Mercy Creek

Mercy Creek


Aggressive Folk Rock. Powerful vocals, worldbeat percussion/drums. Catchy song writing. Mercy Creek has sold thousands of songs on I-Tunes, received airplay across the country, and had over 500,000 plays of the single "Summer" in retail outlet Eddie Baeur.


Mercy Creek spun into the national airwaves during 2005 on FMQB Radio charts with the release of their album, "Bonfire of Vanities". Radio programmers from Alaska to Florida joined club owners and fans in spreading the music of the band's 4 CD catalog to ever widening audiences. Mercy Creek's music is available at retail and internationally on digital sites such as I-Tunes, Napster, and E-Music. Their music has become a staple of clubs, satellite and terrestrial radio, as well as retail stores such as Eddie Bauer. Retail music provider PLAYNETWORK has reported over 300,000 spins of the Mercy Creek single "Summer".
Based in Virginia, Mercy Creek is successfully paving their own road by creating a unique brand of music they call aggressive folk rock.
Currently recording their 5th album, constantly writing new material, and ever touring the country are part of the hard work approach. A two piece live act, (singer/guitarist Cheryl Nystrom, and song writing partner/drummer Jim Ball), the band uses elements of modern folk, world beat, rock, and hints of blues and bluegrass to create a unique sound. Radio listeners and club fans enjoy the song writing, independent spirit of the band, and Nystrom's impressive vocals. Mercy Creek has successfully spread their music around the world by way of the internet, constant touring, as well as radio air play.
The independent recordings are the products of work with producer Paul Mahern (who has worked with Iggy Pop, John Mellencamp, Juliana Hatfield, Lisa Germano, Over the Rhine).
Cheryl Nystrom's unique voice and solid guitar playing are the result of talent toned with experience. A full time music career with Ball started immediately after graduating from high school. Nystrom plays acoustic guitar, banjo, and mandolin and delivers flawless vocals. Jim Ball produces chest thumping low end from an African Djembe he uses as a bass drum. Brush sticks wrapped with duct tape play percussion mixed with drum kit. Mercy Creek mixes the elements of their live sound; acoustic guitar, vocals, and drum/percussion into a warm rich organic wall of sound. They perform hundreds of shows each year. Mercy Creek plans to release their 5th CD in early 2008, while continuing to tour and write new music.
"If there is such a thing as perfect folk-rock music, then Mercy Creek comes
as close as possible to creating it. Their songs are authentically rootsy without losing that ever-elusive mainstream appeal." Taste Of Triple A 2005
"Nystrom is an undeniable star, with a strong expressive voice that swoops around pop choruses and haunts the verses in between, like a burnished and coppery Beth Orton." Washington Examiner 2005
"One of the leaders of an aggressive folk rock movement and have been coined 'The White Stripes of Americana'. Their sound blends modern folk with pop, rock, blues and even bluegrass. Nystrom's vocals are raw, uninhibited, intense and sensual." Singer and Musician Magazine 2005
· # 50 FMQB Radio Chart April 05 - 15 Weeks FMQB Radio top 100
· Added and played nationally on commercial/non-commercial AAA, College and XM radio
· View the Mercy Creek at the Kennedy Center on line at http://www.kennedy- Live at The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Washington, DC
· Available at retail and digital download on I-Tunes, E-music, Napster


Never Forget

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom

Beyond the road of separation lies the tears for all the times
We formed as one received the knowledge of our teachers minds
From day to day our friendship grew strong and after a while we knew we belonged

Some memories will fade but most remain within our minds until we meet
At a reunion or if we're crossing paths along the street
Roads must diverge to make their way creating paths rejoined someday

*Never forget these things you learned put behind you all that binds you
Have no regrets when you return I recommend you tell your friends to
Keep in touch throughout the years while holding back the longing tears
You wish them well along the way

Spreading our wings we make indentions in this world in which we've grown
We're silencing this generation's apathetic drone. Weeding the ground on which we stand
We're making changes in this land


Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

I am almost drowning in the waking crest of your unending sea
I am not who I'm suppose to or who I ever want to be

Trapped in by judgement I only see the tragic expectations
In this world and in this lie in which I stride

*Everything you ever wanted all that you desire to be
Everything you ever wanted you have molded into me

My feet are three sizes too small to fit into the shoes
You laid in front of me before I had the chance to choose

Serrated pursued beneath the table of my youth
And all this comes in as it comes as no surprise

My individuality means more to me
Than you have time to look for or that you'll ever want to see

