Fistful Of Mercy
What do you do if you're George Harrison's son? Of course, your social calendar could be filled by attending the near endless tributes to your dad and The Beatles. For some that might be a great life but Dhani Harrison wanted more. So he took matters into his own hands and co-founded Fistful Of Mercy with Ben Harper and Joseph Arthur.
While Harrison was probably the most known member of the trio, Harper had the longer career. The Claremont, CA, native began recording in the early '90s and earned six gold albums and a pair of Grammy awards over his eclectic career.
Arthur, born in '71, just two years after Harper, hailed from Akron, OH. His recording career began when he was discovered by Peter Gabriel (Genesis). Arthur's debut, "Big City Secrets," landed in '97. With a handful of albums to his credit and nearly a dozen EPs, Arthur started Lonely Astronaut Records in '06.
Following an L.A. appearance Fistful Of Mercy earned some positive press. "The sound could be unruly or tranquil, unveiling a modern, quirkier take on the Crosby, Stills and Nash model, colliding Folk, Blues, eccentric pop and gorgeous three-part vocal harmonies," said The L.A. Times Music Blog.
"I can't believe I get to call them my musical brothers," said Harrison of Harper and Arthur.
"As I Call You Down," Fistful Of Mercy's '10 debut album, also featured renowned session drummer Jim Keltner, a long time Harrison family friend, and violinist Jessy Greene.
2010 As I Call You Down
There are two things about Fistful Of Mercy's debut "As I Call You Down." First, R&B singer Ben Harper owns one for the most expressive and emotive voices in music. Second, Dhani Harrison sounds eerily like his father, George. While the senior Harrison was best known as The Beatles' lead guitarist, he was also an exceptional, if underrated, backing vocalist. The younger Harrison has picked up his father's skill.
The best way to think of "As I Call You Down" is to view it as '69's "Crosby, Stills & Nash" done better.
David Crosby, booted out of the Byrds, Steven Stills fractured by the disintegration of Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash, a refugee from the pop friendly Hollies, joined forces in '69 - of course their self-titled debut went gold. Fistful Of Mercy gets to the same place from a different direction since Harper, Arthur and Harrison are known for their solo work.
"As I Call You Down," is filled with tuneful and richly textured (thanks to the vocal harmonies) acoustic ballads - just like CSN's debut. The title track and "Father's Son" are top notch but the kicker is "Things Go 'Round" which could have fallen off The Beatles' "White Album."