In 2009, Josh Rheault began emailing demos from his apartment in Los Angeles to friend, composer and Boston-based drummer, Sammy Dent. As the months carried on, song ideas took shape, and Josh parted ways with his former band and busy LA-life, returning home to north-central Connecticut to start something new. Tucked into this farm and forest-littered landscape is “The Barn”, a rehearsal/recording space that Mercies now calls home. It wasn’t always a functional space though. What was used for decades to hang tobacco grown on adjacent farms had become just an oversized storage shed. But in the Fall/Winter of 2010/11, new life was breathed into the structure as Josh and his family started renovating.
Paralleling this restoration project was the recording of Mercies’ debut LP Three Thousand Days. “It started getting pretty cold in the Barn, and we’d sometimes have to turn the electric heaters off to have enough power to run the recording gear,” states Josh. They even recorded some percussion parts with pieces of construction debris they found laying around. Sammy adds, “I dropped a can of nails and wire nuts and lightheartedly said to Josh, ‘sounds like a good shaker, let’s record that!’ So we did.” Chronicled on Three Thousand Days is this intense, creative and inaugural period for both Josh and Sammy; a moment-in-time aided by family and friends. “…One of those releases that engages [you] within a few bars; immediately feeling like something special. Something important. Something to keep around, something to tell your best friends about.” – My Old Kentucky Blog
Following the addition of bassist/vocalist Jordan Flower, the rest of 2011 saw an increasingly busy show schedule. As 2012 approached, the band set their sights on a SXSW tour and more recording. Mercies’ second release, The Ballet EP, is centered on a two-movement piece composed for choreographer Audrey Fenske at The Charlottesville Ballet Company. “It was a way for us to rework two old songs, release a new song, and compose a piece for something other than a typical record. The Ballet was both challenging and inspiring, and we look forward to taking on more projects in this realm,” says Josh. According to AOL Music, “…These folkies deliver on The Ballet.”
Unwilling to take a break, and with the help of generous friends and family, Mercies embarked on their first full U.S. tour to wrap up the summer of 2012. As an unsigned and DIY band, the tour was self-booked, but managed to beat the odds and end up as a successful 9000 plus-mile loop around the country. “Every night was a new experience; different local bands, no guarantees, no idea if we’d make enough money for gas. But we wouldn’t have had it any other way,” states Jordan.
Not wasting any time, Mercies are set to release a two-song 7” vinyl by the end of 2012. Moreover, they’ve already written nearly enough material for their next full-length album with a planned release of Spring 2013. Aiming to collaborate with more dance companies, score films, and tour, the future is looking bright and busy for this ambitious group. “I’ll be cheering for these guys every step of the way, and after a good listen you’ll understand why.” – The Deli Magazine.