Tamarack appears to be another Rob Watson project. At lease he was involved but I guess I can’t say it was “his” project. While the album does have Rob Watson vocals I would say the majority of the vocals are by Cathy Spurr and/or Debbie McNeil. If you are wanting to listen to this as another upbeat Rob Watson album you’ll be disappointing. This is a easy listening album in the extreme. That said the vocals are excellent, the lyrics are good and the instrumentation is also good. Strangely this album was re-released in 2017 in Japan. Guess the Japanese were big fans.
1 – Carry My Blues Away – 3:38
2 – Breakaway – 3:35
3 – Good TImes Bad Times – 3:57
4 – Thinkin Is – 7:57
5 – High Horse – 4:58
6 – Here I Am – 3:37
7 – Exile – 3:32
8 – Come Back Jesus – 3:34
9 – Another Time – 4:30
Arranged By – Tamarack
Bass – John Patitucci
Drums, Percussion – Dave Spurr
Guitar – Wayne Brasel
Producer – Jonathan David Brown
Vocals, Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Synthesizer [Prophet 5, Synclavier Ii] – Rob Watson
Vocals, Percussion – Cathy Spurr
Vocals, Piano – Debbie McNeil
Mark Heard created a tradition of going the extra mile on his records. He wrote lyrics that had real honesty packed in tight, and yet he still managed drop some tongue-in-cheek one-liners. The effect was that when he was cheeky, you still had to take him seriously. Stop the Dominoes is a classic version of this.
He had a lot to say. The liner notes are incredible. CCM records routinely included all the lyrics printed out on the sleeve, but in addition, Mark included 2 full pages of small print, written from his heart to his fans. Mark had a passion for reality. You can hear it in his song lyrics, and these notes include some personal diary entries from his tour stops through Europe. It’s hard to imagine this kind of thoughtful writing being shared with fans now.
These notes were written on his travels, and later collated into this form, typeset and arranged, sent out to print, manufactured, distributed to stores, and then finally brought home to read. I hope a lot of people read them, but then again, I know. In 1982 when we bought records, we read everything.
There was no Twitter feed. The Internet didn’t exist in any consumer form at that time. Mark died in 1992, well before fandom was available online. Long before we would be able to follow someone’s thoughts as they had them.
Sure, we can follow people on social media now, but that’s a different thing. Online posts are so disposable because they are so temporal. Reading someone’s deliberate writing, something that they know they would have to work on, proofread, and only be able to publish to the world once a year – that’s special in a different way.
Mark Heard was one of the most thoughtful songwriters, and gone much too soon and much too young.
A1 One Of The Dominoes 4:23
A2 Stranded At The Station 3:30
A3 You Could Lie To Me 4:02
A4 One Night Stand 2:52
A5 I’m Crying Again 3:29
B1 Stuck In The Middle 4:39
B2 Call Me The Fool 3:11
B3 I’m In Chains 3:25
B4 Lonely One 4:35
B5 To See Your Face 3:31
Arranged By – Mark Heard
Backing Vocals – Dave De Coup Crank, Larry Norman, Leslie Phillips, Little Bobby Emmons, Randy Stonehill
Bass – John Patitucci
Electric Guitar – Tony Eisenbarger
Electric Guitar, Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Mark Heard
Engineer – Jonathan David Brown
Fiddle – Buddy Spicher
Keyboards – Tom Howard
Percussion – Alex MacDougall
Producer – Mark Heard
Saxophone – Karl Denson
Steel Guitar [Pedal Steel] – Sonny Garrish
Written By – Mark Heard
Bonnie Bramlett was a well known performer long before her foray into Christian music. Bramlett became a Christian in the late 70’s and signed a deal with Refuge records shortly. This is the only album from that relationship. In fact it was Bramlett’s last album until 2002. This album sold well in Christian circles and was well received. Refuge was hoping for a crossover with secular sales but it didn’t happen, most likely due to a distribution deal with Benson records who had no proper secular distribution network. This album has a strong southern feel and it’s host of high quality studio musicians makes it very high quality. Joe English appeared, as he did on so many albums of the era, as the drummer. Trivia note is that some labels Side 2 was printed incorrectly by substituting the number 4 with the number 5 on the last track.
