Archive for Christian Music

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

Keith Green -The Live Experience Special Edition

Posted in Jesus Music, Keith Green, Legends, Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , on August 15, 2008 by rezband1
Keith Green Live Experience - Special Edition
Review by Ian Michael Hayden-
1977, a Christian singer named Keith Green released his debut album with Sparrow Records, titled For Him Who Has Ears To Hear. He released three more studio albums and a compilation before he died in 1982, in a plane crash. He also performed many concerts in those five years. For many years, his fans have wanted a live album, and on April 29, 2008, because of the requests for a live album, The Live Experience was released.

The first order of business is the audio portion of The Live Experience Special Edition. The entire album sounds surprisingly good for old recordings. The tracks are put together to make it sound like one concert, although they are taken from several concerts. Many of the recordings have never been released before. A few of them have been previously released, but in other forms — including “Asleep in the Light” from Jesus West Coast 1982, released by Last Days Ministries on the Memorial Concert video/DVD, and “Keith’s Piano Prelude/Create in Me A Clean Heart,” was released on the Jesus Commands Us To Go! album (1984) — but this version is stripped down to the original live version. It is the only noticeably edited track (just the “Piano Prelude” is edited).Fans will notice some of these songs feature different lyrics. Some of the highlights of the CD are “You Put This Love In My Heart” (1978, The Daisy Club) and an early version of “Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful” (1979, Oral Roberts University), with different lyrics. The CD also unlocks online bonus features. This is the first time I’ve heard live versions of many of these songs.

The DVD is a great addition to the release. The main part of it is a collection of concert footage. The first section is from “Jesus 1977” and it includes “You Put This Love In My Heart” and “Your Love Broke Through,” with some talking. The audio is mostly good, and the performance is high-energy. In the “Jesus 1977” performance, Keith has a mustache, but he doesn’t have his signature beard. There is some editing in the concert footage, but it is hard to know where. The second section is from “Estes Park 1978,” and it includes a lot of talking/preaching, with “He’ll Take Care Of The Rest,” “To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice,” an early version of “The Sheep And The Goats,” “Asleep in the Light,” “The Victor,” and “Make My Life A Prayer To You.” The sound is very good on this one. The performance is the most energetic of all of them.

“Jesus Northwest 1979” may have the poorest video quality of all the videos. There is only one song in this section, “BecauseOf You,” which is the song that introduced me to Keith Green. The audio quality is good, however the lighting isn’t. It is still a great, high-energy performance, however. “Jesus West Coast 1980” includes “So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt” and “My Eyes Are Dry.” In this concert, he has no mustache, and no beard. He looks completely different. Keith does a lot of talking before “So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt.” In this, there is a minor audio problem. It’s barely noticeable, but after “So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt,” the video goes right into “My Eyes Are Dry.” The performance is still energetic, but it is also a little more mellow. “Jesus West Coast 1982” includes four songs: “Soften Your Heart,” “Jesus Commands Us To Go!” (the last song he wrote), “Asleep in the Light,” and “Open Your Eyes.” (There are two songs from this concert- “How Can They Live Without Jesus” and “I Want To Be More Like Jesus” – that are not on the DVD, but they are on the CD). In this one, the video quality and audio quality are both good. The only problem for me with this section being included is that I have this video on the Memorial Concert DVD, but its inclusion here makes it available to more people.

The last section of concert footage is from “Live at the Daisy Club-LA 1978.” It includes “When I Hear The Praises Start,” “I Can’t Wait To Get To Heaven,” “I Can’t Believe It,” “Dear John Letter (To The Devil),” and “Easter Song.” The sound and performance are good. Keith is mellow and relaxed. Toward the end of the last song, the video fades to black and the credits come on. In addition to the concert footage, an hour-long documentary, “Your Love Broke Through: The Keith Green Story,” is included. It features rare home movies, concert footage, pictures, and interviews with Keith’s friends and family, and it is narrated by Christian singer TobyMac. This documentary was previously released on the 2002 The Ultimate Collection, so it seems unnecessary to include it here. Also, Keith’s 1982 appearance on the Canadian Christian program 100 Huntley Street is included.

This is the best Keith Green release in many years. It is the definitive live album. The concerts don’t feel old, thanks to digital re-mastering. Like many others, I have been wanting a live album of Keith to be released for some time. And after hearing and seeing this, it’s clear that Green’s concert recordings are more dynamic than the studio recordings.

This is a must for any Keith Green fan.
JfH Reader REVIEW:
Review date: 6/15/08, written by Ian Michael Hayden for Jesusfreakhideout.com

16 tracks: 73 Minutes, 43 Seconds + DVD

  1. You Put This Love In My Heart
  2. Because Of You
  3. Soften Your Heart
  4. Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful
  5. Your Love Broke Through
  6. Asleep In The Night
  7. How Can They Live Without Jesus
  8. Piano Prelude/Create In Me A Clean Heart
  9. Easter Song
  10. I Can’t Believe It
  11. If You Love The Lord
  12. When I Hear The Praises Start
  13. There Is A Redeemer
  14. I Want To Be More Like Jesus
  15. Make My Life A Prayer To You
  16. My Eyes Are Dry

Buy It Here at JfH Music Store

Information on Keith Green

Last Day’s Ministries

Jesus Freak Hideout

Last Day’s Ministries Store

Keith Green performing “He’ll Take Care Of The Rest” live from Estes Park ’78