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It aint easy

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  1. 1 Walkin' Blues 04:05 Info
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  2. 2 300 Lbs Of Joy 03:44 Info
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  3. 3 Me & My Woman 04:02 Info
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  4. 4 One For Gabby 05:42
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  5. 5 Canadian Sunset 04:36 Info
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  6. 6 The Truth About Your Friends...Unfortunately 03:34
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  7. 7 Revelation 04:12
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  8. 8 It Ain't Easy 04:07
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  9. 9 Blues # 44 04:14
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  10. 10 I'm Not A Good Man 02:43
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  11. 11 Some Other Fool 03:39
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  12. 12 Wimmen Trouble 04:07
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  13. 13 Drinkin' Blues 06:34
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  14. 14 Prelude 03:30
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  15. 15 Helpless 04:41
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  16. 16 It's Because Of You 03:32
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  17. 17 Big Dog Will Treat You Right 03:41
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  18. 18 Framed 02:53
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  19. 19 Alabama Wildman 02:43
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Review for "It Ain't Easy" 2016 release. 

Chicago Blues Guide
by Greg Easterling 9/13/16

You have to love a guy who airmails a good natured kiss-off to a former employer in the credits to his new album. Singer-guitarist Marty “Big Dog” Mercer is such an individual. He’s the kind of working class blues man likely to be found playing weekends at hardcore blues lovers joints like the Harlem Avenue Lounge in Berwyn. 
  
Mercer’s 2016 indie release, It Ain’t Easy, is a highly listenable album’s worth of “Chicago Blues and Rock” as plainly printed in blue on the front cover of the CD beneath a black and white photo of the Windy City skyline. There’s no truth in advertising issue here. Big Dog plays slide guitar with a vengeance and his bluesy vocals are very effective as well. 
  
It Ain’t Easy kicks off with a three song sequence of Chicago related blues numbers, the first two of which are bonafide classics. This trio of tunes serves as a strong positioning statement just in case there’s any question about Mercer’s influences or intent. Big Dog leads with Robert Johnson’s “Walkin’ Blues”, the oft covered standard that traces its blues blood all the way back to the Mississippi crossroads. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and local blues legend Paul Butterfield recorded it for his second album, East-West with Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. Mercer’s compelling arrangement with plenty of good slide guitar action is a great way to begin the proceedings here. 
  
Big Dog is a large man physically (6’10”, 300 lbs.) so his choice of Willie Dixon’s “300 Pounds of Heavenly Joy” is more than appropriate, plus Mercer definitely has the voice and musical muscle to pull it off. It’s reminiscent of the much missed Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows (RIP Larry Nolan and Pete Special) who also recorded this blues classic. As the song goes, “This is it, look what you get!”. 
  
“Me and My Woman” is the third blues cover, written by onetime Chess session ace, Gene “Daddy G” Barge, who also played with Big Twist. Big Dog sings and solos well on this track, confiding, “we don’t get along but one day at a time.” The only complaint here is a small one; the song fades out too early. 
  
Next, Mercer slows it down with nice original “One for Gabby.” The guitar licks are sweet and the mood melancholy at times as Big Dog’s slide comes close to the sound of steel you might hear on a country record. He sings, “Blow wind blow, that’s the only thing gonna set me free.”  It’s the sort of feeling that comes from the heart. 

Continue reading...

The new CD is Jimmy Buffet Approved ! 

          

We were working at Shaw's Crab House one night in July. After our second set, they always feed us. After dinner I went to the men's room to wash my hands. I was approached by a younger guy in a black suit & he says "You guys are great, can you play Margaritaville ". 

I looked at him, trying to be as nice as possible and say "No we're not going to play that. We're a Blues band." He says "Well, could you play Sweet Home Chicago?" I told him we could definitely do that for him. 

He then tells me "The reason I asked if you could play Margaritaville is because Jimmy Buffet is out in the audience. When you go back into the room look two seats to my left and you'll see him with his manager". I say " yeah, OK thanks , will do." and walk away thinking - yeah, sure he is. (We hear a lot of stories late at night by people in bars) 
We go back out and play the third set and I look at the bar and I see a guy that could honestly be anyone sitting where the younger guy told me to look. 
We play the third set and I occasionally glance over his direction and see if he's paying attention. He seemed like he wasn't interested at all. 
So, after we play the last tune and I say goodnight, I figure if it is Jimmy Buffet I better take a picture for bragging rights later. I hold up my cell phone to take a picture and he looks up and points at me. 

