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James Grant & Small Mercies

James Grant & Small Mercies - James Grant & Small Mercies - 1997 - Fretworks Records

Not to be confused with the Australian, Brisbane based band, "Small Mercies". This album is from the Vancouver based soul blues outfit, Small Mercies, led by James Grant. James Grant is an accomplished and skilfull guitarist who will impress you with his evocative soulful guitar playing. This album is very much soul blues based in the style of Robert Cray, but also has good jazz, blues and prog. rock touches with Gary Moore and Joe Satriani influences. "Jade", and "So Many Nights" are just two of the nine solid tracks on the album. A very good, but short album from a talented band who have received various accolades in Vancouver, B.C. James, himself, has won many awards for composing, live performances and recording. He has a self produced album, "Mythology", available, consisting of original instrumental compositions, which may be worth hearing.


1 So Many Nights
2 Bent Out Of Shape
3 Jade
4 Talk Is Cheap
5 Bigger Than Life
6 They're The Ones
7 Never Far Away
8 Small Mercies
9 Soul Resurrection

All songs composed by James Grant, except "Bigger Than Life" by James Grant, & Frank Dato


James Grant - Guitar, Keyboards on Tracks 1, 3, & 9. Grand Piano on Track 6
John Howard - Bass, Vocals
Frank Dato - Drums
Dave Webb - Hammond Organ


James was originally born in Montreal where his father James Mcpherson was the first violinist for the Montreal symphony. The family decided to move to Vancouver, and so James’ high school years were spent on the west coast. At five years of age he exhibited signs of interest in playing the guitar, taking his fathers’ violin, he flipped it and holding and plucking it like a six-string. By the time James reached seventeen, he was playing the A circuit in Vancouver accompanying well known musicians like Warren Cann of Ultravox , and Ra McGuire (Trooper’s vocalist.) . Then came Crosstown Bus, a highly successful and well-known Vancouver band that played mostly southern blues-rock, like ZZ top. After Crosstown Bus came a band called Jet... a five piece that included Jim Vallance ( Brian Adam's co-writer) on drums and John Hall (of Prism) as well as renowned Vancouver vocalist Kenny McColl. By this time James was established as one of Vancouver’s premiere guitar players. James worked for Bruce Allen and Sam Feldman's booking agency for many years with all A circuit Bands. Another Unit of notoriety was called Foxfire, which made an enormous impact on the Vancouver music scene featuring well known vocalist, Joanie Bye, Dave Taylor (Bryan Adam's Bass Player.)This outfit had a hit single called Hollywood, which received ample airplay. By this time James put his own recording Studio together and recorded his album. 'Armed with an Attitude' on which he played all instruments and wrote all the music and lyrics. He then put an original band together with artists like Lee Olifant (who won a CARAS award for best Bass. Next came the album James Grant and “Small Mercies” written by James. This group took Vancouver by storm as they swept the major categories in the annual “Demo Listen derby”. In addition to walking away with first- place Honors for best Vancouver band, John Howard won best bass player, Frank Dato took best drummer honors and James won best guitarist. His Music was then placed on the well-known seeds compilation album, which honors the winners of the Annual C FOX Best band of the year event. They were invited to play at the Famous Sumac Mountain annual event along with some of the top bands on the west coast. James had a special invitation to play at Lou Gosset Jr’s wrap party in Vancouver for the movie “Inspector”. Lou Gosset Jr chose Small Mercies because ‘he loved their material’. The Opening for their CD party at the Roxy was a Fantastic success. 'So many Nights' and 'Jade' an instrumental guitar piece were both aired on CFOX radio. © http://www.jamesgrantguitar.com/smallmerciealbum.html