We've written about The Mercy Stone before (here and here). They are an eclectic group from Fullerton, California that mixes elements of jazz, indie rock and electronica into something fresh and intriguing. In a world of a cookie-cutter pop bands, The Mercy Stone reinvent their sound a little bit with every new single, which always makes for an exciting and rewarding first listen. For their latest offering "Unlocked" they have juxtaposed a synth-heavy stylistic reference that recalls 80s-era power pop with a layered vocal mix and a beautiful arrangement for strings. The result is a modern distillation of orchestral pop and indietronica that matches profound musical depth with rock-solid production quality and plenty of melodic hooks.
Scott Grady is The Mercy Stone's founder, composer, and guitarist. He is joined by bassist and composer Shawn Graham, whose early influences were classic rock bands like Rush and The Jimi Hendrix Experience which lead to years of intense classical and jazz bass study.
Emmanuel Ventura-Cruess is a classically trained cellist whose journey as a musical artist began by making electronic beats as a teenager and led to him founding his own indie rock/pop band, Emael.
Joris Daniel Hoogsteder is a drummer and composer of concert, film, and videogame music. Hoogsteder is as comfortable conducting one of his original orchestral pieces as he is playing drums in a rock band—he is also the drummer for Emael. A native of the Netherlands, he relocated to Southern California in 2013 to begin his work on a master’s degree in composition.
Steven Ragsdale is a saxophonist who actively performs in various jazz, rock, pop, and classical environments. Holding a B.A. in Music Education from California State University, Fullerton, he is now working on a M.M. in Jazz Performance. Ragsdale has had the opportunity to study with musical greats such as Jeff Ellwood, Charles Richard, Bill Cunliffe, Francisco Torres, Kye Palmer, George Cables, James Rӧtter, and Chris Bartz.
Nathan King is a woodwind performer, jazz saxophonist and music educator in the Orange County and Los Angeles area. He has studied with jazz heavyweights like Gary Foster, Jeff Ellwood, Katisse Buckingham, Dan St. Marseille, Damon Zick, James Rotter and Chris Bartz while also sharing the stage with Bob Mintzer, Bill Cunliffe, Bob Sheppard, Doc Severinsen, Eric Miyashiro, Wayne Bergeron, Sal Lozano, John Clayton, Gregg Field, Steve Houghton, Eric Marienthal, Walt Weiskopf and many others.
The Mercy Stone is a unique and gifted musical collective that brings together elements of prog rock and electronic pop with cerebral compositions and a timeless aesthetic that channels influences from across time and space.