1 – Givin’ It Up – 3:17
2 – Back Out On The Streets – 3:15
3 – For The Love Of It – 3:55
4 – Let It Flow – 3:27
5 – Whispering Hope – 2:46
6 – Step By Step – 3:39
7 – White Dove – 3:36
8 – Sweet Rose Of Sharon – 4:36
9 – Joy – 3:51
Backing Vocals – Bobby Jones, Bonnie Bramlett, Donna McElroy, Gary Moreno, The New Life Singers, Vicki Hampton
Bass – Bob Wray, Larry Paxton
Drums – Joe English
Engineer – Scott Hendricks
Executive Producer – Ray Nenow
Guitar – Jon Goin, Kenny Mims
Keyboards – John Rosasco, Mitch Humphries
Mastered By – Hank Williams
Percussion – Terry McMillan
Producer – Greg Nelson
Saxophone – Donnie Sanders
Synthesizer – Alan Steinberger
Distributed By – The Benson Company, Inc.
This follow-up to 1980’s The Sky Is Falling was a much more refined studio approach. Randy recruited a lot of top CCM artists to help out.
Producer Terry Taylor (of Daniel Amos) recruited his entire band to play on the album along with, Tom Howard, another Larry Norman and Solid Rock Records protege.
The result is a tight band performing Randy’s songs in the studio, giving a much more polished sound than we were used to getting from him up to this point.
The song “Die Young” is an example of Randy’s cynical but honest approach, calling out the typical Western lifestyle centered around short term thinking. His combination of humour and truth-telling was present throughout his career.
“Christine” is one of Randy’s reaches out to a lonely and desperate person. It has a significant parallel to the song Christmas at Denny’s, which we get many years later on the Return To Paradise album.
This album established Randy’s ability to move beyond performing as a singer-songwriter.
1 – The Glory And The Flame – 3:10
2 – Die Young – 3:15
3 – Fifth Avenue Breakdown – 2:50
4 – Granfather’s Song – 3:24
5 – Find Your Way To Me – 3:42
6 – Christine – 3:29
7 – Rainbow – 3:49
8 – Givin’ It Up For Love – 4:13
9 – Letter To My Family – 4:58
10 – Farther On – 2:56
Record Company – Word, Inc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Rebel Base Productions
Recorded At – Whitefield Studios
Mixed At – Whitefield Studios
Published By – Prime Cut Publishing
Published By – CanaanLand Music
Published By – Tong Songs Music
Published By – Joyful Road Music
Guitars, Background Vocals – Jerry Chamberlain
Bass – Marty Dieckmeyer
Background Vocals, Songwriter, Synthesizer String Arranger, Piano, Harmonium, Acoustic Guitar – Tom Howard
Percussion – Alex MacDougall
Drums, Percussion – Ed McTaggart
Engineer – Thom Roy
Producer, Songwriter, Guitars, Percussion, Vocals – Randy Stonehill
Producer, Slide Guitar – Terry Scott Taylor
1960s Brit rockers Malcolm Wild and Alwyn Wall created a duo in the 70s with some fun old time rock and folk songs. This 1981 this live performance was done in California and released by MRC, essentially introducing American audiences to the duo.
Alwyn Wall released solo albums as well, Alwyn showing up on Star Song records in 1981 under the heading “Larry Norman Presents” with his solo debut “Invisible Warfare.”
Malcolm is best known for his band “Malcolm & The Mirrors” who did a punk rock stint starting with the album Red Alert in 1982.
This album is a far cry from the rock recordings they made, but shows their hearts, personality, and musicianship. It’s a fun recording that sounds like it was a big blessing to the California church that hosted it. Wish we could have been there.
1 – Say It Like It Is
2 – I Love
3 – I Feel Fine
4 – Morning Star
5 – Fools Wisdom
6 – Growing Old
7 – Things Are Getting Better
8 – The World Needs Jesus
9 – Tomorrow’s News
Distributed By – Word (Uk) Ltd.
