I've always found it odd that Christianity had some popularity amongst countercultural artists. Or maybe that goes the other way round as it seems that though mysticism and occult were popular enough as dabblings for the hippy community some chose to merge their familiar upbringings in Christian households with their newfound love of freedom of expression. Creating a new outlet for religion and a new form of Christian rock in the process the first few definitely teetered on the edge of what it was to be both a religiously based artist and a psychedelic artist.

D.R. Hooker - The TruthD.R. Hooker - The Truth
Now its debatable whether Hooker considered himself a Christian artist, there isn't too much information that surrounds this release mostly because of its private press origins. However, an artist who takes to performing in
robes, writes a scorching psych ode to The Bible and calls his album The Truth isn't exactly out of the running for the origins of Christian rock. It's true that Hooker more often veers into the hippy centered mysticism than he does hardcore pulpiteering but the case remains. Aside from the debatable message, this album is of a ridiculously high quality musically and production wise for a private recording and this fact more than any others has led to its desirability among collectors and to further interest in the re-issue circuit. Hooker's grasp on psych guitar is one of his main assets and the straight up fuzz rockers are the highlight here, though he does dabble into some overblown horn parts and a bit of jazz noodling. All in all this is well worth tracking down whether you're interested in its historical significance or just simply a great 60's album.

[MP3] D.R. Hooker - I'm Leaving You
[MP3] D.R. Hooker - The Bible

Support the artist. Buy it HERE

Kristyl - Kristyl
Another release that saw little release (only 200 copies were pressed) this Louisville group merged their positive message upbeat rock with a Christian leaning message and became popular with the youth in their community. The
group seems to owe a great debt to the West Coast musically as this sounds more like it emerged from San Francisco than Kentucky any day. Again as with Hooker the "message" is more ambiguous and as I mentioned rings more as hippy positivity rather than the outright Christian rock that was to follow and this is to the album's credit as it lends it a universal feeling of hope and adds a snapshot of the time and place it was recorded. There are some strikingly anti-hippy ideals that pop up such as the anti-drug/satan anthem "Deceptions of the Mind which do tend to fall more into a more preachy category though. The breeziness of this album is probably its most striking benefit and though it's usually cited as having been recorded around 1975 the style sounds much earlier. This of course probably has to do with the slow stylistic crawl from the coast to Louisville. Another album that though lost to time has some serious credit due.

[MP3] Kristyl - Deceptions of the Mind
[MP3] Krystyl - Together

Support the artist. Buy it HERE
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posted by dissensous at 9:16:00 AM


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm, an interesting post this week. I guess diversity is nice every now and again, but there's no substitute for heavy, sizzling 60's garage rock.

11:20 AM  

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