Okay, we’re all flush with delight over the election returns this past Tuesday. Let’s not forget the fundamentals of life. With that, presenting the latest episode of Cephas Hour, ready and waiting for your divine pleasure! Seriously, great music for you. Artists are:
• 2nd Chapter of Acts — 2nd Chapter of Acts was one of the pioneer groups in contemporary Christian music. The three siblings — Annie Herring, Nelly Ward-Greisen, and Matthew Ward — created vocal harmonies that made Crosby Stills & Nash sound amateurish, with Herring’s near avant-garde piano-based rock/pop tunes providing the perfect platform for the trio’s unique sound.
• Andy Pratt — If you were listening to the radio in 1973, you doubtless heard this song a few times:
“Avenging Annie” was Andy Pratt’s creation. Pratt was, and is (he still writes and records, playing the occasional concert), the thinking person’s pop/rocker, an adventuresome tunesmith with no inclination to play it safe for the sake of commercial acceptance. The song included in this week’s show, “Burn Up In The Fire,” is from his 1982 EP Fun In The First World, which was his first recording after becoming a Christian.
• DeGarmo & Key — Led by Eddie DeGarmo on keyboards and Dana Key on guitar and vocals, DeGarmo & Key’s career was in three stages. The band started in the late 1970s as a progressive arena rock ensemble, moving to pop/rock in the early 1980s and then reinventing itself once more as an arena rock band in the latter 1980s, a vein in which it remained until they called it a day in the mid-1990s. The first Christian rock band ever nominated for a Grammy, alongside Petra, DeGarmo & Key made it okay to listen to rock’n’roll in church. Well, at least a few churches.
• Fireworks — Ahead of their time, Fireworks was a late 1970s/early 1980s rock band formed around songwriter/singer/keyboardist Marty McCall’s powerful vocals. McCall eventually left the rock’n’roll behind in favor of vocal harmony soft pop when he started First Call.
• Gold Frankincense & Myrrh — Hope you’re sitting down for this one.
Gold Frankincense & Myrrh (GFM for short) is a three-woman metal band from Florida. The sisters English are a force on-stage and in the studio, delivering searing riffs and uncompromising lyrics about the darker side of life and life renewed in Christ. The song “Bones,” dealing with abusive relationships, is from their most recent album, Taking Over. Expect to hear and read about much more from this band.
• Petra — Detailed in an earlier post, Petra was one of the first and most influential Christian rock bands. This show’s song, “Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows,” is from their 1982 album More Power To Ya.
• Phil Keaggy — The master’s musician, Keaggy was first noticed in the early 1970s as guitarist in the adventuresome rock trio Glass Harp. Since then, Keaggy has displayed his six-string liquid fire mastery on dozens of studio and live recordings.
• Prodigal — 1980s synth-rock with an edge, Prodigal was too good for their own good. Superb both musically and lyrically, the band made three albums that have become mandatory members of every Christian classic rock fan’s collection.
• Sweet Comfort Band — If there is ever a Mount Rushmore of contemporary Christian music, Sweet Comfort Band deserves a prominent location. Emanating from the Maranatha Music/Calvary Chapel of Santa Ana hotbed in the latter 1970s, the blue-eyed soul/rock quartet recorded several albums and blazed a trail of top-quality music.
• Terry Scott Taylor — A taste of the master’s new solo album This Beautiful Mystery. Complete review forthcoming when the album is available to the public.
You can listen to the show on-demand or through the following podcast links: