March 5, 2008

Rock on Bronx

Got my hands on the new CD from Bronx band Project Mercury. It's called Down To Earth. Also got a copy of their first CDâ Light This Candle.

Project Mercury is a modern folk and acoustic rock quartet featuring Marian Mastrorilli singer/songwriter/guitarist, Charlene Donohue vocalist/violinist, Craig Fox lead guitar/vocals and Jeanne DaSilva cello/electric bass. The two CDs are sweet, fun and comfortable evocations of a mellowness lost in today's market. Once again a local band such as this one proves to me how eclectic, intense and inspired Bronx musicians can be. I'm telling you, one day, the powers that be will discover the scene here in The Bronx and that scene is anything goes! To think that The Bronx can produce such acts as diverse as the hardcore attack of OHR, the street beats of Underground Professionalz, the varied kids scene of The Bronx Underground and now the mournful hopeful melodies of a Project Mercury. In the 10th year of this column it still boggles the mind the endless array of Bronx musical talent.

Project Mercury is a very busy outfit. Honestly the only place in The Bronx that they fit is City Island's Starving Artist and probably Riverdale's Uptown Coffee House and so these three gals and guy take their unique sound to art festivals, coffeehouses, cafes, churches, retirement communities and even a rowdy middle school! That is the mark of a solid band. Just go where your music takes you. Find your market. Build your fans one fan at a time, one gig at a time and enjoy the ride as you go.

The group's in-studio radio appearances on radio are way too numerous to mention but basically they've been all over the tri-state. Hudson Valley Magazine proclaimed Project Mercury their 2006 "Best New Band." The band's focus seems to be on sultry Marian Mastrorilli but I may be wrong and this column has been known to accidentally start more than a few band arguments with observations like this. I've only met Marian in person for about 3 minutes but one is struck by the confident air of no bull and a disarming smile that makes any room she is in sexier than it was before she entered it. As for Charlene, I've never heard a violin used to such great effect. It's not just "lead breaks" for her; every move is integral to the sound of the group. Her violin is a leg that this table cannot do without. Craig Fox has a powerful moment in the 3rd song of the Down To Earth CD. The song is called In The Moment and it's just the extra spice the CD needs to breathe in a different direction. Jeanne adds to the sound and look in ways that are indefinable. Check them out at www. Rock on. Rock out!