And Now, After 126 Episodes, I Finally Introduce Myself!

Back in the day—1987, to be precise—I became the first and only music journalist covering Christian rock for a “secular” publication. The magazine in question was called PULSE! and its publisher was the Tower Records chain.

I wasn’t there because there were fans of the genre on staff. I was there because they hoped I’d bring advertising dollars from the Christian music industry. Which, though no fault of my own, seldom, if ever, happened. The Christian music industry had no qualms about pitching stories and artists to me in hopes I would cover suggested artists and albums. However, when it came time to put their money where their mouth was, they’d throw it away on glorified vanity house organs like Harvest Rock Syndicate, which reached only the existing fan base. I was out there trying to preach about the band named The Choir while they were content preaching to the choir about the band named The Choir. They hung me out to dry and then complained I wasn’t correctly watering their secret garden.

On the rare occasions when anyone at PULSE! spoke to me, the staff there made it quite plain that I was the rat bastard on board. They had nothing nice to say about my writing and barely, if ever, acknowledged the music itself. Somewhat offputting, but I persevered. I loved the music and artists, so whatever it took to get the word out is what I did.

Despite the open animosity, one day, out of the blue, one of the higher-ups at PULSE! asked me to write a feature story about Steve Taylor. I did so. for the November 1988 issue. Suddenly, the Christian music industry took full notice of me. I had offers to do stories for assorted magazines, write artist bios for new releases, etc. I wrote quite a bit for CCM Magazine and other publications, talking to many of the high-flying artists of the time: Michael W. Smith, Sandi Patti, Steven Curtis Chapman, and others. The only one I never spoke to was Amy Grant, and I had an interview scheduled until her management canceled it because they subsequently booked her for Good Morning America the day I was going to talk to her and said they’d reschedule my interview. I’m still waiting.

Even with the above, I never really fit in. I was too rock-oriented for the labels and too artist-oriented for the publications. In 1994, it all fell apart; the industry and I walked away from one another. Still, I had a good run.

Fast-forward a decade plus. After attending a 2005 concert in Southern California featuring bands such as Undercover, The Choir, Altar Boys, and Crunbächer, the writing bug hit me again. Now free to cover who I wanted how I wanted, I wrote a book featuring interviews with the artists I wanted to do stories on back in the day but seldom had the opportunity to do so. The book took a while, but it finally came together in 2009. I released an updated version in 2019. I also started doing Cephas Hour, a show that plays music by artists who have meant so much to me. It was initially on an Internet radio station; it’s now a stand-alone podcast.

Long story short, I was there. I’m not bragging when I say I was not an insignificant part of the scene. I’ve had artists long after the fact tell me a review I did in PULSE! of one of their records made a massive positive difference in sales, far more than anything in any Christian publications. So, yeah.

On Cephas Hour, I enjoy playing and promoting current independent artists who carry the artistic and spiritual integrity torch in addition to classic songs and artists. With that, back to the music.

Cephas Hour
Episode 125
Release Date: June 12, 2024

The one that talks about the miraculous amid the everyday.


You Run The Call
Surrender The Call
The Woods The Call
Turn A Blind Eye The Call
In The Silence Crystoria
Rush Crystoria
Rise Crystoria
Salamander The Choir
Away With The Swine The Choir
If You’re Listening The Choir
Tannin Kemper Crabb
Doulos Kemper Crabb
Candle Flame Kemper Crabb
Ready To Fly Oden Fong

Cephas Hour
Episode 124
Release Date: May 3, 2024

The one that talks about people who are not sane.


The Stand The Alarm
Bema Seat Petra
Shadow Of The Cross The Choir
OK Five For Fighting
The Cross Was His Own Veil of Ashes
I Still Believe (Great Design) The Call
Jesus Is For Losers Steve Taylor
Related 77s
Banquet At The World’s End Daniel Amos
In The Silence Crystoria
Maker Of The Universe Rachel Wilhelm with Phil Keaggy
Doulos Kemper Crabb

Cephas Hour
Episode 123
Release Date: April 11, 2024

The one that talks about swords.


