Randy Stonehill – Welcome To Paradise

Posted in Christian Rock, jesus movement, Jesus Music, Larry Norman, Legends, Music Reviews, Randy Stonehill with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2008 by rezband1

Randy Stonehill’s Welcome to Paradise album was a well crafted work Produced by Larry Norman and Engineered by Andy Johns (The Who, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin).

The production was good for 1976 and the lyrics showed Randy was soulful and humorous. His music had that Larry Norman feel to it. Some Influences of James Taylor and others abound but it was uniquely Stonehill.

The Album starts with King of Hearts with an almost lullaby quality to it, gently showing you the purpose to this life. Keep Me Runnin’ is the best song on the Disc and is still a favorite live. This song is driven by a rough edged acoustic guitar and a haunting vocal that recalls our struggle with sin and being human. The Tunes Winner (High Card) and Lung Cancer are sarcastic looks at the ego’s of the powerful, Pride and Cigarettes. I used to love requesting the song Lung Cancer at Randy’s shows so I could here him say, “Oh, I am so sorry to hear that!” and I can almost see Randy’s tears welling up in the song Puppet Strings. Other songs deal with everything from Christmas to Christ’s Return, like the Jammin’ rock song, Good News where Larry Norman is cranked up in the background.

Randy Stonehill created a work of art that lasted the archives of Christian Music. This will always be a well deserved classic of extremely talented songwriting and production.

Randy was just as powerful at his live shows. He would have a combination of zany comic attack that left you in stitches, then sing and have you in emotional tears. Randy is still doing shows so if you ever get a chance to see him it’s a real treat!

I do not know how much I impressed upon you that Randy Stonehill is probably the living Father of “Christian Music”, now that Larry is gone. I do not know how comfortable Randy is with that? But he deserves a round of cheers and applause for this record!…

at the very least!  -MP

Personnel

· Randy Stonehill: acoustic guitars, vocals.

· Larry Norman: electric guitar, piano, harmonies.

· Jon Linn: lead guitar.

· Mark Walker: drums.

· The Mighty T-Bone: bass.

Tracks

Side One: Paradise Lost (sorrow and sadness….)

  1. “King Of Hearts” – 4:53
  2. “Keep Me Runnin'” – 5:57
  3. “The Winner (High Card)” – 3:43
  4. “Lung Cancer” – 3:31
  5. “Puppet Strings” – 4:25

Side Two: Paradise Regained (….turn into gladness)

  1. “First Prayer” – 3:08
  2. “I’ve Got News For You” – 3:49
  3. “Song For Sarah” – 3:28
  4. “Christmas Song For All Year ‘Round” – 3:56
  5. “Good News” – 3:18

If anyone knows where to buy the CD Re-Release in stock, please tell me. Until then it is HERE. (rar File)

Gary S. Paxton – Ode to The Outlaw

Posted in Gary S Paxton, jesus movement, Jesus Music, Legends, Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2008 by rezband1

Jesus People had their eccentric relatives just like anyone else and Gary S. Paxton was Jesus Music’s odd but entertaining Uncle.

In the 60’s Gary worked or had his hand in hit singles like Alley Oop or Monster Mash, also producing country or rock bands like Paul Revere and The Raiders. After his struggle with alcohol and the suicide of a friend, Gary S. Paxton gave his life to Christ after walking into a church stoned.

Gary was known in the music business for doing crazy stuff and being very eccentric. He brought some of this with him when entering the Jesus Movement. Working with the country artists and the Jesus People of the time, Gary was becoming a very popular songwriter of the genres.

Gary would write songs for the church like, I’m Anchored in The Rock or He Was There All the Time. The other side of Gary S. Paxton’s lyrical songwriting was like a cross between Steve Taylor and Frank Zappa. The surreal and satirical would be set to humorous poetry, like being a Fat Christian or a Hippie going to heaven. Gary’s music was Country, Funk, Disco or Gospel. You never knew what you were going to get and you were not completely sure what you got when you heard it.

