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Friday, March 25, 2016

Living Water Revival-If You Need A Friend

I have to admit when I first got this album, I did not care much for it.  Then, recently, I pulled it out of a box of long forgotten about music to transfer it to digital, and was pleasantly surprised.  This is not expertly recorded music.  It's not polished and overly produced.  It's a bit raw.  It's a bit low-fi.  But it really has some great heart.

Spoiler alert: I don't listen to just Pentecostal music.  I have a huge soft spot for Pentecostal music, but my musical canvas is fairly broad. I like all kinds of Christian music, including Christian rock and "Xian Psych."  But I also have a few secular bands I really enjoy. One of those is The Handsome Family.  When I listened to The Living Water Revival again after 20 some odd years passed, I realized this was akin to the wonderful Americana/alt country music of The Handsome Family that I enjoy so much.

And here are a couple of their songs for you to enjoy.

If this record had perhaps been more polished and professionally produced, I think this band could surpass the sound of The Handsome Family.  Marty Barrow leads this band and plays with the country twang of the likes of Duane Eddy and Lee Hazelwood, the same kind of twang and baritone brought into the modern musical age by the likes of The Handsome Family.  Songs like "Possibility," "God on the Mountain," and "Heaven on my Mind" are three songs from this album that exemplify this to me.  I may not have appreciated this record when I first heard it in the 90's but now I realize it was ahead of it's time.  It was a forerunner of the Americana/alternative country music scene.  We need more of this kind of style in Pentecostal music.  This is a true treasure from the past.

This record was recorded in 1990 at "Homegrown Studios" in Bloomington, Indiana.  Lead by the talent of Marty Barrow is Shayna Harmon on vocals, Adam Barrow on rhythm guitar, Lloyd Branam on bass guitar, and Jerry Branam on drums.

I know Marty and the Living Water Revival band has performed in public as recently as 2004 by information I found online.  I don't know if he released any other records, or which church he associated with in the United Pentecostal Church.  I got this from the Pentecostal Publishing House catalog way "back in the day."  It's one of those treasures I put away for a time to be appreciated for what it truly is at a later date.

And here it is for you to treasure as well.  Enjoy.

Download HERE.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Calvary Apostolic United Pentecostal Church​-​By Request

Continuing with featuring private press records, and continuing church recordings, I am happy to share this one with you. This may be one of my personal favorites.  This time we go to The Calvary Apostolic United Pentecostal Church from Sullivan, Indiana.  Indiana has been a well-spring of great gospel music over the years and this record is no exception. This church is the home of the indelible Jellison Family (or also known as The Jellisons.)  In Pentecostal music, to me they are the definition of southern gospel goodness.

If there is one thing I know about the music of the United Pentecostal Church, it's that southern gospel is one thing they do best.  Very few records do it better than this one, in my humble opinion. But what else would somebody expect from a church pastored by Rev. Wendell Jellison?  With his family, The Jellison's have produced some of the most invigorating southern gospel music I've heard.  I was introduced to their music when I was rather young (the album Family Favorites) and am pleased to hear a couple of the tracks from that album on this record. 

Yet, the true treasure of this album isn't the Jellison Family.  It is from the contributions of the other members of the church who share the "spotlight" with Rev. Jellison and his family here.  There are many fabulous voices here, and some original songs, too. There isn't a wasted or dull moment on this record. It's a great spin all the way through.

To me, though, the greatest find on this record was Sister Rosemary Wade. I would love to hear a full record of songs recorded by her. As far as I know, many of those outside of the Jellison Family have not recorded full records of their own music.  If that is the case, it is quite a shame.

I also would have loved to share this blog post with Sister Wade to let her know how her music ministered to me. Unfortunately, she went home to be with her Master on 6/20/1984.  Surely, she is joining the angels in praise tonight.

I found her obituary online. I thought it was a bit sad there were not condolences on her obituary page. I will certainly add this blog post to the consonances page so her family can know her impact and ministry is still felt even today.

This record was recorded on December 12, 1978.

Please download HERE.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Church of Pentecost​-​Singing With Spirit

Keeping in with my theme of private press records, this is always a favorite sub genre: Church choir records!  Often, these are released as fund raisers.  All too often, the church rarely, if ever, keeps old copies of these records around for prosperity sake.  Unless they are sold or find their way back into thrift stores or online, they remain obscure.

In fact, there is one church I contacted recently that told me when they remodeled their book store, they got rid of all the copies of their old albums.  WHAT A SHAME!  (It wasn't this church, though when I did contact them asking for any copies of old albums they released, I never received a response. I take the lack of a response in inquires like that as a "no.")

This church was founded by, and continues to be pastored by, Rev. Rick and Alexa Olson in Jacksonville, FL.  This record was their first recording and, according to the album notes, as of when this recording was made, "This church has been in existence less than three years and we give God the glory for it all."

According to their website, the church was founded in 1984.  So, less than three years?  Well, I would peg this record coming out around 1986 or 1987.

While the recording is rather low-fi, the music and singing here is anointed. Two of my favorite songs (and that's not saying they are the only two great songs...I love the entire album!) are "He That the Son Has Set Free" and "God Rides on the Wings of Love." Powerful stuff.

I hope this record is a blessing to you as it was to me and has been for so many years. This one comes from my father's collection, and I grew up loving this music. It's a great pleasure for me to share it with you.

Download the album HERE!