It seems multi-instrumentalist Ben Harper has discovered the perfect process to break a new album. After years on the road promoting numerous solo releases and albums alongside the Innocent Criminals and Relentless 7, Haper has taken a slightly different approach for his new band, Fistful of Mercy. First, form a super group with the son of a legendary artist (Dhani Harrison), break two new tracks (“I’m a Lot Cooler Than You Think” and “In Vain or True”) on NBC’s heavily watched Parenthood, and then before heading out on an international tour, perform alongside other greats like Eddie Vedder, and now The Roots. The strategy is working, because the trio’s debut As I Call You Down peaked our interests.
Unlike many acts who play the same two or three songs during promotional appearances, Fistful of Mercy have already made live-debuts of nearly all 9 tracks off the album via media outlets. The trend continued when Harper, Harrison, Joseph Arthur, and violinist Jessy Green made an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. With a little help from The Roots, the group performed the knee-slapper “Father’s Son”. As usual, Harper makes bluegrass and the lap guitar more approachable to a broader audience. But, in no way is Harper the “leader”of this group. Much like Harrison’s father’s side-project The Traveling Wilburys, each member delivers their talents revealing an unmistakable synergy.
At this point I’m convinced Fallon has the most amazing music coordinator ever and/or every touring band just wants to make an appearance with The Roots. As I Call You Down dropped October 5th, so go pick it up!