Cephas Hour on BlackLight Radio
Volume CXLV
(Air Date: November 7, 2018)

No, your eyes do not deceive you. Second new episode in a week. Really. This one draws from songs I had on the in-store playlist of a (believe it or not) store where I was the assistant manager before the corporation folded earlier this year. And no, it wasn’t my fault.

Lead Me To Reason AD
Second Chance Allies
Do I Stand Alone Mike Stand
Burn Up In The Fire Andy Pratt
Power Of Love Arlo Guthrie
Nobody Loves Me Like You Benny Hester
Joy Deep As Sorrow Bob Bennett
You Run The Call
My Mind Played A Trick On Me Charlie Peacock
She’s Alright The Choir
The Stand Chuck Girard
The Only Way Out Cliff Richard
Speechless Crumbächer
Jesus Wept Daniel Amos

Cephas Hour on BlackLight Radio
Volume CXLIII
(Air Date: July 1, 2018)

Now here’s a novel concept — a regular show! Haven’t done one of these in a while. Hope you enjoy it.

A Sentimental Song The Choir
Rubber Canoe Benny Hester
The Wall Phil Keaggy
40 Watt City JAG
Thunder Beach Crumbächer
Fast Forward Prodigal
Turn A Blind Eye The Call
Who’s Who Here Daniel Amos
Perfect Blues 77s
Pimps And Preachers Veil
Meant To Live Switchfoot
Flood Jars Of Clay
Come For The Children Oden Fong

“Bloodshot” by The Choir Deeply Satisfies

(This post originally appeared on Goldfish and Clowns.)

It’s difficult to envision veteran Christian alt rockers The Choir being in the company of country artists back when it was barely out of its teens, a time finding artists such as The Carter Family, Bob Willis, and Bill Monroe routinely crisscrossing the country planting seeds of a genre they created. Also, it’s not that Bloodshot, The Choir’s new album, is in any sense a country album. However, there is a common thread; more on this in a bit.

Throughout its career The Choir has with graceful ease traversed between atmospheric and near avant-garde, musically built around Derri Daugherty’s sometimes dreamy and at other moments razor slice guitar while Steve Hindalong’s lyrics have purposefully plumbed relationships, life fragments, and faith through a poet’s eyes. In this respect Bloodshot is no different than its predecessors. The Choir have for decades made extremely even albums, never failing to deliver something solid wrapped within textural diversity. Bloodshot, however, has some twists revealing Messrs. Daugherty and Hindalong, plus Tim Chandler on bass and Dan Michaels on assorted reed instruments, are still more than capable of bringing something new to the turntable.

Bloodshot is in many ways the most straightforward album The Choir has ever recorded. Not that the music is an exercise in formulaic commercial ear candy; rather, the songs are simpler without being simplistic: more direct, more immediately accessible. Daugherty frequently employs strummed chords as a foundation upon which to bounce his effects-rich electric work, using it to create far more guitar interplay than is present in most Choir efforts. Even when there is but one guitar present, Daugherty accomplishes the rare feat of creating multiple sound swirls dancing around each other, always perfectly meshed within the song in lieu of drawing attention to themselves alone.

The album also differs lyrically from the majority of prior albums in that it is far more heavily relationship-focused. Not that faith is being dismissed, but on Bloodshot Hindalong is at his most playful and celebratory of love between two people. This is the album you play for those who deride Christian music as bereft of romance.

Where the album harkens back to country’s emerging years is in its songs at their core. They are solid, uncomplicated, and tuneful; the essence of country long before it went cosmopolitan. It is not difficult to hear the compositions and picture them coming out of a dome-shaped AM radio, performed by a small acoustic ensemble in some station’s studio designed for live music. Whether this is intentional or unplanned is something only The Choir can answer, but regardless it is there.

It’s easy, and sadly all too common, for an established band to trot out the same ol’ same ol’ album after album, knowing this will satisfy the vast majority of their audience. The Choir think and act differently. Bloodshot isn’t a radical departure, but rather a superb exploration of songs and sounds fused together, creating a record that’s memorable for all the right reasons.

The album is available for preorder on iTunes.

Cephas Hour on BlackLight Radio
Volume CXLI
(Air Date: May 16, 2018)

You want to hear Bloodshot, the new album by The Choir, don’t you? Well, here you go, with classic Choir tracks starting and finishing the show. Enjoy!