Gary’s first Christian album of 1975 was a Grammy Award winning album with a very long title; The Astonishing, Outrageous, Amazing, Incredible, Unbelievable, Different World of Gary S. Paxton. See what I mean about being eccentric… Gary always kept you entertained that’s for sure. The record had songs that could be in your church hymnal like He Was There All the Time. Then there were the other songs. Tunes like You Ain’t Smoking Them Cigarettes (Baby, Their Smoking You) and Sophisticated Savages that had some poor lady in the background screaming, “Rape! Rape!” over the song.

The next record, MORE from: The Astonishing, Outrageous, Amazing, Incredible, Unbelievable, Different World of Gary S. Paxton was the same format. Songs What a Friend We Have in Jesus had a country flavor to it but Nineveh Noose was a synth driven funky song comparing America to Nineveh of the Bible, “Well if your plantin’ weed you sure ain’t gonna reap wheat..Nineveh Noose sins on the loose, what ya gonna do when God is tired of all your abuse!” He would sing. Dark Comedy was often in Gary’s lyrics, songs like When the Meat Wagon Comes for You either had Jesus People laughing or scratching their heads. His song The World Didn’t Give it To Me And The World Can’t Take it Away was a favorite in the Jesus Movement along with No Shortage and Evidence.

The album Terminally Weird/Godly Right became even crazier and probably controversial, especially the song The Big A, The Big M about abortion.

He would tackle everything from abortion to Fat Christians and in the country song Ode to The Outlaw, Gary writes about “limp wristed men” and “churches with unisex steeples.” There is even a tune of Gary having a nightmare about himself being cloned and the chore of having to live with Gary S Paxton Daily. Popular songs were here like Blessed Assurance and I’m Anchored in The Rock of Ages. I feel Gary opted for the more terminally weird on this record. Mental Pollution, Progress and Will There Be Hippies in Heaven, are songs that would not be written in such a flavor lyrically until Steve Taylor.

Musically Gary seemed like a genius in many aspects. He was singing, writing and producing Country just as well as Funk, Disco or Gospel which made for an odd mix. Gary also owned his own label, Newpax, that brought us many Christian artists..

Later Gary would be shot (but survive) and would be hurled into Tammy Faye Baker rumors along with other crazy things. Gary is still around today in…of all places Branson, Missouri. Today he is just as eccentric and crazy as ever. Gary S. Paxton is The Jesus Movement’s Uncle that comes over for reunions and we all say “Oh, That’s Gary!  He tells funny stories but don’t leave your food unattended.” -MP

Gary S. Paxton Site

Michael Omartian – White Horse

Posted in Christian Rock, jesus movement, Jesus Music, Legends, Michael Omartian, Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2008 by rezband1

If I had time to write down every record or song or artist that Michael Omartian has produced, played an instrument with or just plain worked with in the music industry, I may be here for weeks. So here is a link to show you how multi-talented this guy is: Short List

Micheal Omartian was the musician, producer and arranger of much of the Jesus Music. He was just as respected in the Secular Mainstream as he was in the Jesus Movement. He helped countless numbers of Christian Musicians on there quest for better produced and arranged music. Michael would have popular Jazz-Fusion studio musicians play on his Christian themed songs. Like Larry Carlton, Dean Parks, Lee Ritenour, Ernie Watts, and Abraham Laboriel are just a few Omartian would have grace his albums.

White Horse was on ABC/Dunhill and was released in 1974. Jesus Freaks were excited to finally here some well produced synth oriented Jazz-pop and fusion. The arranging and instrumentation were like none before in Christian Music and Michael’s voice was similar to Peter Gabriel. His keyboard playing was already highly sought after in the secular mainstream and this album shows why, with songs like Jeremiah, Take me down, and Silver Fish. There are horns on this album but they are never overdone and allow the music to breath with all the instruments. Larry Carlton and Dean Parks play some mean leads and you can hear Michaels wife Stormie singing good background vocals and she wrote the lyrics. David Kemper and Ed Greene play some great drums, even Micheal who is not a bad drummer himself plays percussion.

