Reviews and Reflections About Baby Boomer Stuff

Rosie's Boomer Review

April 11th, 2010 at 2:05 am

Boomer Time Music-Remember The Servant Band?

Ray and I are reviewing and listening to some baby boomer time music from various genres. Well, thought we would share some known and unknown LP’s. Some will be from our private collection and some will be from other folks. Yes, we admit some of the records we are attempting to record to CD.

But some of these records have an awesome history. Ok. lets look at a group called the Servants.  The album we checked out is Shallow Waters. This is a LP on the original label. If you want a copy just click on the Ebay button on the site. However, if you are reading this post months or years from now still check it out on Ebay or Amazon.

This type of music has received some criticism. It is progressive and full of social commentary.  I found a cut on You Tube for you to check it out for yourself. This cut is called “Holy Roller Blues”.

Here is a bit of history from Wikipedia.

Servant was a Christian rock group  that grew out of the counter-culture Jesus Movement of the sixties and seventies. The band was founded in Victoria, British Columbia in 1976 and performed to audiences throughout North America, Europe and Australia  for over 12 years. Originally named “Higher Ground”, the group quickly changed their name to Servant. They were known for challenging the Christian  church to turn back to social justice and caring for the poor.

A Servant rock concert was like a festival event. The band was known to incorporate comedy and short skits in their sets on stage. Servant was also the first Christian rock group to use laser lights, flame tubes, fireworks, fog machines, in addition to an extensive light show and quadraphonic sound (a precursor to surround-sound).

In the early 1980s some critics considered Servant’s theatrics, light shows, smoke-bombs and flash-pot stage performances too raucous to be authentically Christian. However, the band’s mission was to reach the ears and hearts of those who might not feel so comfortable in church buildings. Shying away from self-centered Jesus-and-me praise lyrics and easy-listening rock styles that typified most contemporary Christian music, Servant instead attempted to offer edgy, rhythmic, passionate rock and an aggressive stage performance filled with a kingdom message, and spiced with strong social commentaries.

A CCM Magazine review of their 1981 release, Rockin Revival, stated that the band’s lyrics reflected Christian communal subculture, and contained elements of social protest and criticism.[1]

Servant toured extensively throughout America, Europe and Australia in concert halls and at music festivals like “Creation” and “Greenbelt”. They recorded 6 studio albums with songs that ranked in the Top 40 Contemporary Christian Music Charts including “Come Jesus Come”, “Holding on to You”, “Thank God”, “We are the Light”, “Surrender”, “Harder to Finish”, and “I Will.”

From 1981 to 1985, opening acts for Servant included Grammy Award winning Petra, DeGarmo & Key, Joe English (of Paul McCartney & Wings fame), Will McFarlane (recorded with Jackson Browne), Randy Matthews, Jerusalem, and Steve Camp. Petra opened for Servant on tour in late 1981 and early 1982 just as Petra’s breakthrough album, Never Say Die was being released.

Formative Years: Servant has some origins in 1973 from “Lonesome Stone”, a Christian rock musical touring Europe that Jim Palosaari billed as a multi-media production of the Jesus generation portrayed in music, film and drama to rival the likes of the musical Godspell. Lonesome Stone was an outreach of Jesus People Europe, which came out of Jesus People Milwaukee. (Jesus People Milwaukee also formed the basis of what eventually became Jesus People USA in Chicago.) After Jesus People Europe broke up, a year later Palosaari and others formed the Highway Missionary Society based in B.C., Canada, with Servant the primary outreach of the Society, based on the West Coast of North America. In 1984 they were renamed The Servant Community in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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  • 1

    I don’t remember this group and I was really into this “new” Christian rock music in college. All the groups were really controversial at the time. Just one more impact our generation had on music.
    Thanks for the memory.

    Pat Montgomery on April 13th, 2010
  • 2

    Yes Pat our influence has been amazing!

    Rosie on April 13th, 2010
  • 3

    I either never heard of or don’t remember “Servant” but I like their sound! The guitar riffs and beat reminds me of my youth–boy did we have some hot music back then. Thanks for the tuneful trip down memory lane!

    Mary Eileen Williams on April 14th, 2010
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