Boston born and California raised, Mercy Bell is no stranger to new places. New York embraced her and Nashville has made her a comfortable home. With all of these different regional sounds surrounding her, Mercy has kept her balance by digging deep to her west coast roots. You can catch glimpses of the western horizon in her music, distinctly American folk with a progressive touch of the 90s songwriter stamp etched onto her from her childhood.
Her first and most recent 13-track album “All Good Cowboys” was produced in the big city that sprung Mercy from the shadows to the folk spotlight and gave her wings enough to catch flight to Nashville to expand her career. Produced in Brooklyn with her dear friend Danielle DePalma – producer, musician and engineer – this album resonates with the experiences of a young, poor, and emotionally confused songwriter trying to figure out who she was and wanted to be.
I was alternately sad and elated on any given day. I was going through a lot of difficult personal experiences during that time that I made the album, but she [Danielle] helped me by giving me a refuge and turning the album-making process into a communal process (with tons of home cooked food).
With her love of big, wide, open spaces – of possibilities – it’s safe to wonder if Mercy plans on nesting into Nashville for a bit?
I know in my bones it is where I need to be right now. My girlfriend and I moved here after only visiting once. We wanted an adventure and change after Brooklyn and Arkansas. It’s funny, I moved to NYC after seeing a license plate that said “be brave”, made up my mind. We moved to Nashville after hearing this Alan Jackson song “gone country” while driving Highway 321, and we decided that’s where we needed to be. I knew there was a huge Americana scene here and that was so exciting to me.
But whether here or there, Mercy’s passion for the aesthetic recallings of the west coast ever linger about her.
I love any music or any art that evokes horizons. It’s the “western” in me. My granddaddy was a Georgia boy who died in San Diego, but had travelled the world in the Air Force and was the cowboy I associate with in my heart. He was into horizons. He and my family and California instilled that in me.
She assures that a new EP will be on its way this summer, so keep an eye on that horizon, the one Mercy loves so much.
Written by Kaitlyn Crocker