Miss Virginia

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

Perfect little day job gorgeous wife and kids
You were tiered of the good life you always wondered what you missed

Sometimes the small temptations get crushed by faithfulness
But they often overcome you as you fail the loyalty test

*And I stand here watching you kill
What it took you a lifetime to build
Disregarding all of us
When you made the exchange from love to lust

You went out every weekend left your family at home
Made calls of inconvenience on the strip club's telephone

But you don't call it cheating
At least till the day you're caught
Lost everything you needed and got everything you want

Forever must have been a little longer than you thought it was
Forever must have been a little longer than you thought

Stand there lonely little baby he's coming at you with a kiss
I see this blessed union he always said did not exist

But you won't see me crying
I'm not gonna waist my breath
Take care of Miss Virginia if she hasn't left you yet

Match and a Conversation

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

She strikes a match and a conversation she longs to leave her world behind
It was a constant confirmation of her frantic state of mind
Drinking rum down to the bottom in these seven years gone by
Its just another day, it's just another night, its just another low down high

*Entertain us baby would you take me by the hand
I could be your kind of woman if you are my kind of man
Promenade us darling, in the center of the room
You know the stars will fade as the night degrades and reality resumes

She's really getting in the groove now she feels the bass vibrate her toes
Could have been a nighttime player as far as anybody knows
Sinking lower to the bottom as the hazy night goes on
She'll fix her face again, she'll find a place again
They watch her flaunt her silicone

She can hardly wait
She will exasperate
In these seven years of hell
She can hardly wait
Sher will exasperate
Until she hears the last call bell

She was a real close talking momma
See the sweat beads on her skin
It's the same old sobbin' story that she's telling once again

Scraping down along the bottom could be anybody's try
It's just another night, it's just another year
Another lifetime has slipped by

A Part of You

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom

I gave you all I am you gave me everything
Except the one I wanted most I asked for a part of you
In turn for all my love you turned away I watched you boast

*Why are you waiting there? Why are you so confused?
Why can't you make up your mind and choose?
I don't mean to rush you but you're breaking my heart again
Are we two lovers or are we even friends?

You turned and walked away you told me just to wait
While you were making up your mind well you better decide fast
My patience will not last and you will just get left behind

Sparked Fire

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

You burn crazy, like a sparked fire throwing on the fuel
There is this, everlasting music in your soul

*And the music is flowing so gracefully from your lips
And all from the sidelines watch you slip
The rhythm is singing a new song on your guitar
Is it heard past the walls of this bar?

I hear music from the back room down the smoky hall
Have another, fire water hear your demons call

All this before you but your unaware or maybe you don't care at all
Some other bright fortune for some other man maybe you don't care at all

Your on empty running too far wildside's brightest song
There is this, everlasting music in your soul

Is it heard past the walls of this bar? Is it heard past the walls of this bar?
Only heard past the walls of this bar

Shadow Dance

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

Take a moment of your precious time to figure out what is real
You're sheltered in your perfect life under your man's heal

Take a minute of your precious time to cover up your mistakes
Your spotless image still remains no matter what it takes

*You're trapped inside this burning trance
You close your eyes when shadows dance

Take your hair out of this living room. You're still all that he owns
You shine your lantern down the hall so he can get to his thrown
Don't know what it is you're looking for, but you haven't found it yet
Spent all your time in comforts arms built up on regrets

Life in Review

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

Did you decide to break, did you decide to bend
Did you hover on being alone
Could it be possible to revile yourself as something other than an idoled clone

*And I was hoping something would change we all know your range my friend
And I was hoping that wasn't you life in review my friend

Who will decide your fate plan out your every move
Are you what the team contrived will there be any end
The things you will do before you say I have arrived

Can you appreciate can you remember when
You swore that you would not conform
So now you are a star it's undeniable that you'll be infinitely torn

Dirty Water

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

Great discussions they fill the air tonight I was waiting for some life changing insight
Grand encounters and inhibitions they fade away while you ring on daddy's bill
This time is yours to kill

*Talk pours cheap like dirty water you're anticipating
An unwanted list of things you'd alter you're pontificating

Explanations will be the answer of destinations left yet to be explored
Quick creations and spinning stories misinformation drip torture from the hill
This time is yours to kill

Bold eruptions important views distill
Never knowing how life unfolds until
This time is yours to kill

West of Bluefield

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

West of Bluefield life was simple just a handshake and a smile
Were the only things she needed not this social sense of style

*She's in the bright lights standing taller
Now that she finally found her scene
She'll make a stunning transformation
Saying goodbye Mabalene

