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The Mercy Brothers
Strange Adventure
Corazong Records


The Boston duo, The Mercy Brothers, bust out of the gate on Strange Adventure with a sizzling surf track about murder. Like most of the songs on the album, this first track showcases blues guitar licks and Barrence Whitfield's distinctive, powerhouse, soul vocals. The album's title is surely reflected in the song sequencing which bounces from surf to blues to delta. The second track sounds less Dick Dale and more Tom Petty while the third track sounds like if Howling Wolf had played guitar.

While the songs vary in instrumental styles, there's no lack of train themes on this disc. Five, to be exact. There's also an abundance of "what the hell are you looking at" cover art if you're a fan of that. Another consistency are the guitars of Michael Dinallo and Vidar Busk, which have no problem dancing through the melodies and making a nice bed for the vocals, whether it be electric, acoustic or slide. "New Year Blues" is a beautifully fingerpicked ballad that comes about at the perfect time of year and serves up a sweet sound.

Strange Adventure was actually released in the US in 1993. This studio/live hybrid edition was released last year by CoraZong Records and it includes one studio and six bonus live tracks, which were recorded in Norway...Obviously. Not only do the live versions showcase this Boston band's ferocious energy, they prove that these guys can replicate the studio recordings in person.

-Jon Murray


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