Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Legends of CCM: Petra

Sometimes it takes a while to recognize a legend. Such is the case with our next Legend of CCM. Not everybody gets to wow right out of the gate. Sometimes there are some missteps along the way.

Such was the case with Petra. Formed in the early 70's their pop sound was pretty rough. The first albums bordered on Country and had pretty bad production. I have the cassettes for both Petra and Come and Join Us. The progression is obvious. The debut is very hard on the ears if you are a rocker. The Petra Sound did not develop until album three, Washes Whiter Than and was solidified into Rock with Never Say Die. Of course it is also at that time that they finally found a lead vocalist in Greg Xavier Volz.

The Volz Era was short but extremely sweet. Washes Whiter Than, Never Say Die, More Power To Ya, Not of This world and Beat The System. And the Live album Captured In Time And Space. The one album a year pace took its toll on Volz and he departed to be replaced by John Schlitt. Despite that fact many fans regard Volz as "The Voice" of Petra.
How about our test for legend status? 
  • Longevity - Petra has this category all to itself. Run #1: 1972-2006. That's 34 years. Not many bands will come close these days. Even counting the four year hiatus we are now at 40 years. I've seen bands burn out after being in the public eye for 5 years.
  • Popularity - Locked up here as well. In their heyday they were THE BAND. Everyone loved Petra. And now it seems that all those people have children and their children discovered the band. It is one of the few bands that parents grew up with that their kids think are cool.
  • Influence - Three for Three. Because so many people grew up listening to Petra, the odds were favorable that the ones who followed in Christian Music would be inspired by the band in some way. CCM testimonies usually begin "I was x years old and somebody gave me or played for me a Petra Cassette or vinyl or CD. They have literally influenced the entire industry.
They are the Ultimate Legend. If not for the fact that we are attempting to go Chronologically they would be first. Next up is  a little bit of a backtrack, with Phil Keaggy. Until the next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Music Video Monday: Summertime

Welcome everyone to the first day of Summer. It is official. Things are heating up, and not just the temperature. The Music scene is as hot as molten lava. Like Thousand Foot Krutch and Skillet Hot. Let's get to the videos.

Some things you might not touch with a ten foot pole but would you touch them with a Thousand Foot Krutch. Though Trevor and Company have relocated to the USA, they are still one of the finest things Canada has produced. TFK has mined platinum with Exhale, and they are throwing rock fans a lifeline.

Skillet never disappoints either (well, except for the debut album, but that's forgivable. Even Petra had a few missteps). The band is finally feeling UNLEASHED. Fans have to think, "If they have been leashed until now, wow." This is Feel Invincible.
I'm copping out a bit by doing a second skillet song here, but they are one of those groups that do ballads or anthems equally awesome. This is Stars.
That does it for this edition of Music Video Monday. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The End of Silence

They say Silence is Golden, and they may be right. Gold is such a common metal, however, and so is related to Semi-Precious Metals at The Night Beat. We are in Pursuit of Platinum here. In short, we are looking for the stuff of which legends are made.

Which brings us to our band. The Year was 2006 and The Night Beat was in hiatus. This blog went live in 2010. That's not to say I wasn't keeping in touch with things, I was. I just wasn't blogging about it.  I was listening to plenty of internet radio to keep up with Christian Bands, as the over the air Christian Radio was sermon-centric, with AC Music for filler. Thank God for Internet Rock and Industrial Radio. Christian EDM Radio was nonexistent at the time.

One big surprise was a band named for a color. RED was formed in 2002, and their debut, End of Silence came out four years later.

End of Silence is now 10 years old, and while that is memorable, it wouldn't rate a new review. This is different. The original songs have been remastered, and new versions added. 

Four of the new songs are acoustic versions of the originals. It proves my doctrine that a rock band can make awesome acoustic music, but I wouldn't touch the Talley Trio sings Tourniquet with a ten thousand foot pole. The four songs are Breathe Into Me, Lost, Already Over and Hide. There are also two really new songs If I Break and an instrumental Demo entitled Circles. So we are really talking about a new album, so I am treating it as thus.

Let's just admit from the outset. I am horribly biased when it comes to RED. They are one of my favorite bands. Not to say that they can do no wrong. I did Panic at Release The Panic. That is what happens when they try to make "an album" instead of producing a masterpiece. They were forgiven with the release of the Re calibrated edition. One of the problems, other than the missing strings, was the intro and conclusion tracks which bind a typical RED album together. It was just, therefore, a random collection of songs. Songs like Pieces, Breathe Into Me and Already Over, terrific on the original, are downright awesome when they have a few extra dollars to spend on some serious remastering.

