Archive for Producer

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

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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.