2nd Chapter of Acts – *With Footnotes
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.
- “Which Way The Wind Blows”
- “Goin’ Home”
- “With Jesus”
- “The Devil’s Lost Again”
- “Love, Peace, Joy”
- “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”
- “Easter Song”
- “He Loves Me”
- “Good News”
- “I Fall In Love/Change”
- “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