The lyrics tell stories from the Bible and about the struggles of life and the priorities of life when one Journeys with God. Michaels music was an inspiration for engineers, musicians and producers who were smack dab in the Jesus Movement with little to work with financially to make the record grooves sparkle. Michael showed us the way, musically and spiritually. -MP

Michael Omartian – White Horse
1974 ABC Dunhill

1. Jeremiah
2. Fat City
3. The Orphan
4. Silver Fish
5. Add Up the Wonders
6. Take Me Down
7. Right From the Start
8. The Rest Is Up To You
9. White Horse

Michael Omartian – Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion, Steel Drums, Tom-Toms
Larry Carlton – Guitars, Bass
Dean Parks – Guitars, Flute
David Kemper – Drums
David Hungate – Bass
Paul Hubinon – Trumpet, Horns, French Horn
Wilton Felder – Bass
Ed Greene – Drums
King Errison – Congas
Jess Ehrlich – Cello
Don Menza – Tenor Sax
Jackie Kelso – Tenor Sax

Michael at Wikipedia

You can get it here because I can not find it anywhere to buy.

Andrae’ Crouch & The Disciples – Live In London

Posted in Andrae Crouch, Gospel, jesus movement, Jesus Music, Legends, Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2008 by rezband1

Where did rock & roll come from?? Well if you ask Elvis, Larry Norman or The Beatles they will probably tell you Black Gospel or Spirituals or Delta Blues. Perhaps Andrae’ Crouch is the Father of Christian Rock? (Norman Fans please don’t throw stuff at the monitor)

COGICS

Andrae’ actually started in 1960 with the group, Church of God in Christ Singers (COGICS). This group also included Billy Preston, “The Fifth Beatle” who also had a few Gospel albums out at the time of the Jesus Movement. Andrae’ Crouch became a key figure in the Jesus Movement from as early as 1969.

Andrae’ Crouch & The Disciples; included Andrae’s twin Sister Sandra, They would put together songs that would cross over from Gospel to Soul, R&B, Funk, Pop & Rock that everyone could relate to. Everyone from Elvis to Church Hymnals had his songs. The flavor and over all feel was a Black Gospel Church service, but the music incorporated so much more. What you got was awe inspiring, exciting and spiritually refreshing.

This stirring of emotions really hit you live. This Double album Live in London (Doesn’t the album cover remind you of Boston album artwork) was Andrae’ Crouch and The Disciples Second Live recording and it smoked. The band was tight and unwavering. You could almost see the sweat on their foreheads as the praised God and shouted, “This isn’t a concert tonight were havin’ CHURCH!” AMEN! You could be dancing one minute and be lifting your hands in Praise and Worship the next. Most of Andraes’ hits are here touching on all different moods and swells. The song list is really big and covers a lot of material being a double album.

The band was at their personal best at this point and London were lucky to have them stop by for such an amazing event. The vocals are moving from Andrae’, Sandra, and the rest. There is preachin’ on here but it is so interwoven in the music you actually feel it’s more of a song and it speaks to you more deeply. The live production is great for 1978. The Drums are crisp and the Keyboards, Vocals, Bass and Guitar are all clear. The audience participation is right where it needs to be for this style of music. I believe this is one of the best Jesus Music live albums anywhere if not the best. When I listen to this double disc I am just not listening to an Album, CD or MP3 I’m havin’ CHURCH! AMEN! -MP

TRACKS:

  1. Introduction
  2. Perfect Peace
  3. I Surrender All
  4. Greetings by Andrae
  5. You Don’t Have to Jump No Pews (I’ve Been Born Again)
  6. Take a Little Time
  7. Tell Them
  8. If I Was a Tree (The Highest Praise)
  9. Hallelujah
  10. Revive Us Again
  11. Power in the Blood
  12. Reprise
  13. I Just Want to Know You
  14. Andrae Talking
  15. Just Like He Said He Would
  16. Andrae Talking
  17. I’ll Keep on Loving You Lord
  18. You Gave to Me
  19. Oh Taste and See
  20. Praise God, Praise God
  21. This Is Another Day
  22. Andrae Talking
  23. Praise God Reprise
  24. Well Done
  25. My Tribute

