“Not all hymns are found in the pocket on the back of the church pew,” says Emmylou Harris, one of a handful of roots artists featured on Mercyland: Hymns For The Rest of Us, an album conceived of by songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist Phil Madeira, a member of Harris’s band The Red Dirt Boys.
Wanting to explore the commonalities of faith, Madiera invited acts like The Civil Wars, Shawn Mullins, Buddy Miller, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Mat Kearney, Cindy Morgan, Amy Stroup, The North Mississippi Allstars, Dan Tyminski, John Scofield and Harris to contribute ten original and two traditional songs to the project. These are “folks who set up their tent out in the left part of the field,” says Harris.
“When I was a young boy, my mother played me the music of Mahalia Jackson, which introduced me to the reality of a bone chilling, soul-stirring music that made everything else pale in comparison,” explains Madeira in a press statement. “These were joyous odes that sang of the love and the dignity of all humanity. Over the years I was saddened to see how often the differences of personal beliefs were highlighted in the mainstream dialogue.”
The album is due April 24 from Mercyland Records.
Mercyland: Hymns For The Rest of Us Track Listing
1. From This Valley – The Civil Wars
2. Give God The Blues – Shawn Mullins
3. I Believe In You – Buddy Miller
4. Lights In The Valley – The Carolina Chocolate Drops
5. Mercyland – Phil Madeira
6. Walking Over Water – Mat Kearney
7. Leaning On You – Cindy Morgan
8. Fell Like A Feather – Amy Stroup
9. If I Was Jesus – The North Mississippi Allstars
10. Light Of Your Love – Dan Tyminski
11. I Didn’t Know It Was You – Emmylou Harris
12. Peace In The Valley – John Scofield