Printed By – Garrod & Lofthouse Ltd.
Engineer – Chris Taylor (11)
Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Arranged By – Alwyn Wall
Producer, Autoharp, Arranged By – Malcolm Wild
Producer, Engineer – Dan Willard
Don Francisco was one of the most dependable musicians in the CCM genre. His fans were given a regular diet of new albums almost every year from 1979 to 1994. The Traveler was his 1981 offering and it was well received. It had the sound we have grown use to from Don. His folk style was a standout in Christian music. This album isn’t that sit in the park with an acoustic guitar kind of folk but instead a more pop oriented folk. The album didn’t stand out to me but it is a good album from a respected artist.
1 – Too Small A Price / Joy – 5:55
2 – Since I Met Him – 3:57
3 – The Lord & I Together – 2:45
4 – Beautiful To Me – 4:39
5 – If You Ain’t Gonna Sing The Gospel – 4:27
6 – Messengers From Heaven – 4:15
7 – The Package – 4:06
8 – You Can’t Take It With You – 3:13
9 – Give Your Heart A Home – 4:38
10 – The Traveler / Joy – 5:12
Design, Photography By – Bill Barnes
Engineer – Gene Eichelberger, Jim Cotton, Noah White
Engineer [Assistant] – Barry Baily, Chuck Ainley, Gerry Lentz, Jim Baird, Jon Putnam, Pat Holt, Quitman Dennis
Illustration – Randy Martin
Mastered By – Glen Meadows
Photography By – Matt Barnes
Producer, Arranged By [Strings] – Shane Keister
Written-By – Don Francisco, Gary McSpadden (tracks: B3), Gloria Gaither (tracks: B4), Bill Gaither (tracks: B4)
This sampler released in 1981 featured artists from the A&S Records label. There are a few hits including John Mehler, Malcolm And The Mirrors, and Leslie Phillips. Among the one album wonders was Tamarack (Rob Watson), Tim Koller, Mike & Von Rogers, and Rob Mehl. There are also two artists that never released an album, James Ledlie Band, and Ben Mendoza. Other than the 3 big hits the rest of the album is decidedly dull. Most of the rest of the songs are in that late 70’s pop sound that I never really found that interesting. This sampler really just sounds like a way to repackage content and make a few bucks.
1 – John Mehler – Bow & Arrow – 3:39
2 – Malcolm And The Mirrors – Can’t Live Without Him – 2:57
3 – Leslie Phillips – Bring Me Through – 4:27
4 – Tamarack – Good Times, Bad Times – 3:59
5 – Tim Koller – May You Get All The Glory – 5:48
6 – Ben Mendoza – Gotta Keep Loving You – 4:30
7 – James Ledlie Band – Love Him – 3:44
8 – Mike & Von Rogers – Child Of The Father – 2:46
9 – Rob Mehl – House On The Rock – 3:25
10 – Tamarack – Here I Am – 3:37
Design [Cover], Illustration – Kernie Erickson
Producer – Dan Willard (tracks: A2, A3, A5, B1, B2), Gerry Limpic (tracks: B4), John Mehler (tracks: A1), Jonathan D. Brown* (tracks: A4), Randy Bugg (tracks: B3), Sonny Lallerstedt (tracks: B3)
The third album from Dennis Agajanian has a mixed sound.
Some songs are an older style, some in keeping with the style of the time and at least one that was ahead of its time. Oh and there’s a bluegrass tune just for good measure.
The lead and title track “Rebel To The Wrong” is an excellent tune and was a fairly progressive song for the day. Dennis Agajanian has been popular in the Christian Country Music scene for many years and he’s still going often appearing on several different television evangelists shows but perhaps best known now for his appearances with Billy Graham.
