Fistful of Mercy's debut album As I Call You Down is a throwback, in a sense, to 60s and 70s style folk music, with pristine acoustics, soothing vocal harmonies and back-to-basics lyrics addressing everything from love to family ties.
The first track of the nine on the CD is "In Vain or True," a wonderful blending of Beatles-ish fervor and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young-type harmonies, a memorable start to the lucid compilation. The other tracks range from artfully instrumental to delightfully rootsy. "Father's Son" is a crunchy bluegrass, gospel-like tune full of knee-slapping vigor, reminiscent of Paul Simon's Love Me Like a Rock. In contrast, "30 Bones" is a hushed, lush acoustic; deft guitar picking paired with the sweet strains of the violin. "Restore Me" and "With Whom You Belong" are inspirational, resonant songs, capturing the new group's ideal blending of voices. "Things Go Round" is a trip-happy tune, with a sparse, open sound; only a keyboard highlights the in-and-out vocals. One of the most ethereal, entrancing songs on the soon-to-be-released disc is "Fistful of Mercy," an achingly beautiful ballad with Harper carrying the lead vocals and Harrison and Arthur enhancing the haunting melody with their honeyed intoning.
Dhani Harrison, Ben Harper, and Joseph Arthur have created exquisite, sincere songs that are organic in sound and elemental in design, coalesced by fluid rhythms. For a first outing, this power-trio has put together something mellow yet potent, an all-together pleasant aural cocktail. As I Call You Down is due for release on October 5, 2010, on Hot Records.