Andrae Crouch Site- Buy It Here

Soon and Very Soon (Not on Live In London)

Remembering Mark Heard

Posted in Jesus Music, Legends, Mark Heard with tags , , , , , , on August 19, 2008 by rezband1

by Mark Hendricks-

The art of Mark Heard has helped to change my outlook on Christianity.

There have been many artists of music that have had a great impact on me, from all types of genres. Thanks to Mark and a few others, I even have difficulty separating music (as well as other forms of art) into spiritual categories. Oh, I still understand the convenience of labeling certain types of music as bluegrass, progressive rock, doo-wop, etc. But gradually through the years, I began to grasp the futility (and folly) of attempting to categorize the “spiritual bent” of artists’ creations. Some folks still believe that you can do this according to lyrics,,,,I don’t. I think that that argument falls apart as soon as you evaluate an instrumental song that has no lyrics. “But has it still been dedicated and offered to God with as much sincerity as the song with lyrics praising our Creator?”, I would ponder. Mark Heard helped me to think this way. He helped me to go deeper.

You know, I believe that many people struggle with really opening up their minds. They fear to question long-held beliefs. What some would classify as “brainwashing” may merely be an attempt to rid your mind of “tape-recorded” principles that are useless (and actually detrimental) to helping us to grow into the spiritual beings that God intended us to become. Our parents’ generation didn’t have it all right, including their teachings about God. This doesn’t make them bad people, nor necessarily flawed in many ways,,,,it just makes them human.

And I think that was an important observation that I began to understand by listening to Mark Heard’s music. I recall the way I felt when I first heard certain lines from his lyrics. From “One Night Stand”, a song describing his thoughts on living life on the road—

“ I hit the depot half-past seven
I took the bus to a cheap motel
I went to sleep and I dreamed of Heaven
When I awoke I was back in Hell..”

And this refrain from “In The Gaze Of The Spotlight’s Eye”, a song about ministering to strangers from the stage—

“And….ooooh…I want to go home

I wish that this night would end
But….ooooh…. I’ve got to go on
And shoot from the heart again…”

My initial feelings upon listening to some of these lines were…..”back in Hell? Is this really what he thinks of this world? Hell is supposed to be so much worse than this world. Is he whining?” And…”He wants to go home? Isn’t he supposed to be the happy Christian putting on a brave face and doing what God wants him to do? Quit griping…shut up and sing…..you’re a Christian who is supposed to share your faith with joy”….etc…etc…

I was young, early ‘20’s. I have actually repented for some of my thinking then. As I grew in Christ, I began to see that I was getting hung up on semantics….and I began to realize that Mark was just being brutally honest…something that many Christians need help in doing. Mark was showing me himself….his soul…..without all the “evangelist trappings”. He was saying, it’s okay for us to acknowledge that we feel feelings like humans do. It’s okay to question. We do not always need to “put on a brave face” if we are not feeling brave. God knows our hearts anyway.

It is the reason that Mark rarely smiled in “posed” photographs. He thought it was deceptive to do that. He thought that there are too many artists perpetuating a myth that Christianity was “living a happy life all the time.” Mark smiled, but when it was genuine, not when told to.

It is insightful to know that Mark studied L’Abri and their principles. Look it up….he would probably want you to.

He sang to the Christian and non-Christian alike……he sang to people. He could be very direct when singing to the Church, as in these lines from “We Believe So Well”—

“But we believe so well, don’t we tell ourselves?
Don’t we take exclusive pride that we abide so far from hell?
We might laugh together, but don’t we cry alone?
For the ashes and the dust we’ve swept beneath the holy throne…”

Many in the pews (or, more accurately, the concert seats) wanted to bolt, or at least bristle. Thank God many didn’t. I was one of the latter, who eventually welcomed someone who was willing to broach subjects and thoughts often regarded as taboo by the Church in general. And he could do it with an accommodating vehicle in music…..good music.