Track Listing: 1 – Rebel To The Wrong 2 – Fool’s Gold 3 – Child’s Cry 4 – Bigger Than All My Sins 5 – Milk And Honey Express 6 – Alive In The Sky 7 – I Can Do All The Things 8 – Daddy’s Girl 9 – Last Of The Good Guys 10 – I’m Thankful To You
Credits: Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin – Dennis Agajanian Art Direction, Design – Rhonda Dempsey Backing Vocals – Kelly Willard, Pam Mark Hall Banjo – Wayne Rice Bass – Joel Hendrickson (tracks: A4), Scott Parrish* (tracks: A1 to A3, A5, B1 to B5) Drums – Jim Plank (tracks: B2), Mike Mathis (tracks: A1 to A5, B1, B3 to B5) Electric Guitar – Hadley Hockensmith Executive-Producer – Bill Cole Fiddle – Bryon Berline Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Tom Howard Photography By – Don Wyman Producer, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals – Gerry Limpic Recorded By, Mixed By, Mastered By – Ron Compton Steel Guitar – Jay Dee Maness
The 4th studio album from Resurrection Band picked up where Colours left off.
It continues their trademark hard rock sound utilizing new wave keyboard styling. The albums continue their social commentary with songs about materialism (Elavator Muzik), disabilities (The Chair), and divorce (Mommy Don’t Love Daddy Anymore).
As usual Resurrection Band bucked the Christian music trends by doing their own thing.
1 – Stark/Spare – 3:42
2 – Elevator Muzik – 1:55
3 – Alienated – 2:02
4 – Can’t Get You Outta My Mind – 2:52
5 – The Chair – 5:06
6 – Can’t Do It On My Own – 2:50
7 – First Degree Apathy – 3:03
8 – Mommy Don’t Love Daddy Anymore – 4:23
9 – The Crossing – 3:48
10 – Little Children – 2:36
11 – Lovin’ You – 3:29
Artwork [Inside Art], Layout – Dick Randall
Bass [Fretless Bass], Synthesizer – Jim Denton
Concept By [Album Cover Concept By] – JPUSA Graphics
Cover [Outside Cover Art] – Janet Cameron
Drums – John Herrin
Engineer – Phil Bonanno
Guitar, Keyboards, Guitar [All Double Leads] – Stu Heiss
Mixed By [Mix Down] – Phil Roger
Other [Lead Snoring] – Tom Cameron
Producer – Roger Heiss
Producer, Mixed By [Mix Down] – Resurrection Band
Vocals – Wendi Kaiser
Vocals, Guitar [Solo], Keyboards, Guitar [All Double Leads] – Glenn Kaiser
City Limits was Scott Roley and his touring band in studio. The drummer for the album was Joe English but he didn’t tour in support of the album.
The single “Sacrificing Love” broke the top five on the Contemporary Christian Charts and had strong airplay for several months.
The album is easy listening and easy to listen too and the songs are all very well written i.e. excellent lyrics and music.
1 – Holdin’ The Key – 3:09
2 – Christians – 4:23
3 – Lost In His Love – 3:59
4 – In Each Heart – 2:58
5 – Sacrificing Love – 3:53
6 – Heavenly Father – 3:15
7 – The Awakening – 3:00
8 – Cross Your Heart – 3:16
9 – In Your Love – 3:38
10 – Man From Heaven – 3:15
Art Direction, Design – Ron Brant, Stan Evenson Design Inc.
Backing Vocals [Background Vocals] – Diane Tidwell, Lisa Silver, Michael Albrecht, Sheri Huffman
Bass – Larry Paxton
Drums – Joe English
Engineer – Jim Baird, Pat Holt, Randy Holland, Scott Hendricks
Executive-Producer – Ray Nenow
Guitar – George Cocchini, Jon Goin, Kenny Mims
Horns – Dennis Solee, Donnie (Sax) Sanders, Ernie Collins, Matt Davich, Rob Hill, Sam Levine, Terry Mead
Keyboards – John Rosasco
Lead Vocals [Uncredited] – Scott Roley
Mastered By – Hank Williams
Percussion – Terry McMillan
Percussion [Mallet Instruments], Synthesizer [Synthesizers] – Alan Steinberger
Photography By – Larry DuPont
Photography By [Photograph Of Scott Roley] – Melody McGuire
Producer, Arranged By [String Arrangements], Arranged By [Brass Arrangements] – John Rosasco