When faced with being off the road for an indefinite period due to the pandemic, American outlaw country singer-songwriter, Cody Jinks, decided to hunker down, stay busy, and work on his craft. In doing so, he continued to find a “home” within his music.
Produced and engineered by Edward Spear (with co-production by Jinks’ long-time bandmate Joshua Thompson) and recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas, Mercy sees Jinks continue to put forth his unique eclectic country sound. Incorporating a hybrid of soulful elements, including rock, blues, classic country, metal, and more.
The opener, “All It Cost Me Was Everything,” is a twangy, shuffler of a tune. Lessons taught but never learned, it’s been a long journey for Jinks to the road on which he walks down today. A breaker of hearts and the best worst friend you’ve ever had, turned out to be a pretty steep price to pay, for a fool trying to find his way.
The album’s title track displays Jinks’ gratitude toward his patient lover. Strong liquor and an empty glass, and time that does no favours, Jinks acknowledges the mercy he’s been shown, and how it gives him every reason to believe that though it takes more than love to turn things around, a little mercy is something he’ll always need.
Drenched in pedal steel and acoustic, “I Don’t Trust My Memories Anymore” proves that sometimes the devil’s playground is made up of the memories we hold closest to our hearts. Those that were once there to fondly look back on as we journey through life, are now those that make us cry. As we long to find newfound happiness in dreams and the like, we begin to refuse to bring ourselves back to the feeling of goodness, only to have it taken away in time.
Some people try to carry the weight of the world, but forget they only have two hands. With issues like racial injustice and gender inequality amplifying by the day, the outside world has become much colder, and in turn, a lot tougher to bear. In “Shoulders,” though steadier, the weight of the world still hangs heavy atop Jinks. Working down his third cup of coffee, and with the close of the TV, Jinks looks to the heavens as he asks to aid in prayer during a time when the world is taking a toll on all he’s become and longs to be.
In “Dying Isn’t Cheap,” Jinks details a divorce that has left one dancing with death. With an ashtray of crushed-out cigarettes and an empty bourbon bottle by his bed, one finds himself doing all he can to drown the hurt, though it doesn’t work. What’s left is a man with nothing but an old soul to sell. There is never anything worth compromising one’s purity over. Yes, living comes easy, but dying isn’t cheap.
“When Whiskey Calls The Shots,” there is no turning back! A good ol’ drinkin’ tune to close out the record, Jinks lets loose, grooving to the sounds of an old jukebox. A celebratory tune that makes for a perfect ending to an outlaw’s journey through time.
It may take some time, and a little mercy, but eventually you’ll find your way “home,” right where you’re supposed to be.
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