Mark was really not a revolutionary……not even a rebel, really. He was just a great songwriter, musician, poet….a true artist. Some folks get all hung up on the whole “Christian first….then your human-ness” thing. Mark really didn’t. But if he did, he probably wanted to be known as a human being who also happened to believe in Christ. After all, God didn’t create Christians…..he created humans….and saw that it was good. More importantly, I don’t believe that it was important to Mark to be “known” at all.

–written by Mark Hendricks, 2008

Reflection on the Word and on the world is necessary, both for holy living and also for wise communication of the gospel to those around us. Paul spoke the same truth, but he presented it in different ways depending on whether he was in a synagogue with Jews and God-fearing Gentiles, or whether he was on Mars Hill with pagans. To communicate faithfully we have to work at understanding the intellectual climate of the times in which we live.L’Abri principle

Article by permission by Mark Hendricks

Wikipedia Info

2nd Chapter of Acts – *With Footnotes

Posted in 2nd Chapter of Acts, Jesus Music, Legends, Music Reviews with tags on August 19, 2008 by rezband1

You can’t talk about Jesus People or Christian Coffee Houses or Easter in the mid-seventies without thinking about this sisters and brother singing team, The 2nd Chapter of Acts. You just can’t! Everyone loved their heart and innocent hippie Jesus love.

After both parents had tragically died Matthew and Nelly moved in with their big sister and her husband and started singing together around an old piano. The Lord opened the doors after that according to Matthew Ward, “We were brand-new Christians with a call on our lives to sing to Him. We never wanted to sing in front of anyone, but God had other ideas. This was music that was birthed out of a time of healing for us (we had just lost our father and our mother had died two years before). Pat Boone and others heard our songs of personal healing and thought we should record them. It wasn’t long before we began singing in small coffee houses with songs like The Easter Song.”

In 1972 they actually had some singles on MGM (thanks to Pat Boone) but I am sure the record company had no idea how to promote them. Barry McGuire had them sing background harmonies on his 1973 album Seeds. In 1974 they sang background again for Barry’s Lighten Up LP.

In 1974 they also released The 2nd Chapter of Acts – With Footnotes on MYRRH Records. The remarkable Easter Song was an instant success and would also be done by others like Keith Green. The Harmonies on all the songs were intricate , soothing but charismatic at the same time. Annie and Matthew sang most of the lead vocal parts, with Matthew always singing the rockier songs. Matthew always sounded like a more husky voiced Stevie Wonder and Annie could even get a little Janice Joplin out of those pipes when she started getting emotional, like on the song He Loves Me. Nelly actually did a lot of complicated harmonies, and was a joy to listen to on the few songs she would sing lead on in 2nd Chapter history.

With Footnotes is full of pop, ballads and rock and very versatile. I wish the production was better, I always felt the drums and bass were a little muddy but it was primarily a vocal showcase and thats understandable being who they were… Awesome singers! The Jesus People of the 70’s had a singing group they could be proud of and they could rock out to The Devils Lost Again and then sing Easter Song with mom in church on Sunday.
-MP

Track Listing

  1. “Which Way The Wind Blows”
  2. “Goin’ Home”
  3. “With Jesus”
  4. “The Devil’s Lost Again”
  5. “Love, Peace, Joy”
  6. “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”
  7. “Easter Song”
  8. “He Loves Me”
  9. “Good News”
  10. “I Fall In Love/Change”
  11. “The Son Comes Over The Hill”

