Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
For over a decade, Marty “Big Dog” Mercer’s heartfelt, southpaw Blues and soulful voice has growled through the Chicagoland music scene. Mercer’s ability to combine emotional lyrics with aggressive slide guitar makes him an artist unlike any other. Earning his moniker from local Chicagoland blues favorites, the “Big Dog” has proven to be a talent no one saw coming.
Mercer’s music career began in Northern Illinois where he performed at local jam sessions. While dealing with the struggles of life and developing his musical skills, Mercer found solace in the blues. As Mercer has said, “I’ve been told that a musician doesn’t pick the blues, the blues picks the musician. I love all kinds of music, but the Blues grabbed me and never let me go.”
Mercer followed the driving rhythm of the blues to the suburbs of Chicago where he started performing locally. That's when the “Big Dog” was born. "They started calling me Big Dog & pretty soon that's what everyone called me. There's so many people that don't know my name is Marty. They just know me as Big Dog."
Since residing in Chicagoland, Mercer has shared the billing & or stage with ; The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Billy Branch & the S.O.B's, L.V.Banks, Toronzo Cannon, Lonnie Brooks, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Mud Morganfield ,Eddie Taylor Jr., Lindsey Alexander, Tom Holland , Larry McCray , Rockin' Johnny, Anthony Gomes, Hollee Thee Maxwell, Chris Beard and Sharon Lewis, just to name a few.
In April 2007, Mercer was crowned Joliet, Illinois’ Guitar Center “King of the Blues”.
2010 proved to be a big year for the “Big Dog”, beginning with the signing to Electro Glide Records in October. The year also brought the release of his 2nd album, "Attack of the southpaw" and the honor of having his recording on the top 60 blues songs of 2010 by “Friends of the Blues”. He placed second in the July 2010 Muddy Waters’ Chicago Blues Slide Guitar Championship. In January 2011, Mercer was nominated for the Chicago SuburbaNites Magazine "Best of the Burbs" contest in the categories of best guitarist, best male vocalist, best acoustic duo, best cover band and best blues band.
The “Best of the Burbs” readers’ poll earned him the title of Best Blues Band in both 2010 & 2011. In September 2011 Mercer signed a 2 album contract & released his latest cd on Electro Glide Records simply titled "Big Dog" Mercer. Reviews. It's receiving regular airplay on many radio & internet stations. The band tied for first place at the Chicago Blues Challenge hosted by the Windy City Blues Society at Chicago Blues Fest 2012.
Mercer demonstrates this desire to help others through his contribution to area causes including the Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Guardian Angel Home, St. Joe's Academy, several Humane Societies, Heal With Love Foundation, private fundraisers, and many others.
You can find the Big Dog’s music online, on over 150 radio stations in over 12 countries and live all over Chicagoland & surrounding areas. The “Big Dog” can be found playing with his band, as a duo and solo.
Jessica Honiotes 2012