An abridged history of American music offered up on a platter of losing lotto tickets, runaway dreams, Midwestern family history, hellfire, and brimstone. Served with a side of freedom fries.
Empty hearts. Broken bottles. Guitars that won’t stay in tune. Music for ramblers. Travelling Mercies fell together in early 2009, and in the near decade to follow, drew in an unlikely ensemble of talented Omaha music all-stars.
The Travelling Mercies feature songwriting in the tradition of Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, Steve Earle, and Bruce Springsteen played with the abandon of the Replacements, with original songs that “dig shallow graves for unlucky travelers and restless homebodies, burying their strife with [the Mercies’ songwriter and singer Jeremy Holan’s] matter-of-fact baritone and packing down their last breaths of God-fearing air with vaporous dark humor.” -Omaha City Weekly
Internet-ordained holy man Jeremy Holan tends a ragtag flock of salvation-seeking sinners (Derek Bird – drums, Jake Duncan – bass, Vern “Purdyboy“ Fergesen – keys, Colin Charles Duckworth III – guitar, George Prescott -banjo, Molly Welsh – backing vocals, and Edward “Willy Nilly“ Spencer handling harp and hype duty) on a pilgrimage through the underbelly of the American musical subconscious. The Mercies bring a traveling show that is equal parts revival meeting and rock & roll exorcism.
Travelling Mercies released Ghosts in the Bloodline in 2011. Their 2014 follow-up, Motel, garnered Omaha Entertainment and Arts Award nominations for “Best Americana” and “Album of the Year.” Their latest album, Cheap Labor, is slated for release in May of 2018.