mentioned the two tracks that stood out to me as well: the opening Civil War number and Cindy Morgan duet.

Other highlights: The Carolina Chocolate Drops for shifting the sound of the album and the always reliable Buddy Miller.

Overall I wasn't jumping up and down with excitement but wasn't exactly underwhelmed either. I surely want to listen a couple more times.

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