Ah crap, just got busted. 

He gets up , walks over to me shakes my hand and proceeds to tell me it's good to see me again (he has apparently seen us perform there once before) and how much he liked our set and starts listing off the titles of the songs I played.
He said he loved our originals.
Then he proceeded to ask me about my guitar and amplifier.

I gave him a copy of my Cd and he said "I'm going to put this up on our XM Satellite radio station for the rest of the month. I can do that, you know why ? Because I own the damn thing and can put anything I want to on the station and this is good music !". 

The guy that told me Jimmy Buffet was in the audience approaches. He turns out to be Jimmy's chauffeur (I'm not allowed to call him Mr Buffet. I HAVE to call him Jimmy). He tells Jimmy "I asked him to play Margaritaville but he said NO".

Ah crap just got thrown under the bus... 

Jimmy says " Why Not?" 

I say "I figured I'd leave that to the pros". 

He then says " You need to cover that song, you'd do it really well. But - you have to do it in a Blues style. As a matter of fact I insist you cover that song". 

HOLY CRAP , he's not only giving me permission to record it but is insisting that I do it and then starts playing air guitar and singing it the way he thought I might sing it. He then tells me that he used to play Sweet Home Chicago on tour and thought our version was the coolest he had ever heard. 

We talked for a while longer about guitars and amplifiers he even tried playing my lefty G&L upside down. He's one of the nicest guys I've met and one hell of a good tipper. 

He said next time he's in town he'll look us up. 

I better start working up that version of Margaritaville... you never know who's in your audience.

** Update to the story. We we're at Shaw's again on Wed Aug 17th & Aaron (his chauffeur) was there. He took a video of us and sent it to Jimmy. I love my job.

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Taste of Westmont, IL. 7/12/15

Muddy Waters 100th Birthday Celebration Taste of Westmont, IL. 7/12/15

Live from the MCACN car expo 11/23/14

Chicago Blues Festival 2014

Chicago Blues Festival 2014
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Merchandise. For more options visit the "STORE" page.

Physical CD (Hard Copy)

Physical CD (Hard Copy)

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Released 6/1/2016.
10 tracks. 6 original songs.

Co-produced by Grammy Award winning drummer / producer Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith.

The Package Deal!

The Package Deal!

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Get all 3 - Cd, T-shirt & Sticker for $35.00!

Sold separately it would be $43.00 plus shipping.

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Reviews



Chicago Blues Guide writes -

"Big Dog Mercer's cd is an unyielding endeavor from start to finish.
It is primarily a heavy album, without being heavy-handed.
Mercer and his more than capable band have put together a piece of work
that ought to be noted as one of the
top local blues records of the past year.
It should be interesting to see what they come up with next. "
By Geoff Trubow
http://www.chicagobluesguide.com

 
Chicago Blues News writes -
 
"He has a way of singing that is extremely reminiscent of the old school blues players.
He has a growl to his voice that demands attention and combined with an aggressive slide style,
he is a joy to be heard.
I might be a little partial towards "Big Dog" because I truly love the Blues
and the Blues is what he does best.

Venues You May Have Seen Us Perform In
Chicago Blues Festival.....Illinois  Blues Festival......Buddy Guy's Legends.....Kingston Mines.....Illinois State Fair.....The Mancow Show......Grand Victoria Casino.....Horseshoe Casino.....Blue Chip Casino.....Harrah's Casino.....Orland Days Festival.....Taste Of Orland.....Saint John Fest....Saint John Malt Brothers....Shorewood's Summer Concert series.....Frankfort's Annual Rib Cook Off.....Frankfort Summer Concert Series.....Frankfort Fall Concert Series.....Glen Town Center Summer Concert Series.....Bensenvillle Summer Concert Series.....Governor's State University.....Goose Island Brewery.....Shaw's Crabhouse.....Henry's Swing Club.....The Smoke Daddy.....Navy Pier.....The Rum Boogie Cafe.....Brat Stop.....Balmoral Racetrack..... Even Flow.....The Abbey.....Chicagoland Speedway.....Wilmot Mountain.....B.B.'s Soup Blues and Jazz Club.....Taste of Joliet .....& almost every venue in between that has live music
 
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