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Check out Mercy Jones’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mercy Jones.

Mercy Jones, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
The band, Mercy Jones, began in 2014 when Chris Nash and Jenny Zepp wrote their first song together. Since then, Mercy Jones has fostered a music community on the Westside, as well as fundraised for causes all over LA while majorly building their catalogue of original bluesy funk rock songs.

Mercy Jones is continually evolving, attracting audiences who love their danceable, up-beat, live sets.

Recent additions to Mercy Jones in the last year are vocalist, Carol McArthur, and guitarist, Dave Tops.

McArthur is a Los Angeles favorite, lovingly known around town as Round Brown Sugah. She’s played live or recorded with other luminaries, such as Barry Goldberg, Jerry Goffin, The Painkillers, and the Bonedaddys. Her angelic tones and range always inspire and touch the heart.

Tops plays with many local musicians, and teaches guitar around town. His range of style keeps everyone loving all of his musical layers.

Nash has been on the music scene more commercially, having written for major music labels in the past. He has been formulating his signature blues rock slide guitar style for years. His melodies and arrangements are masterful, contributing to his rocking good looks.

Zepp wails on harmonica, but prides herself on messaging and lyrics. For her, the band represents leadership in the arts and community.

Recently, Mercy Jones joined up with accredited music producer, songwriter and engineer, Greg Smith, to work on their upcoming EP. Smith is also a big part of the westside music community, helping artists to capture their unique sound.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Mercy Jones is about two things: musicality and community.

Chris Nash quote: “I love to watch people, imagining who they are or what may be going on in their lives. You can learn a lot by just listening. As far as actually writing, I write after the whole world’s gone to sleep. It is the most beautiful time of the day. I hear melodies whispering in the silence. I hear my own heart crying out, longing, laughing, singing. I am grateful for those moments.”

Dave Tops quote: “Musical collaborations, with a positive mindset when everyone is listening to each other, can bring out the best in each one of us as musicians. This is what we strive for. A musical Tapestry. This is community.”

The musicians in Mercy Jones have a lot of talent and experience to draw from. The band concept is that they share ideas and blend together. Everyone must have room to shine. Mercy Jones isn’t a true “band” unless everyone is afforded that space.

The branding image for Mercy Jones is a loose interpretation of the Angel of Mercy. It actually came out of one of the first songs Nash and Zepp wrote together about a hardworking man begging the Angel of Mercy for some relief before his ultimate end:

“I was born to dance, can’t afford the shoes, so I suckle every moment of the evening dew. I carry ‘round a spade just to dig my grave. It’s worth it every minute that I misbehave. Hey, Mercy Jones, take me home, take me home. Lift this stone, and free me till the sun goes down.”

Mercy Jones commissioned Hollywood artist, Rick Sampson, to create a rendition of the Angel of Mercy for the band. Mercy Jones also collaborates with collage maker and colorist, Jolene Casko, highlighting the important relationship between visual and audio art.

What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
Be yourself. Strive for greatness, not mediocrity. Be comfortable with who you are as a musician. Keep developing and growing.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Every first Thursday, Mercy Jones hosts a community event at the Unurban Coffeehouse in Santa Monica from 7pm – 11pm. Opening the show is Mercy Jones, followed by a dozen local artists who play a few songs each. To finish, the stage opens up for a group jam. Unurban is the last standing coffee-house stage in Santa Monica. It has become an artist sanctuary, where locals can gain inspiration and uplift the community network.

Mercy Jones also works with community leaders in Los Angeles, comedians Solange Castro and Julia Austin, fundraising for nonprofits like Miriam’s House, a Los Angeles shelter for women and children. Mercy Jones has opened up for many other fundraisers through the years around town, especially events centered on homelessness in LA. Recently they helped fundraise for the film, “Invisible Children of LA,” to be aired on PBS.

Miriam’s House:

Invisible Children of LA

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Rick Sampson
Jolene Casko
David Healy
Jenny Zepp

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Jenny Zepp

    January 3, 2019 at 19:21

    Thank you, VoyageLa for the great write-up! Mercy Jones will release new studio tracks SOON! ✨🎶✨

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