The Mercy Brothers were formed in 2011 by veteran musicians Kevin Sekhani, Mark Meaux and Garland Theriot out of Lafayette, Louisiana, and have been tearing up the Louisiana club and festival circuit ever since. Blending the spiritual fervor of an old-time tent revival with the rambunctious feel of a rural roadhouse, the Mercy Brothers combine the best elements of celestial and honky-tonk heaven.
They follow the footsteps of such fellow Louisiana musicians as the great Jerry Lee Lewis and his preacher cousin Jimmy Swaggart, mixing zealous religious lyrics with the most raucous, rowdy accompaniment. This unique holy hubbub hybrid, and a reputation for electrifying live shows that inspire impassioned sing-alongs, has won the band a loyal — dare we say — devout following.
Lead singer Kevin Sekhani, a Lafayette native, comes to the band with decades of professional experience in Lafayette and Austin, as the front man for such diverse bands as Radio Thieves, Two Minute Sinatra and Parade. Contributing mightily to the band’s arrangements, keyboardist Garland Theriot grew up near Lafayette listening to everything — rock, country, Cajun music, zydeco, blues, funk — but “it was the gospel I listened to as a kid that led me to play piano.”
Drummer Dave “Papa Puff” Nezat, formerly of Grammy Award winning Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, has shared the stage with legends Bobby Womack, Taj Mahal, Buckwheat Zydeco, L’il Buck Senegal and Tab Benoit. A musical pilgrimage from home state Wyoming brought bassist Matt Thornton to Lafayette via Colorado band, Motorhome. Guitarist Jason Leonard is a veteran of many South Louisiana bands and is an in-demand session player. Holy Ghost Power! also contains invaluable contributions from guitarist/singer/songwriter Mark Meaux, drummer Gregory Walls and bassist Cal Stevenson.
The Mercy Brothers are the latest to joyously explore the passionate roots music border zone of O Brother, Where Art Thou? — straddling that fine line between Saturday night blow-outs and Sunday morning reflection. Hear it on their exuberant 2013 debut CD Holy Ghost Power! on Louisiana Red Hot Records.