Is there something in the moist Portland atmosphere that brings out the best in female vocalists? The city is filled with sensational singers that easily rival any other scene in the nation. Well now you can add to the mix the voice of April Brown.

Originally from the Los Angeles area where she worked the music and comedy clubs, she relocated to the Portland area and put together an exciting band made up of well-­seasoned local veterans of the community under the name of Sister Mercy. Their self-­produced debut release Head Over Heels is packed full of vocal pleasure and should become a favorite within Portland’s blues and R&B in no time.

Musically, this is a band that delivers. With brilliant guitar playing from Steve Savoie tearing into songs like Blind Willie Johnson’s “Nobody’s Fault But Mine,” “Sister Mercy,” “Heavy Load” and “I’m Done” accented with nicely executed piano from Debby Espinor, the album consistently captures attention deeper with each listen. Former Rose City Kings drummer Roger Espinor, who also produced and wrote many of the songs for this disc, paces the rhythm with Gary Giacci on bass (the band is now filling the bass position with another former Rose City King member Ron Camacho). Add to this Kelsey Brown as vocal partner alongside Brown and it comes across with depth and passion. Head Over Heels is an exceptional debut that will garner a lot of attention for a band brimming with talent. Sister Mercy is destined for success and this is the right step in that direction.

Well done!

Total Time: 44:58

My Mind’s Made Up / Upside Down Inside Out / Syrup & Honey /

Nobody’s Fault But Mine / The Way / Holding On to Love / Come

To Me / Sister Mercy / Heavy Load / I’m Done

Thank you to Greg Johnson – President, Cascade Blues Association – February 2015