Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dan Peek

Dan Peek, founding member of the mainstream band America, and solo CCM artist, passed away July 24. He was 60 years old.

Peek Founded America in 1969 with Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell, and was responsible for the hit songs "Don't Cross The River," "Lonely People," "Woman Tonight" and "Today's The Day." He left America in 1977 after his conversion to Christianity.  He released four albums for the CCM market (All Things Are Possible (1979), Doer Of The Word (1984), Electrovoice (1986) and Crossover (1987.)  His best known CCM songs are "All Things Are Possible," "Doer Of The Word," and a remake of America's "Lonely People."

Peek moved to the Cayman Islands in the 90's, and continued to release music through his website, most recently "All American Boy," in 2007.  In 2004, he published his autobiography  "An American Band; The America Story."

In the early 80's when I was looking for music that expressed matters of faith outside of the traditional music that I had been raised on, Dan's music was some of the first I heard.  I will always have great memories surrounding his music, especially the "Doer Of The Word" album (pictured above.)  RIP Dan.

Dan in 2010

Here's an interview conducted in 2010.

Monday, July 25, 2011

John Mehler - Bow & Arrow

The lost Phil Keaggy album?  Not quite.  Phil does play guitar on this album, some of his best work, in fact. But he doesn't sing, not even background vocals.  You may have a hard time believing that when you hear the album.  John mehler's voice is uncannily like Phil s.

John Mehler is actually best known as the drummer for Love Song, and as a session drummer for everyone from Frank Sinatra to Randy Stonehill, but as a solo artist his work has pretty much gone unnoticed by all but a few.  That's truly a crime.  Released in 1982, touches of Rush, the Police, and of course, Phil Keaggy add up to a true classic rock album.

Mehler released one other solo album (1987's Back In Love,) and several "Jazz Praise" albums with Kenneth Nash.  Bow & Arrow has never been released on cd, and most likely never will.  You may find a copy on ebay, or in an used record store someplace.  It would be worth the time it took to find. This one should not fade away like the disposable "pop" music of the past 30 years.

John's website:

Thursday, July 14, 2011


One of the best Christian bands of the '90's is also one of the least known.  Novella released two excellent cd's (One Big Sky, 1991, and A Liquid Earth, 1992,) and then dropped off the face of the earth.  They originated in New Jersey and were founded by Jonathan Pagano (vocals, guitars, keyboards,) Jon Spinola (bass,) and Adam Gibson (drums.)  Derek Ferwerda joined the band as second guitarist for the second  cd.

Musically, Novella were melodic hard rock, with touches of Bon Jovi, Journey, and even some progressive elements a la Rush.  Heavy Metal they were not, but "Running Home," the most well known song from the first cd, appeared on the old Pure Metal label's compilation cd "The Axemen," nearly three years before it appeared on "One Big Sky."  The ballad "Heaven's On My Mind" from "A Liquid Earth" was a hit on Christian video shows in 1992-93.

I could find very little about Novella while researching this blog.  Here is a very good interview the band gave Cross Rhythms after the release of "A Liquid Earth."


*UPDATE* Lead singer Jonathan Pagano read my blog post about the band and asked me to help get the word out that they were recording new material this year.  Support this great band!  

Monday, July 11, 2011

CCM's 500 greatest albums of all time.

A link to another blog.  You may not agree with this guys reviews, or the placement of some of your favorite albums, but this site is an excellent resource. Check it out!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sardonyx - Majestic Serenity

  1. Puppet Of Beauty
  2. Paracletos
  3. Corridor To Light
  4. Short But Suite: Opus In D Flat
  5. Royal Honor
  6. Heavenly Throne
  7. Ft. Drum
  8. Holy Avenger
  9. Call Upon The Master
  10. Voice Of The Prodigal
  11. Liar

Was in a Metal mood this morning, and I wanted to hear something I hadn't played to death, so I got out this obscure but awesome disc to spin.  Sardonyx is a Christian power metal band from, I believe, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania.  They are affiliated with Lightshine Ministries.  Sardonyx play Power Metal with some Thrash and Progressive Metal elements added in as well.  At times, they remind me of Barren Cross, especially on the track "Liar", which would have fit easily on Barren Cross's "State Of Control" cd.

Those who want their Christian musicians to be bold and up front about their faith should find no problem with Sardonyx.  They call their music "Worship Metal," and for good reason. Lyrics like "My soul finds rest in God alone, My salvation comes from Him.  He alone is my Rock, my salvation, He's my fortress, I will never be shaken,"and "Father, I love you Father, I want to do your will.  You saved me from the hands of satan, my life is yours to fill," (from 'Royal Honor',) are typical. This is the only full length cd they ever produced, and it's rather hard to find.  They were offering it as a free download on their website, but the site is no longer functioning.  You may still be able to find it somewhere on the internet.  If you're a fan of classic Christian Metal, it's worth your time to find a copy.