That Melancholy Ghost The Choir
Bloodshot Eyes The Choir
Californians on Ice The Choir
Summer Rain The Choir
Birds Bewildered The Choir
Only Reasons The Choir
House of Blues The Choir
The Dizzy Wounded The Choir
Because You’re Beautiful The Choir
The Way You Always Are The Choir
Magic The Choir
We’ve Got The Moon The Choir
The Time Has Come The Choir
She’s Alright The Choir
Mercy Will Prevail The Choir

Cephas Hour on BlackLight Radio
Volume CV
(Air Date: August 17, 2014 )

This show was recorded immediately after Robin Williams’ suicide. It was not an easy show to assemble. Sometimes things aren’t easy.

James Lipton asks Robin Williams: “If heaven exists …”
Into The Woods The Call
G.L.M. (Gut Level Music) Altar Boys
Jenny Steve Taylor
Say A Prayer For Me Tonight Kenny Marks
Heart Lost In Nowhere Altar Boys
Teenage Suicide DeGarmo & Key
Shadows Resurrection Band
Don’t, This Way 77s
Come Away With Me Undercover
Last Day Of My Life 2nd Chapter of Acts
To Bid Farewell The Choir
Now Be Thankful Fairport Convention
Creole The Prayer Chain
God Rules Undercover

Cephas Hour on BlackLight Radio
Volume IX
(Air Date: July 22, 2012)

You know the story with me and the opening song, right? No? It’s in the book.

Thunder Beach Crumbächer
My Mind Played A Trick On Me Charlie Peacock
Render Love The Choir
These Are The Questions Vince Ebo
Meltdown (At Madame Tussaud’s) Steve Taylor
Justice Steve Camp
The Wall Phil Keaggy
Preacher Man Lenny LeBlanc
Scars Farrell and Farrell
I Am A Servant Larry Norman
A Song About Baseball Bob Bennett
In The Garden Bob Dylan
Nobody’s Fault But Mine 77s

Cephas Hour on BlackLight Radio
Volume VIII
(Air Date: July 15, 2012)

I stated at the beginning of this show that if I ever did a companion volume to the book I’d be sure to invite Charlie Peacock. Wonder if he’d be interested.

Down In The Lowlands Charlie Peacock
Enchiridion DeGarmo & Key
Long Distance Runner DeGarmo & Key
Crossfire Kansas
Surprised Resurrection Band
Everybody Knows My Name Bride
We Know What’s Right Whitecross
Inside Whiteheart
Circle Slide The Choir
Get Ready Darrell Mansfield
Mask Of The Great Deceiver Kerry Livgren
Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music Larry Norman

Cephas Hour on BlackLight Radio
Volume VI
(Air Date: July 1, 2012)

One of my local classic rock stations occasionally runs what it calls a “triple shot weekend,” during which it plays three out of its twenty-five song playlist, all by the same artist. Good enough for them …

Once More (With Feeling) Crumbächer
Great Little Dancer Crumbächer
Jaime Crumbächer
Take It In Stephen Crumbacher
Render Love The Choir
Clouds The Choir
Wide-Eyed Wonder The Choir
Need Somebody To Love Prodigal
Fast Forward Prodigal
Future Now Prodigal
God Rules Undercover
Medicine Undercover
World Comes Crashing Down Undercover
Thunder Beach Crumbächer

Cephas Hour on BlackLight Radio
Volume IV
(Air Date: June 17, 2012)

Apparently I was in a rather pop-ish frame of mind when I assembled this show. Not necessarily a bad thing, methinks.

More To This Life Steven Curtis Chapman
Angel Of Light Petra
Heart Lost In Nowhere Altar Boys
Jokerman Bob Dylan
Say A Prayer For Me Tonight Kenny Marks
Eleanor, It’s Raining Now Lost Dogs
Sunday School Phil Keaggy
You Are The One Keith Green
Another Woman In Tears Charlie Peacock
Winds Of Change Geoff Moore and The Distance
Mercy Lives Here The Choir
They That Go Down To The Sea In Ships Kemper Crabb

Cephas Hour on BlackLight Radio
Volume II
(Air Date: June 3, 2012)

The first song in this show had some airplay on MTV. It was from DeGarmo & Key’s Street Light album, which started the band’s third and final musical phase (arena rock) after its initial progressive rock and next pop/rock stints.

Every Moment DeGarmo & Key
Fast Forward Prodigal
A Sentimental Song The Choir
Flood Jars of Clay
Playing Marbles With Diamonds Steve Camp
I Want To Be A Clone Steve Taylor
No Time Like Now Steve Scott
Mommy Don’t Love Daddy Anymore Resurrection Band
Holy Hold 77s
Sunday’s Child Phil Keaggy
You Run The Call
Pico Boulevard Margaret Becker
Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows Petra