Project Mercury

Project Mercury

BandFolkAcoustic

Brewing up a custom blend of acoustic rock and modern folk with traces of blues, jazz & classical, Project Mercury's special ingredients are three-part harmony, guitar, violin, cello & bass. The editors at Hudson Valley Magazine's "Best New Band" of 2006, also a favorite at Rockland Magazine.

Biography

The band officially launched in '98 when singer-songwriter Marian Mastrorilli teamed up with violinist-vocalist Charlene Donohue. After spending a year backed by an electric rock band, the duo went acoustic to allow their intricate harmonies, violin and sensitive lyrics to shine. Guitarist Craig Fox signed on in January '03, and cellist Jeanne Fox added to their evolution in January '05, transforming Project Mercury into a string quartet!

PM is harmonious both literally and personally, with a camaraderie that comes across onstage. Three distinct voices take turns in the spotlight and back one another for lush harmonies: Marian's airy soprano, Charlene's earthy alto and Craig's rich baritone. Jeanne's cello and basslines interweave with violin over a backdrop of solid acoustic guitar work.

Project Mercury's 6-song mini-CD Down to Earth, released in the spring of '05, features the earnest acoustic sound of the band's days as a trio, before Jeanne joined up. Their first CD Light This Candle, released in '02, uses full production and arrangements to showcase roots in 70's rock and singer-songwriter balladry. It gained airplay on over 60 radio stations, including WFUV, WNTI, WFDU and WVKR.

The band has built a solid reputation by performing steadily at festivals and venues throughout NY and NJ, including a winning songwriter's slot at the NJ Folk Festival's New Folk Showcase in '02. Their tri-state travels have taken them as far north as Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY to south Jersey's The Saint in Asbury Park. They have shared bills with Sarah Lee Guthrie, Mark Erelli, Jen Chapin, Cliff Eberhardt, Galdalf Murphy & the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, Terence Martin, Sloan Wainwright and regional colleagues Pat Wictor and Red Molly.

For fans of Crowded House, Alison Krauss, Queen, early Elton John, Tori Amos, R.E.M., Indigo Girls, Kate Bush, Aimee Mann, Heather Nova, Sinead O'Connor, Fleetwood Mac, Vienna Teng, Pretenders, Ben Folds, Joe Jackson; and regional acts We're About 9 and The Kennedys.

Lyrics

In the Moment

Written By: Marian Mastrorilli/Craig Fox

A current runs through
The canyon of my world
It is my oxygen
It makes me whole

It carries me far
Past the walls of my house
It erases the silence
The choir of doubts

Oh, to be in the moment
Oh, this is my bliss
It doesn’t get better
No it doesn’t get better than this

It’s like solving a puzzle
Or finding a key
To wide open spaces
And spaces between

Or gazing at stars
From a faraway field
Closing the gaps
Of what’s fake and what’s real

Oh, to be in the moment
Oh, this is my bliss
It doesn’t get better
No it doesn’t get better than this

To be in the moment
Free of regret
Beyond expectations
Of what’s not happened yet

Oh, to be in the moment
Oh, this is my bliss
It doesn’t get better
No it doesn’t get better than this

Faded Leather

Written By: Marian Mastrorilli

Well I was bred to have some morals And it led to countless quarrels
With the men whose propositions
I'd ignore
But there's something I would see in
A compelling European
And those regulations went out the door
(must be the)

Faded leather and a certain attitude
Faded leather
What was a girl to do
(when faced with)
Faded leather
Add a fifth of rye
Just the thing to get me through the night

As I said I have my morals
Then again I'm a mere mortal
Certainly my barriers were down (down, down, down)
Though the images were graven in that temporary haven
I was lost and then
Salvation could be found
(wrapped in)

Faded leather and a certain attitude
Faded leather
What was a girl to do
(when faced with)
Faded leather
Add a fifth of rye
Just the thing to get me through the night

Faded leather has a way of brightening up a bad day
Faded leather
Any shade will do
Don't misunderstand me
I am just an average girl
An average girl who needs distraction too

Well my life got complicated
And my innocence dissipated
When the man in faded leather came around
Some will call it indiscretion
I'm not running to confession
Now you'll find me in another part of town
(I'll be in)

Faded leather and a certain attitude
Faded leather
What was a girl to do
(when faced with)
Faded leather
Add a fifth of rye
Just the thing to get me through the night

Funhouse of Mirrors

Written By: Marian Mastrorilli

At times like these I am certain
I have nothing to say
Worn-out observations
Chase my spirit away

I stumble down backroads and alleys
I know I've been down them before
I can't seem to get where I'm going
I can't take this wandering much more

Can I find my way out of this funhouse of mirrors
These hundreds of pathways and doors
Can I gather my thoughts into something coherent
Before they spin out of control

At times like these I am certain
The well has finally run dry
And I will be like Tommy
Again deaf, dumb and blind

Missing who I used to be
Cursing who I've become
Another bitter used-to-be
Mourning my days in the sun

Can I find my way out of this funhouse of mirrors
Can I find my way out of this song
Can I cut myself just a little slack
Call it a day and move on

I've finally reached the conclusion
A conclusion is not to be found
'Cause I can drive myself crazy
Drive ideas into the ground

Discography

Down To Earth, 5 original songs and a cover of Dylan's I Shall Be Released, released independently in 2005.

Light This Candle, 11 original songs, released independently in 2002. Received airplay on over 60 stations.

Set List

We can fill 4 hours worth of slots, with a ratio of 75% originals and 25% covers. We like to mix up the moods, including folk, ballads, singalong pop, rock, blues and covers that are both recognizeable and obscure.

A sample of our covers:

I Shall Be Released - Bob Dylan
The Captain - Kasey Chambers
Karma Police - Radiohead
Fleetwood Mac - Landslide
I Don't Know Why - Norah Jones
Oh My Sweet Carolina - Ryan Adams
Fire - Bruce Springsteen
Essence - Lucinda Williams