Jack Mercer and the Whiskey Bandits
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Jack Mercer and the Whiskey Bandits

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Band Folk Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Recording in the Woods"

Every now and then you come across a musician that strikes an emotional chord that so deeply resonates within. Try as you might to explain it or put your finger on it, there simply is no way other than… “this is so f’n great”.

This is how I felt when I took an opportunity to run away into the woods and shadow Jack Mercer and the Whiskey Bandits as he recorded his third album. The band plus a team of sound engineers and two talented film folk set up home in Jack’s family cabin, away from society and all it’s distractions. Instead the only sounds that could be heard was heartfelt blue grass tunes, the rustle amongst the pine trees and the call for more whiskey.
http://shannynhigginsphotography.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/jack-mercer-and-the-whiskey-bandits/ - Shannyn Higgins Photography

"French Concept, global sounds; inaugural event sees 150 musical act take to streets"



Where: Across Gastown

When: Today, 5-10 p.m.

Tickets: Free; info at makemusicvancouver.com

A group of French expats sees importing something from their country as a great way to celebrate this country.

The Francais du Monde association, in partnership with Alliance Francaise, are hosting Fete de la Musique/Make Music Vancouver. The free, one-day celebration of music will welcome the first day of summer today by filling the Gastown area with live music.

"We bring something from our culture here," said Fete de la Musique's Pierre Touzel. "But this is also how we see Canada, where everyone brings something from their own culture to build something new."

The five-hour street event will showcase 150 professional and amateur musical acts. About half of those will be acoustic and all will cover a large musical spectrum. Acts will be set up at 35 locations and each will play an hour-long set.

"We are not a festival. We do not compete with other festivals," said Touzel about the inaugural event.

"There are no stages, no bleachers. We are here to promote all the musical diversity of Vancouver. On every corner you'll hear another musical genre."

Fete de la Musique was started in France 30 years ago by the French Culture Ministry. It is now a worldwide event that celebrates music in 460 cities across the globe. Vancouver is Canada's latest entrant to the list, which already includes Toronto, Moncton, N.B., Ottawa, Montreal and Mont-Tremblant, Que.

"This is a French concept, not a French event," said Touzel, a Lille native who has lived in Vancouver for two years. "We don't especially want French bands. Fete de la Musique is to showcase the diversity of the music in the city."

The talent was sourced through social networks, recording studios and music schools and, according to Touzel, the City of Vancouver was very open to the concept and supportive from the first day.

"I think this is a natural follow to the Olympics," said Touzel.

The acts are slated to be out on the streets of Gastown and in areas like Blood Alley and Gaoler's Mews from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., but after that Touzel said the music will continue and still be free as some of the area's bars and restaurants have agreed to open their doors to the musicians. dgee@theprovince.com

© Copyright (c) The Province - Dana Gee - The Province June 21st, 2011

"Traveling proves helpful; Singer/Songwriter hones craft while globetrotting"

Singer/songwriter Jack Mercer released his debut album last August and he's already working on a follow up effort for later this year.

"I have almost all the material for my new album written and am playing it at shows to see what songs get the best response. It just needs to be recorded," he says in an e-mail to the Optimist.
A possible release date could be sometime this fall, says Mercer, who lists Ben Harper, John Butler, Xavier Rudd, Dave Matthews and Sublime as influences.

He recorded, mixed and produced his first album, Driftwood. The Westham Island resident, who describes his music as high-energy folk with a little bit of rock influence, plays regular shows at the Riverhouse Pub in Ladner. He'll take the stage at around 9:15 p.m. tonight.

Mercer, 24, who plays acoustic guitar, lap slide guitar and the banjo, says traveling was a big help for his music and songwriting. He went backpacking in Europe after high school, visiting 10 countries in just under five months, and started writing his first songs on the trip.

"They were not by any means songs that I still feel good about today but they were a huge stepping stone as far as putting your thoughts on paper goes."
Mercer went on a second trip, this time to Southeast Asia, and got started performing in front of audiences.

"Playing at open mics in backpacker towns to complete strangers gave me the confidence to come home and pursue music."

Mercer, who fished for most of his teenage life with his father and now works on tugboats, plans on making music his career.

"It is a passion I cannot get rid of."

© Copyright (c) Lower Mainland Publishing - By Dave Willis, The Delta Optimist January 29, 2010


Jack Mercer - Daze Off Sessions (Independant 2005)
Jack Mercer - Desolation Sounds (Independant 2007)
Jack Mercer - Driftwood (Independant 2009)
Jack Mercer and the Whiskey Bandits (Independant EP 2011)
Jack Mercer - World on Edge (Independant 2011)

Radio Singles - College Radio, Canada
On the Road (Driftwood 2009)
Dark Room Girl (Jack Mercer and the Whiskey Bandits 2011)
I Am My Own (Jack Mercer and the Whiskey Bandits 2011)



It’s less ironic and more fitting that Jack Mercer has spent so much time on tugboats staring into British Columbia’s waters. The seas are unpredictable, unfathomable, always changing and advancing, traits that can also describe Mercer and his songs. Armed with tugboat ballads, wanderer’s blues and hopeless romantic rockers Mercer has been winning over audiences from the coast of BC to the Alberta border and back to Vancouver, which is precisely the personal path he’s taken over the past couple years.

Working on fishing and tugboats since his teens and penning songs during down time with callused hands, Mercer is part of a new wave of musician. It’s a wave that started back before over-produced digital distortion, that goes back to a time where steel strings and a voice where enough to get you on the radio.

If he’s not becoming known for his already vast catalog of songs, word-of-mouth is definitely spreading about his command of a stage. Whether multi-tasking as a one-man-band or fronting his 3 piece folk outfit the Whiskey Bandits, Mercer is creating a reputation as one of the best performers west of the Rockies.

After taking the Whiskey Bandits on a tour around Western Canada this summer, Mercer returned home to Vancouver to a warm welcome that included a grand prize win at the 2011 Summer Sessions hosted by the Roxy Vancouver and 99.3 the Fox.

It doesn’t take long for a bandit to spend money. Mercer along with his group of musicians, 2 sound engineers, and photographer are off to a covert bandit retreat located in the lower Nicola Valley, BC to spend the prize winnings. Holed up in a back-woods cabin, the crew will record Mercer’s third album without the smoke and mirrors of the big city to diminish the live energy. An album expected to be released in the fall of 2011.

The project at hand has a few people whispering, though soon many will be talking about this new sound that the bandits have branded saloon-folk.