Mercy Creek has created a unique brand of music they call aggressive folk rock. Creating high quality music is the center piece of shows, song writing, and 4 independent albums. The 2 piece band is comprised of singer/guitarist Cheryl Nystrom, and songwriting partner and drummer Jim Ball. Mercy Creek has become a successful independent act by mastering an organic "live 2 piece sound" and releasing 4 great albums of original music with producer Paul Mahern(Iggy Pop, John Mellencamp, J. Hatfield, L. Germano, Over the Rhine). The 4th independent release, entitled "Bonfire of Vanities"( 2004/2005) , is a 2 CD set that features both a produced studio album and the band's unique live sound.
Rather than listening to the radio as they travel, Mercy Creek writes music as the miles roll past. Tape deck and guitars are always in use, capturing and creating new songs with styles ranging from modern folk pop, aggressive rock, and hints of blues with bluegrass. Songwriting is a passionate craft of the team, and is evidenced in storied lyrics, haunting melodies, and many hours of original music.
The band's 4 studio albums chronicle the emergence of an act that has taken the old fashioned hard work approach to the music business. Hammering guitars, banjo, and mandolin accompany a wide range of song styles, making Mercy Creek's recordings a treasure trove of music. Partnering with Paul MKS Mahern, the Bloomington, Indiana studio sessions have created albums that magically merge artistic vision with state of the art recording and production.
Performing on stage using guitar and drums, Mercy Creek takes the art of 2 musicians sounding like a full band to new levels. The live sound is full, organic, and tempered by hundreds of live shows each year. The first ever release of this sound is featured on the 2 disk set "Bonfire of Vanities", where Mercy Creek offers live versions of tunes spanning their previous recordings. "Bonfire of Vanities" also features 10 new studio tracks featuring the production work of Paul Mahern.
Cheryl Nystrom's vocals, guitar playing, and songwriting are propelling her towards becoming a memorable musical figure of her 20 something generation. Her unique voice is the cornerstone of the band's sound, and at 25 years old, she has only begun her career. Nystrom was sheltered from popular music as a youth, and began writing songs before reaching her teens. Rather than sounding like other singers, her voice and guitar playing developed character thru years of nonstop touring with Ball. She has become a hardened professional at her craft, and unlike many of today's female counterparts, Nystrom plays guitars, banjo, and mandolin all the while delivering flawless vocals. Jim Ball drums an odd set, producing chest thumping bottom from an African Djembe he uses as a bass drum. Mutant brushes are wrapped with duct tape and produce a sound mixed of percussion and drum kit. His drumming unfolds as intense, and passionate. Eyes closed and perched erect, he delivers Charlie Watts grooves mixed with Billy Cobham jazz fusion aggression, and Gene Krupa smoothness. Togather,Nystrom and Ball completely fill the sonic landscape, 2 musicians capable of sounding like an orchestra.
Mercy Creek has been played on a wide variety of media across the country, including long time supporter XM Radio, college radio, non-commercial radio, and AAA commercial radio as well as PBS TV. "Bonfire of Vanities", featuring a live 2 piece disk as well as a new studio album, will continue to expose Mercy Creek to audiences who seek realism, passion, and quality in music.