Archive for Jesus Music

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

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

The Talbot Brothers – (Reborn)

Posted in Country Rock, Jesus Music, Legends, Music Reviews, Talbot Brothers with tags , , , , , on August 17, 2008 by rezband1

Terry Talbot and Brother John Michael Talbot formed a 60’s band named Mason Proffit who would influence a number of Country Rock bands like the Eagles. Mason Proffit had a number of spiritually based songs but when the band broke up in 1974, The Talbot Brothers continued on Warner Brothers Label with overtly Christian Lyrics.


The Jesus Movement always had an influx of country rock and folk bands but none had the experience or professionalism at that point in Jesus People history then The Talbot Brothers.

The record starts out with a great little tune called Easy To Slip that will get your toes a tapping with some frenzied banjo playing by John Michael, what a fun opening and a continued favorite today! Comin’ Home to Jesus is the next song that is a handclappin’ salvation song that makes you feel like your in a radical church in the ozarks somewhere. The mellower tunes are full of harmony and soul searching. The track Over Jordan sounds like it could have been an Eagles hit back in the day. Moline Truckin’ a fun trucker song that gets a faster temper as it goes, is probably the lyrical oddball in the bunch and was left off the 1976 re-release from Sparrow Records who renamed the album Reborn. Carnival Balloon sounds like it’s straight from some honky tonk and the musicianship is really top-notch. Actually the whole album has popular studio musicians and John and Terry are no slouches playing banjo, harmonica, and guitars. I have listened to this album lately and the crafting of these songs are not only fun and meaningful but rank up there with some of the best country rock groups ever. Good luck finding this rare gem in its original form.   -MP

You can download Reborn Here because I can not find these MP3’s anywhere to buy.

1 Easy To Slip (3:19)
2 Comin’ Home To Jesus (2:42)
3 In My Dreams (3:09)
4 And The Time (2:44)
5 Trail Of Tears (3:47)
6 Over Jordan (4:32)
7 Moline Truckin’ (2:12)
8 Come And Gone (2:54)
9 Over Again (2:56)
10 Carnival Balloon (3:25)
11 Hear You Callin’ (2:06)

John Michael Talbot

Terry Talbot and Mason Proffit

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

Petra – Come and Join Us

Posted in Legends, Music Reviews, Petra with tags , , , , , on August 14, 2008 by rezband1

A year before Resurrection Band’s land mark hard rock album was Petra’s Come and Join Us (1977). This album was also an important album for head bangers everywhere. It is one of the first to really hit a little harder than the slew of Christian Folk and Country Rock bands. I am not saying the harder bands were not out there. Many had not really been recorded yet (Rez Band), and some just were not up to par in the production or music departments (JC Power Outlet).

Petra’s second album was a bit edgier than the first. Partly because of the help of Greg X Volz on vocals brought over from the “e” Band. Greg was not a permanite member yet and did not sing on all the songs. I really wish he had but Bob Hartman’s vocals were improving and Greg Hough’s were pretty good. The Song “God Gave Rock and Roll To You” from the band Argent was the opening track and my favorite version by any group. I heard this was suppose to be the title of the album but deemed to controversial by the record company. Both this song and “Women Don’t You Know” are made for Greg’s Vocals and are my favorite songs on the album. The song “Come and Join Us” had a multi vocal chorus with the help of people like Steve Camp that made you want to sing along and invite others. The Song “Sally” seemed a little odd to me lyrically at the time and I wondered how it got past the record company then, now it just makes me chuckle. There is also a funky tune on here and a mellow evangelistic number called “Ask Him In” that closed the album (if you don’t count the Reprise) but when re-released on CD was the second song which ruined the album flow for me. The song “Killing My Old Man” was made for this album but ended up on The “Never Say Die” Record years later, another record company controversy.


(Petra circa 1977)
Greg would be a full time vocalist on the next record but Petra mellowed out for that LP, not that it was a bad record. Come And Join Us will always be in Jesus Rock History as one of the first to push the envelope for the edgier, harder hitting music. Petra was Paving the way with bands like Agape, JC Power Outlet and All Saved Freak Band. The next year Resurrection Band would blow the doors down with “Awaiting Your Reply”.

I wonder if “Come and Join Us” could have been that album with Greg as a full time singer and a different record company… but we will never know. I also would like to know why there are no songs from this pivotal record on Petra’s “The Definitive Collection CD”??           -MP

Petra Information

The Petra Files

Greg X Volz

On Amazon

Buy it at Christian Discs

The Exkursions

Posted in Exkursions, Legends, Mike Johnson, Music Reviews with tags , , , on August 13, 2008 by rezband1
The Exkursions and Mike Johnson

The Exkursions and Mike Johnson

Another trio with a blues rock influence in the vein of Cream or Hendrix. The lead singer and guitar player Mike Johnson has a stellar performance on this album and he continued to perform solo after The Exkursions broke up. Mike had a more jazz influenced sound.

This album is surprisingly crisp for 1970 and has a great drum sound and groovy stereo effects. It still sounds raw, like someone jamming out in your living room but the production quality is not muddy or muffled like so many other recordings of that period. I have read Mike did some recording and touring with The Mike Bloomfield Band in the 60’s and I am sure that experience was helpful to him on the production end of things.

This is the bands only album and it’s a treasure of fuzz guitar and blues licks with those “growly hippy” vocals that are just to cool! Sometimes it feels more like story telling than singing but it is done in a way that is never annoying. The drums and bass are very interesting and always keep the listener shufflin’ their feet or cruising down the highway.

Songs range from the emptiness and addiction of the drug culture to the psycho babble song Third Eye, which is an amazing blues jam tune. The Last song is a very evangelistic salvation tune with more jazzy influences. This whole album is a real gem that can not be overlooked in the historical canvas of Jesus Music. I think this is on CD and still available in some places. -MP

Mike Johnson: www.mikejohnsonmusic.com

CD available Here: http://www.hiddenvision.com/

Glass Harp – It Makes Me Glad

Posted in Music Reviews with tags , , , on August 11, 2008 by rezband1

Glass Harp - It Makes Me Glad

Glass Harp on Decca Records found themselves in the Jesus Movement fringes after their virtuoso guitar player Phil Keaggy became a Christian. Giving His Life to Jesus after the traumatic death of his mother. Songs about Jesus became more evident with each release until Phil left the band to pursue more acoustic folk, worship music and eventually all kinds of styles in the CCM market.

It Makes Me Glad is the third release from Glass Harp released in 1972 and starts out very mellow and spacey with the song “See Saw” reminding me of a mellow Beatles tune or The Moody Blues. There are a few acoustic driven pieces on this album like “Colt” and “Song In The Air” but that does not keep the album from becoming a progressive masterpiece on many songs. I am reminded of Cream, Jimmy Hendrix and some other more progressive rock groups on songs like, “Sailing On A River” and Masterfully done Jam “David and Goliath, I’m Going Home and Do Lord” which is worth the price of the album alone with it’s tasty drop your jaw guitar licks, flawless and entertaining percussion and very moving bass lines. This was music with a message I was always proud to play for my musician friends. The record closes with “Lets Live Together” a Hand Clappin’ sing along that will have you playing air guitar by the end.

This was Re-released on CD and can be bought through Phil Keaggy’s website or Glass Harp’s Site!

Phil mellowed for a little while after this but Phil eventually got the electric guitar back in his hands for a few CD’s. He also had many reunions with Glass Harp and has done a few other CD’s with them Including a Double Live CD and Stark Raving Jams CD.                            -MP

Glass Harp: http://glassharp.net/

Phil Keaggy: http://www.philkeaggy.com/