CREDITS: Michael Been: Bass Mike Deasy: Guitar Jim Gordon: Drums Nelly Greisen: Songwriter, Vocals John Guerin: Drums Annie Herring: Songwriter, Piano, Vocals Buck Herring: Producer, Engineer, Songwriter Tom Keene: String Arranger, Piano David Kemper: Drums Howard McCrary: Background Vocals Al McKay: Guitar Art Munson: Guitar Michael Omartian: String and Horn Arranger, Drums, Piano, Organ, Arp Synthesizer Joe Osborn: Bass Edward Overstreet: Songwriter Danny Timms: Piano, Organ Matthew Ward: Vocals

SECOND CHAPTER OF ACTS – History, Easter Song and Which Way The Wind
Uploaded by jesusseigneur

At Amazon

Daniel Amos – Shotgun Angel

Posted in Christian Rock, Country Rock, Daniel Amos, jesus movement, Jesus Music, Legends, Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2008 by rezband1

This is the second release from Daniel Amos who were a favorite among Christian Contemporary Country groups. This record featured a song by Bill Sprouse, Jr of The Road Home (whom Ed McTaggart drummed for previously until the untimely death of Bill) called Shotgun Angel, a song about a trucker finding Jesus on his CB radio. The song ended up being the title of the album.

Terry Taylor and Company crafted some enjoyable country songs for this record in the vein of early Eagles or some boom-chicka-boom sounds, like the song Black Gold Fever. I would have loved to have heard Johnny Cash cover that tune. This was side one and it was full of clever and humorous lyrics plus a worship song, these gold nuggets laid in the grooves on this 1977 Maranatha! Music release.

Side two is a different story but it’s a good one. Daniel Amos fans from the first album must have raised a few eyebrows when they flipped Shotgun Angel on the turntable. It was as if The SGT. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band got together at The Hotel California and made a rock opera about Revelations. Starting side two with orchestration and spooky nuances, the music and lyrics brought you face to face with the end of the world. Rockin’ songs like He’s Gonna Do a Number on You and Better, warn you about the Anti-Christ while you crank up your stereo. The story closes with Sail Me Away and Posse in The Sky bringing visions of Christ’s Return just how Hal Lindsay would have loved it back then.

I make it sound like this album is a little disjointed in this review, and the two sides are different but it works as a whole artistic piece. It actually allows you an introduction to the new DA to come (which turns out that was a long time coming).

Shotgun Angel was produced well by Jonathon David Brown, and the Band became a classic among Jesus Freaks. There is not a bad apple on the album and both sides are equally cherished for me. This was a very important album at the time. Christian music was starting to grow and gain popularity and I am sure there was a lot of excitement generated by this brilliant team of musicians and song writers. These legends were really pushing the envelope and would eventually be one of the first Christian groups to venture into new wave in the early eighties.

So get in your 18 wheeler, get on your CB radio and tell everyone out there they will not be disappointed with this treasure… Oh Ya! the album cover is totally cool too! (I hope you can find it, stay away from the 25th Anniversary Re-Issue)
-MP

Track List

Side 1

  1. “Days And Nights” (Taylor/Chamberlain)
  2. “Black Gold Fever” (Taylor)
  3. “Praise Song” (Taylor)
  4. “Father’s Arms” (Taylor)
  5. “Meal” (Taylor)
  6. “Shotgun Angel (Bill Sprouse, Jr)

Side 2

  1. “Finale: Bereshith Overture” (Stipech/Taylor/Cook)
  2. “Lady Goodbye” (Taylor/Chamberlain/Cook)
  3. “The Whistler” (Taylor/Chamberlain/Cook)
  4. “He’s Gonna Do A Number On You” (Cook)
  5. “Better” (Taylor/Chamberlain/Cook)
  6. “Sail Me Away” (Taylor/Chamberlain)
  7. “Posse In The Sky” (Taylor)

Personnel

  • Terry Scott Taylor: rhythm guitars, vocals
  • Jerry Chamberlain: lead guitar, vocals
  • Mark Cook: keyboards, vocals
  • Marty Dieckmeyer: bass, backing vocals
  • Ed McTaggart: drums, backing vocals

Daniel Amos Site

Wikipedia DA Info

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