John Mehler – Bow & Arrow – 1982

Ten years removed from Love Song and ten light years removed musically, Bow and Arrow was an original artistic revelation in 1982. I had just begun working for a small buy relatively aggressive Christian Bookstore in orange, CA called The Pink Lady. The store with odd name was kind of a crazy combination of ice cream shop, Bible bookstore, Hallmark store and music store. Half of the music department was dedicated choral and instrumental music with instruments, cantatas and several rooms for private instrument instruction. Yet, at the same time, the music department carried Bruce Cockburn, U2 and Bill Mason band along with Amy, Michael and Larnelle. One of my first days working there the owners daughter was training me and had put a brand new album from Maranatha Music on the in store turntable. After several songs I mentioned that I thought this was, by far, the best Phil Keaggy album I had ever heard! The album was “Bow and Arrow” by former Love Song drummer John Mehler and I bought the album that night. The album was produced by Mehler with help from Bill Batstone who also played bass on the album. The musical direction will always find comparison to Phil Keaggy because of Mehler’s voice having such an uncanny resemblance to the guitar virtuoso. Keaggy’s providing some of his best recorded guitar work helped to add luster to the comparison. But there are to be found touched of early 80’s new wave and a dash of the Police. And within the framework of the 9 songs one will find nine brilliantly written, produced and performed songs. As pioneering Love Song was for the early Jesus Music days, Mehler’s Bow and Arrow was just as captivating, original and significant. The album received very limited promotional and radio support as it was at this time that Maranatha Music decided to no longer do artist oriented releases and focus exclusively on worship and children’s albums. This is one of the great travesties in the history of the industry that the album was never picked up by another label and was left to disappear into many a cut out bin. That same album now fetches a pretty penny on the open market as audiophiles and fans recognize what a great album it was. In fact, a recent HM Magazine countdown of the Top 100 Rock albums in CCM history listed Bow and Arrow amongst many of the great releases. It should be noted here that this is sonically one of the best albums of its day. The production quality is tremendous and is easily one of those albums that deserves a CD release. I really wish I owned it on CD. The sound is worthy and the album is more than worthy! Mehler would go on to record another project five years later and a live album. In between there would also be two great instrumental jazz albums (I can’t recommend “Light the Night” enough), countless studio sessions, ministry opportunities, concerts, teaching, etc. But for one all too brief moment in CCM history, one of the truly great albums found a home on my turntable and remains “one of the greatest Phil Keaggy albums ever!”

Contributor David Lowman – https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

Tracklist
1 – Trust In The Lord – 3:57
2 – Just Like You – 2:55
3 – His Love For You – 5:19
4 – Bow And Arrow – 3:39
5 – Be Strong In The Lord – 5:55
6 – Alright – 4:08
7 – Little Drummer Boy – 4:00
8 – The Seventh Seal – 2:32
9 – My Strength – 4:10

Credits
Bill Batstone – Songwriter, Arrangements, Bass
Wayne Brasel – Guitar
Bill Cobb – Engineer
Katherine Davis – Songwriter
Steve Hall – Mastered
Phil Keaggy – Guitars
Jim Lacefield – Bass
John Mehler – Producer, Songwriter, Arrangements, Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Lynda Mehler – Songwriter
Randy Mitchell – Guitar
Henry Onorati – Songwriter
Harry Simeone – Songwriter
Chuck Smith – Executive Producer
John Vestman – Co-Producer, Engineer, Mixed, Percusion, Violin, Guitar, Background Vocals
Rob Watson – Keyboards
Dan Willard – Mastered

Companies, etc.
Distributed By – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Maranatha! Music
Copyright (c) – Maranatha! Music
Engineered At – Trianon Studios
Mastered At – MCA Whitney Recording Studios
Mixed At – Trianon Studios
Published By – Maranatha! Music

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Author: David Lowman

Owner and writer at CCM's 500 Best Albums Of All Time. https://ccms500bestalbums.wordpress.com/

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