Rocco DeLuca and the Burden / Rocco DeLuca

Mercy

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With a slinky twin slide (both steel and dobro) sound, Los Angelean Rocco DeLuca and his backing band, the Burden, deliver something of a miracle on their sophomore release MERCY: a new reading on the blues. Daniel Lanois's experimental production makes shifting quicksand of DeLuca's songs, an eclectic panoply of blues corkers such as "I Trust You to Kill Me" and equally emotive balladry like "Open Pages." Released on Ironworks--courtesy of 24 star and label-owner Kiefer Sutherland--MERCY finds its centerpiece with DeLuca's voice, a powerful instrument that can swing from a smoldering is-that-really-a-man falsetto to a gut-bucket growl--and sometimes in the same song (like the standout, "Save Yourself").

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