A fine family reputation a touch of class and symphony
Were the only things she needed to deserve their company

West of Bluefield life stays simple with a down home guarantee
She has everything she needs and and that's as real as she'll ever be


Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

From the first time I looked at your face everything seemed out of place
It's crazy take it easy
Steal trap your jaws are sealed before this is over
We'll be crazy take it easy

*You were always saying something that I told you that I like to hear
Draw me round in circles in confusion problems disappear
Letting blindness in because I hate what you have become
Not alone, no I'm not the only one

You got a condescending smile you're in a state of self-denial
It's crazy, take it easy
You know the words help spin the tale so many bodies in your trail
It's crazy, take it easy

Taking a Ride

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

Three miles outside this county line Flashing chrome making highways whine
He's gonna ride, yeah he's gonna ride
When the Rpm's are pegging red thrill of speed breaks fear like Hunter said
He's gonna ride, yeah he's gonna ride he's gonna ride

*Still believing you've got your freedom
Not deceiving your hearts emotion
May get even you may get closer
Just by taking a ride

He though the rules were made to violate he was everything her mamma hates
You wanna ride, do you wanna ride?
He's got fourteen rings upon his hands and slash marks on his leather pants
You wanna ride, do you wanna ride you wanna ride?

Throttle up as the backdoor slams life laid out oh these changing plans
We gonna ride yeah we gonna ride
I never knew the air could smell this good though I'd never leave that neighborhood
We gonna ride yeah we gonna ride we gonna ride

City Walls

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

Smoke and fire your bridges span you were dealt a loosing hand
Hard to be the best you can hanging around with a rambling man

*City walls, city walls, to the great withdraw
Undeniable, been too long since I felt them fall

In this town the same old same you are what they all became
Swore you'd never play their game wing-tipped shoes with a different name

Perfect ending, ending upside down treading water trying not to drown
It is clear to me that you won't care until I find another dream to share

Check out lines and star reviews the empty things that you pursue
Can't stop overdue stress and strain for your daily view

Hill of Fools

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

Had I'd known there'd be trouble wouldn't turn my head
Wish I'd seen what's before me like the old one's said
On this hill of fools we speed down but you will end up dead

*Oh this rolling stone won't come rolling over me
Oh this rolling stone won't come rolling over me
Cause I'm tired of living all my days
and nights under your authority

All the odds stacked against me careful where I go
Won't drop out till I'm empty wait to overflow
On this hill of fools we speed down but you never outgrow

Miles Away

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

You know we live our lives and we pay our bills your hair lays on the windowsill
I need you my love always
You know our days are filled as we chase the lines and all the miles past could not define
I need you my love always

*So everyday I find no matter where we are
Together destinations never seem that far
And I feel at home today from miles away

Well I sit back smile and appreciate everything together we create
I need you my love always
Flexibility when we devise to make a change a chance we improvise
I need you my love always

Not by circumstance come on take a chance
We can't stay long we got another show
Realize our dream we make a perfect team
Using everything we know


Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

All my searching never got me very far and I see my reflection standing in the dark
And all the things we left behind when it was up to you
Well I know just what you're saying but I haven't got a clue

*Hold you closer, closer in my arms now

On our way to Reno gambling for the chance
All these odds stacked up against you, you made you're final stance
And all the trails we left behind it's never been the same
Well I know all of your secrets, I don't even know you're name

All the trails we left behind went onto something new
I know everything about you, but I don't know you

Holding Onto Me

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

Once a life time someone comes around nothing like it you have ever found
Love is not an easy thing to show, I know chase me down and never let me go

*Keep holding onto me

Can't believe you're right before my eyes better than I ever fantasized
Universe is knocking at our door, I'm sure always leave me asking you for more

Everything I want, everything I want
Could not ask for more, for more


Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

I nearly walked right past the second door that led me right back to the one before
Tell me where would you expect to be when you are led around by your fantasy
I know that I, I've been hypnotized

*Darlin' don't you look pretty
Let me hold your hand
Take you round this city
You gotta get it while you can, you gotta get it while you can.

