Monday, June 20, 2011

94 – Revelation- Darrell Mansfield Band

Darrell Mansfield is one of the veterans of Christian music, having started in 1976 with the group Gentle Faith. He formed the Darrell Mansfield Band soon thereafter. He has gone from rock to pop to traditional and electric blues.

In the early 80’s I discovered a small mom-and-pop Christian bookstore called Living Words, in the back of an office building in North Ridgeville. I was 19, but not sitting on a whole lot of money, but that was OK. At the time the major Christian labels had stickers on music product that you could collect and redeem for free tapes. And boy did I take advantage of that program. Popped Revelation into the player, heard some screaming guitars, and waited no longer to redeem five stickers for it.

Revelation stands out in the Darrell Mansfield catalogue as the hardest rock he ever attempted. A couple of attempts at heavy metal don’t really work, but for a good road trip hard rock album, it jams. His harmonica makes an appearance on several tracks, “Give It Up” being a great example. “Jesus Will Reign” makes for a great rock worship song. But the highlight song for me is the last track, “Waiting”. Acoustic guitar begins the song written as an exhortation from the Lord to his people to be ready, you know not the day or the hour. The guitars build in intensity throughout, and the vocal harmonies give off a Boston vibe.

Darrell concentrates on the blues these days. After a couple of well-received blues albums with Glenn Kaiser, he recorded some of his own, and also plays harmonica for blues artists recording in Southern California. His blues albums are good, but this album in particular holds a lot of memories for me as a new believer who wanted something that rocked as well as spoke to a faith that was becoming the central point of my life.

I shopped at Living Words for 20 years, until the Internet era brought on a different retail model and killed a lot of the mom-and-pop stores. Not sure what Ray, Sonya, Jeff, Jodi and Ellis are doing now, time and circumstances long since erasing our connections. Thanks for the memories, guys, as well as giving me a place to spend a heck of a lot of money.


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