Travelling Mercies: Live on 89.3 KZUM | Hear Nebraska FM

courtesy photo



words by Chance Solem-Pfeifer

Check-in is destitution and check-out is either never or as soon as you’ve got someplace else to roam.

This is the new album from Travelling Mercies — the second effort from the Omaha Americana group — is an exploration of keyholes, tinted car windows and musty drapes letting in just a sliver of light on the motel guests that populate the album.

It’s also titled Motel and though the voice you’ll hear throughout is the songwriter Jeremy Mercy (real name Holan), the Southwestern cast he sings through are preachers and immigrants and veterans and lowlifes in search of the high life.

On the record, Mercy is joined by a crew of talented and recognizable Omaha musicians that make up Travelling Mercies including John Klemmensen (drums), Vern Fergesen (bass), Colin Charles Duckworth III (lead guitar) and Edward Spencer (harp) and together they score a series of character episodes in Americana subgenres from country drinking songs to hardheaded rock ‘n’ roll to folk.

Motel was a Kickstarter funded record, a product of Mercy’s writing exploration for multiple years, some of the work even predating the release of 2011’s Ghosts In The Bloodline.

I have to say heading back now to the Kickstarter page, it’s gratifying to see the intensity and heart with which Mercy pitches the project an investment of huge financial and artistic energy and to know of the accolades it stands to receive in the Nebraska music community.

Not only is Motel up for the country/americana album of the year at the Omaha Entertainment and Arts awards. It also nabbed a nominee for best album. The competition is worthy, but certainly no album in the field stands to say more about finding American life in a place where no one truly lives.

You can see Travelling Mercies tonight at O’Leaver’s Pub with Weldon Keys and The Sons of O'Leaver's, and then again on Dec. 6 at Burke’s Pub for an OEAA Nominee Showcase.

But right now it’s my great pleasure to welcome them into the studio for an acoustic set. Ladies and gentlemen, here is Travelling Mercies.

Chance Solem-Pfeifer is the host of Hear Nebraska FM. Be sure and listen to these tracks. The boys laid it all out there for you. Reach Chance at