465. Evergreen – Honeytree
Highly regarded as Honeytree’s best album and considered by many to be one of the Top 10 most important and influential albums of the Jesus Music era. Clearly more pop and rock influenced than Honeytree’s more folk oriented debut and sophomore releases, the songwriting and musical maturity is quite evident here. This project as influenced by 2nd Chapter of Acts and Love Song as by Carole King and Joni Mitchell, though the latter’s influence cannot be overlooked.
Evegreen features a who’s who of early Christian Music instrumentalist, most notably a young Phil Keaggy on guitar. There are beautiful and lush orchestrations as well as bluesy, rock influenced gems. Honeytree’s sweet voice always worked so well live and this album probably came the closest to capturing the live quality.
There are two songs worthy of special highlighting. The first is a wonderful cover of Larry Norman’s “I Am a Servant.” This version is even slower and is backed by a very simply acoustic piano and guitar arrangement. This would fit right in with any Carole King classic. The other is the humorous rocker, “Rattle Me, Shake Me” which tell s few cute stories of how Honeytree’s new “born again” happy persona was mistaken for being “high.” When one considers the hippy and drug environment of the time the song is just a pure delight, like something Arlo Guthrie could have penned.
One side note – Lovely Jesus was penned by Phil Keaggy.