Posts Tagged ‘Living on Mercy’

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Dan Penn doesn’t hurry. It took him a full 26 years to deliver “Living on Mercy”, his sequel to 1994’s Do Right Man, a good stretch of time by any measure, so it follows that the album itself glides by at a relaxed pace. Occasionally, the record works up a head of steam — “Edge of Love” gets down and dirty with its gritty guitars and sweaty horns — but nothing on the album is revved up, which may be appropriate for a man just a few years shy of his 80th birthday. Penn does sound comfortable in his skin, possibly even a little weathered, throughout Living on Mercy, yet there’s a honeyed quality to his singing; he’s seasoned but he’s not old.

Dan Penn, writer of such classic hits as “Do Right Woman,” “Dark End of The Street,” and “I’m Your Puppet,” among them, shines in his first release of new original material since “Nobody’s Fool” in 1973 and his first full production studio album since 1995’s “Do Right Man.” 

Recorded in Nashville and Muscle Shoals alongside their finest musicians, Penn, the pioneer of Country Soul, turns in a performance as timeless as the genre itself.

The same sentiment could be applied to the songs on Living on Mercy, some of which are new, some of which were handed out to other musicians over the years. When collected on Living on Mercy — and delivered by a crew of empathetic old pros — they feel of a piece, a sweet, soulful, and reflective effort from a masterful singer/songwriter that benefits from its mellowness and slow, assured gait.”