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341. Spark in the Dark – The Alpha Band

SPARK IN THE DARK (1977)

The Alpha Band

Birthed as the result of being a part of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue, T-Bone Burnett, Steven Soles and David Mansfield joined forces to create some unique, intriguing and utterly wonderful music together for three releases before disbanding. “Spark in the dark” is the bands second release and is probably the most accessible, though that term may not mean much for the uninitiated.

Burnett has a quirky voice that may be an acquired taste for some. The album features folk rock driven country rock with a mandolin and violin as central musical devices. So, again, accessible may be a subjective term here. What is not subjective is the fact that all three men, plus their impressive list of guests, created wonderful and memorable music. Special guests included David Miner, Bill Maxwell and even Ringo Starr.

Despite being attributed with being the person that lead Bob Dylan toward conversion to Christianity, Burnett does not have a penchant for writing little Christian ditties. rather, he writes brutally hones and, at time, provocative lyrics. their third album, The Statue Makers of Hollywood, would make several more “evangelical” statements than “Spark in the Dark.” But the patient and diligent listener will find a clear Biblical Worldview presence within the albums content. There is also a great cover of Dylan’s “You Angel You.”

Soles would go on to record two great CCM albums (one reviewed here previously) as well as produce albums for The 77’s and many others. David Mansfield would also become an artist, producer and studio musician. T-Bone Burnett went on to be one of the most important artists and producers in all of music.

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