Cephas Hour
Episode 99
Release Date: June 17, 2023

The one that’s all about The 77s.

A Different Kind Of Light 77s
Ping Pong Over The Abyss 77s
Make A Difference Tonight 77s
Caught In An Unguarded Moment 77s
What Was In That Letter 77s
The Lust, The Flesh, The Eyes & The Pride Of Life 77s
Nowhere Else 77s
This Is The Way Love Is 77s
Over Under Sideways Down 77s
Woody 77s
Holy Hold 77s
Nobody’s Fault But Mine 77s
Snake 77s
Rocks In Your Head 77s
Flowers In The Sand 77s
Unbalanced 77s
Sevens 77s
Genuine 77s
Begin 77s
Born On Separate Days 77s
Dig My Heels 77s
I’m Gonna Run To The City Of Refuge 77s

Cephas Hour
Episode Twenty
Release Date: July 12, 2021

An all-music episode. Enjoy! Continue reading “Cephas Hour
Episode Twenty
Release Date: July 12, 2021″

Looking Back: Seventy Sevens “20 Years Gone” A Superb Compilation

(This review was originally published in December of 2015 on Examiner.com)

As the traditional music industry’s business model transforms in the face of omnipresent streaming and decreasing physical product sales, one of this paradigm shift’s casualties is the greatest hits package. It had been a music industry staple that every year end would bring a large batch of compilation records perfect for gift-giving to the casual fan interested in only the hits instead of any given artist’s catalog work as well as diehard fans needing to have everything released by a favorite. Today, with artists’ product releases separated by years rather than months and fewer consumers owning anything on which to play a CD let alone an album, the greatest hits album has moved alongside aluminum Christmas trees as a relic from a bygone age. Happily, veteran Christian rockers The 77s have given their fans an early Christmas present in the form of Twenty Years Gone, a compilation of the band’s sublime highlights over the past two decades.

Drawing from the band’s catalog in its present trio format, Twenty Years Gone showcases the 77s dual strengths of dreamy, Beach Boys-infused pop and snarling, muscular blues. Ably abetted by Mark Harmon’s supple bass and Bruce Spencer’s subtle drums, songwriter/guitarist/lead vocalist Mike Roe proves time and again he is not a musical chameleon, but rather a multi-faceted master of multiple styles, his tunes always laced with inventive yet comfortable melodies and total six-string mastery. Whether reeling off original songs so well constructed they come across as almost effortless or digging into roots bluesy gospel tracks from the past, Roe and compatriots have created a body of work demonstrating beyond question they are a quintessential American band come not to party the town down but rather to lay bare its soul, pointing out the pain of failed relationships and the healing that comes solely through Christ.

In an era where popular music has become both far more present and increasingly irrelevant in terms of something designed to savor and save, it is utterly refreshing to have a fresh reminder of music as art; not the stuffy pretentious puffery of musicians believing they are too good for their audience, but rather music touching heart, mind, and soul. Roe sings with more than a touch of sardonic on The 77s cover of Wilco’s “The Late Greats” ‘you won’t hear it on the radio.’ Thankfully, with Twenty Years Gone The 77s enable us to hear it period. Which, if not the best gift to receive this Christmas, surely ranks up there.

The record is available for download at the band’s Bandcamp page.