Easter Song The 2nd Chapter of Acts
The Way Of The Rose Undercover
Everything Is Alright Mark Heard
Sad Face The Choir
Maker Of The Universe Rachel Wilhelm with Phil Keaggy
Sweet Jesus Morning Mustard Seed Faith
Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus Larry Norman
The Lust, The Flesh, The Eyes and The Pride of Life 77s
Unraveling Shelly Moore
Waiting Abbey Sitterley
We Were The Dreamers Richie
With The Tired Eyes of Faith Daniel Amos
Come Unto Me Veil of Ashes

Cephas Hour
Episode 122
Release Date: March 14, 2024

The one that embraces the process.


Rejoice Phil Keaggy
The Finish Line Steve Taylor
Dig Adam Again
Hand In Hand DeGarmo & Key
Dig Here, Said The Angel Daniel Amos
Grace The Choir
We’re Restless Rachel Wilhelm
Holy Hold 77s
Leaving The Past Behind Larry Norman
A Cry For Help Veil of Ashes
Life Begins At The Cross Altar Boys
Searching For Love Sweet Comfort Band
Sometimes Alleluia Chuck Girard

Cephas Hour
Episode 121
Release Date: March 6, 2024

The one that showcases the music we love.


20/20 Vision Dogs of Peace
Joy In The Journey Michael Card
Ocean Liner 2nd Chapter of Acts
Lead Me to Reason AD
We’re Restless Rachel Wilhelm
In The Garden 7&7iS
Joy Deep As Sorrow Bob Bennett
A Sentimental Song The Choir
Reach Veil of Ashes
It Comes Down To You Vector
Jesus Puts The Song In Our Hearts Love Song
White Eagle Oden Fong
Father’s Arms Daniel Amos
In My Father’s House Richie Furay

Cephas Hour
Episode 119
Release Date: February 3, 2024

The one that’s about the music.


Hymn Barclay James Harvest
Grace Ed Kowalczyk
Intervene Rosalie featuring AfterLIFE
Rush Crystoria
Rising Bringing Home
Waiting Abbey Sitterley
We’re Restless Rachel Wilhelm with Resound Worship
Price Of A Soul Sean Doty and The 77s
Flap Your Wings The Choir
Flesh And Bone Vector
Stand By Love JAG
Beware My Heart 2nd Chapter of Acts
Lead Me To Reason AD
He Said Love Barclay James Harvest

Cephas Hour
Episode 118
Release Date: January 27, 2024

The one that talks about talks about avoiding hero worship.


We’re Restless Rachel Wilhelm with Resound Worship
Bema Seat Petra
I Can’t Get Over It 77s
If You’re Listening The Choir
Hero Steve Taylor
Dig Adam Again
Fast Forward Prodigal
I’m Gonna Love You Till The Day I Die Andy Pratt
Lord Of The Past Bob Bennett
With The Tired Eyes Of Faith Swirling Eddies
Ready To Fly Oden Fong
Come For The Children Oden Fong
She Begins To Sing Oden Fong

Cephas Hour
Episode 117
Release Date: January 13, 2024

The one that talks about talks about using your head.


Whatever Happened Mustard Seed Faith
Safety Net Daniel Amos
The River Is Rising Greg X. Volz
Bright Star AD
Push And Shove Prodigal
This Is The Way Love Is 77s
Restore My Soul The Choir
Vengeance With The Sword (Jeremiah 25) Rachel Wilhelm
Righteous Rocker Larry Norman
Unraveling Shelly Moore
Intervene Rosalie featuring AfterLIFE
To The Ones Bringing Home
Rise Crystoria

Cephas Hour
Episode 116
Release Date: January 6, 2024

The one that talks about why we are where we are.


Christmas Song For All Year ‘Round Randy Stonehill
Our New Testament Best Daniel Amos
God Of Wonders Mac Powell and Cliff & Danielle Young
God Will Lift Up Your Head Jars of Clay
Darker Shade Of Blue Abbey Sitterley
If You’re Listening The Choir
Lord Of The Past Bob Bennett
Rise Crystoria
The Wall Phil Keaggy
Deep End 77s
All You Lucky People Adam Again
Angel Falls Veil of Ashes
World Comes Crashing Down Undercover