I am giving End of Silence 10th Anniversary Edition a Perfect 5 Emerald score. If you want to see the birth of a legend, get this album. It is a perfect introduction to a band, which like its color namesake, always gets attention. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Music Video Monday: Slow Down

Welcome to Music Video Monday. We have been keeping an irregular schedule, but such is the case when you have multiple things going on at once. We will cobble an edition together for you. We begin with one of our comeback nominees. This is slow down by Nichole Nordeman.
Next up we have a more traditional lyric video with the dogs of peace. This is the lyric video for Crush

And finally we end with a rap video. NF has grown on me and the current album, entitled Therapy Session, has mined pure platinum. This is Real
Well that does it for a hurried edition of Music Video Monday. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Night Beat Rewind: May 2016

Sometimes when it looks like you are never going to get out ahead and a window opens up and poof. That has happened. #PlatVnyl6 nominees out, Blog Page Updated, and now the May Edition of Rewind out before June is half way over. Time to throw a party.

We begin our monthly Rewind with the songs released during the month, or as we call it

The Singles Scene

  • Skillet - Feel Invincible 5 Emeralds
  • Tauren Wells - Undefeated 4.50 Emeralds
If you haven't heard it already Tauren Wells is going solo. Royal Tailor has to find a new frontman. We go now to those releases which will not make the #PlatVnyl7 Pool

Missing The Mark

  • Mari Burelle - Treasure 3.75 Emeralds
  • Social Club Misfits - The Misfit Generation 3.75 Emeralds
Mari Burelle likes to style herself MARi, but unless you search by album you will never find it like that. Just a friendly bit of help. Our next group needs no help at all. They are

Pure Platinum Perfection

  • Emery - Emery Acoustic: Live In Houston 5 Emeralds
  • Rivers and Robots - The Eternal Son 5 Emeralds
  • Seth and Nirva - Never Alone 5 Emeralds
One note. Emery produced an Acoustic Live EP which smashes all the preconceptions around both Live Albums and EP's. Therefore I have awarded it a full 5 Emeralds instead of the Maximum 4.75 that I normally give to EP's. Now most albums fall somewhere in between the two and we call them 

Semi-Precious Metal

  • Anchor Worship - With You 4.75 Emeralds
  • Tim Bowman, Jr. - Listen 4.75 Emeralds
  • Eshon Burgundy - The Passover 4.75 Emeralds
  • City Side Ministries - Love 4.50 Emeralds   
  • Lauren Daigle - How Can It Be Deluxe 4.75 Emeralds
  • Doxa Theo - Future Glory 4.50 Emeralds
  • My Epic - Viscera EP 4.50 Emeralds
  • Flame and Mike REAL - Revival 4.75 Emeralds
  • Jason Fowler - I Fall In 4.50 Emeralds
  • Gateway Worship Voices - Gateway Worship Voices 4.75 Emeralds
  • Meredith Kinleigh - Beautiful Mess 4.50 Emeralds
  • DJ Kirk - Awakening 4.75 Emeralds
  • The Quiet Science - The Rekindling of The Stars 4.75 Emeralds
  • Travis Ryan - Heartbeat (Live) 4.75 Emeralds
  • Travis Ryan - Until My Voice Is Gone (Live) 4.75 Emeralds
  • Micah Stampley - To The King: Vertical Worship 4.75 Emeralds
  • Thrice - To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere 4.50 Emeralds
  • Urban Rescue - Wild Heart 4.75 Emeralds
  • White Flag - White Flag 4.50 Emeralds
Well that does it folks. May is in the bag. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.     

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Legends of CCM: 2nd Chapter of Acts

Welcome to our new series on the Legends of CCM, where we will highlight some of the artists who changed the face of Christian Music. We call them Legendary. We begin "In The Beginning". No, not that beginning. For our purposes we will begin at 1973. That is when our first band was founded.

Never mind Legends, the siblings Matthew Ward, Annie (Ward) Herring, and Nelly (Ward) Greisen could almost be called the Fathers of Christian Music. Before they arrived on the scene Christian Music was pretty tame. By today's standards it was still tame even after they arrived. But by 70's standards, they were our first "Rock Band". 

Legends make you do crazy things. Or in my case make my parents do crazy things. We drove 4 hours one way from Cape Cod to Augusta, Maine, attended the concert, and then drove 4 hours home. Not even sure if we stopped to eat. Maybe we packed an ice cooler. And it was in the 70's with a Honda Civic, so maybe we can add another 2 hours to the drive. A 12+ hour event.

They may fail the legend test on longevity. Officially they broke up in 1988, but by then the industry had moved on. At their height there was none more popular. But influence, just say Easter Song and wait. Some may not know that Annie Herring wrote the song, but they know the song. It is one of five Classic Songs ever one knows.

So we begin. Welcome to the legends of CCM. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.