Say you're in the scene you're underground know more than anybody else about this town
I can show you around if you are free you can relax and leave it up to me
I know that I, I've been hypnotized

The beautiful things that you surround I know that nothing else like it has been found
In the space between the broken lines the pressure builds and you're running out of time
I know that I, I've been hypnotized

4th of July

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

Knew I had you when you walked through that door
Night is young so get ready to explore
Come on fast come on strong
Feel so good so tell me why is it wrong

*On the sidewalk lighting the fire
Come and save me
4th of July on the sidewalk

No one told us that they knew we were gone
Strolled back in pretending nothing was wrong
Raised our glasses ordered another two
Save it sister he ain't talking to you

Feeling something think it's nothing looking for the way to go

Born to Rock

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

Wasting daylight in the shopping mall
Interrupted by your cell phone call
Oh baby I wish that did it for me, yeah for me

Your only talent is the clothes you wear
A world around you but you don't care
Oh baby I wish that did it for me

*I am living life on the road
Not just doing what I've been told
Cause I was born to rock-n-roll

You're thirty-seven sounding like you're twelve
Play the game or you're put on the shelf
Oh baby I wish that did it for me

Another city just another day
I can't imagine any other way
Oh babe you know that's what does it for me, yeah for me

Ready or Not

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

This time you took off running boy you scared me half to death
You know I swore that you would know by now
Oh I thought our life to you was more than second best
You know I swore that you would know by now
Guess I thought that you would know by now

How did you forget that our lives are on this bet
And it's always just a choice we make
But before you jump aside look around you have arrived
Opportunity is yours so take it

*Ready or not don't pretend you forgot
That you promised me the world

So you're coming back today I'll thank my lucky stars
And wait for you to leave it all again
I am still in disbelief that you took it all this far so go ahead
Leave it all again, one more time leave it all again


Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

Here I am trying to reign my soul back in, back in
I feel coldness pressing on my skin, back in

When the music starts to play the beauty is revealed
Another night another day with you out on the field

*Dance in whiteness of the clouds and never leave the ground
Beating drums of freedom and it's freedom that we found
Oh you'll never see me go to pieces I won't loose my head
But if I do than lay my bones beside the river bed

Catch my breath and catch myself a dream, a dream
Load is getting lighter than it seems, a dream

Tonight we lay our heads beneath a canopy of stars
Don't matter what they say when you are happy who you are


Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

*Treasure everywhere you've been
You can't go back there again
Lightning never hits you twice
When it's time to roll the dice

Waiting too long in the traffic line I gotta get on home it's a quarter to nine
Because tonight is gonna be a perfect night great time to be alive
Look around you when you're alone and you notice things on your way home
You can't belive how much the world has grown in full bloom tonight

Sometimes everyone's taken for granted everything in life they work so hard planning
You reach for more but the ground is slanted uphill all your life

Look around you and start to think you gotta live your life just past the brink
It could all be gone before you stop to blink open up your eyes


Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

Beautiful time lovely weekend at the beach
Sunburn and wine relaxation's within reach
Blow up the tube riding the waves like you've gone crazy
Kick off your shoes loosen your belt get lazy

*Finally it's your vacation stop your plans because it's time to
Forget your occupation leave behind the bills
Love the freedom sensation with you long after it's over
I've waited all year for this week it is finally here it's Summer

Watching the tide could have been pulled out of a dream
Come back inside we're serving your favorite ice cream
Cruise through the shops think I will buy myself a key chain
Perfect backdrop for this picture to frame

Leave the Light On

Written By: Cheryl Nystrom & Jim Ball

Walking down the hallway and I saw your face in a photograph
Thinking how we saw so many people and places it makes me laugh

Driving all those midnight miles across the county line trying to stay on track
What you took for granted was the best time of your life and you want it back

Never stop keep right on right on
I will leave the light on light on
Never stop keep right on right on right

Racing through this life we thought that we'd be late but we're right on time, always right on time
Spending all the money that we thought we'd make never made a dime, never made a dime


Name of the record is mercy creek - 1999
Dirty Water- 2001
Storm Has Blown Over- 2003
Bonfire of Vanities- 2004/2005 Double CD Set
-#50 on FMQB radio charts for 15 weeks "Born to Rock" (Bonfire of Vanites)
-Playnetwork reoported over 500,000 spins of "Summer" (Bonfire of Vanites) at retail outlet Eddie Bauer
-Thousands of songs sold at

Set List

(3) 45 min. sets

1 2 3
Miss Virginia Born to Rock Hypnotised
West of Bluefield Life in Review On We Go
Walk on Water Freedom Sacred Danger Z.
Hold On Taking a Ride Circles
What About Us Sparked Fire City Walls
Trust Me Lost Dirty Water
Green Beans Match and a C. Never Forget
Looking for a R. Treasure Miles Away
Almost Hill of Fools Shadow Dance

All songs by Mercy Creek