The Pegasus Awards


Wild Mercy


Pegasus Awards

Award Year Category
2012 Best Performer

Pegasus Nominations

Year Category Sample
2009 Best Performer
2008 Best Performer

Wild Mercy ( and started as a vocal-and-instrumental duo (Jen Midkiff on Celtic harp, Debbie Gates on keyboard and percussion) playing "eclectic Celtic" ("trad" and contemporary Scots-Irish) music. In 2002, Barry and Sally Childs-Helton joined the band (on bass/guitar and drums/percussion respectively), and brought in the subversive influence of filk, which resonated magically in a band full of avid SF readers. In 2007, the four met Amy McNally while leading a Celtic jam session at Conterpoint. She sat in with them in concert later that weekend and now adds luminescent fiddle to Wild Mercy performances whenever they're able to arrange to be in the same place.

Things quickly got out of hand from there. Jen picked up an electric bass (switching off with Barry), Debbie gathered a small arsenal of guitars (ditto), and by 2004, WM had started playing concerts at cons -- InConJuncTion, ConClave, DucKon, Ohio Valley Filk Fest, Capricon, Marcon, Conterpoint, ConText -- in addition to their periodic appearances at Celtic festivals, art fairs, museums, parks, libraries, weddings, anniversary and graduation parties, and smoky pseudo-Irish bars.

Their filk repertoire burgeoned (along with their collective addiction to all that attentive, high-quality fannish listening) as their style continued to sprout more rock, jazz, and choral elements. Now all five band members are doing concerts (solo or in various combinations) at conventions, and happily haunting the filk rooms.

The band produced their first CD, Summer Storm, in 2003, followed by Furious Fancies in 2005. The new CD, Dream of a Far Light (2008) is Barry's complete song cycle that began with "Lightsailor" (1993 "Best Space Song" Pegasus Award) and chronicles a thousand-year future history of interstellar migration. They'll be headed back to the studio to cook up a new "eclectic-Celtic-filk-rock-gumbo" CD sometime in the much-nearer future.



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