344. Thirst – Randy Stonehill

THIRST (1998)

Randy Stonehill

When most people consider the music of Randy Stonehill there is a tendency to reference either the early Larry Norman produced Jesus Music, hippie releases of the new wave rocker era produced by Terry Scott Taylor and backed by Daniel Amos. Perhaps some may even take under consideration the Springsteenesque “Wild Frontier,” but many will unfortunate either neglect or be simply unfamiliar with later material like “Lazarus Heart” and this release, “Thirst.” In doing so, they would also be missing out on some of Stonehill’s finest work.

Produced by Rick Elias and backed by one  the finest assortment of musicians like Tom Howard, Phil Madeira, Jerry McPherson and Elias, Stonehill created a record that was expressive, earnest and just down right great. No longer a mainstay on a major Christian label and no longer gracing the cover of CCM with the release of each album, a mature and contemplative Stonehill wrote a consistently strong album.

The album also contain one of Stonehill’s best “radio friendly” tunes in his career, Father of Lights. If this was the mid-80’s and Stonehill was still a mainstay fixture within the world of CCM the song would have been a number one and would have been nominated for a Dove Award.

Hand of God and Fire are both strong rock tunes with the latter being co-written with Jimmy A. The final song, Everything You Know (Is Incorrect) brought a personal favorite, David Edwards, out of hibernation as the song was written by Edwards and Stonehill.

There are no hints of those previous novelty, humorous songs that occupied the early Stonehill world until the albums hidden bonus track. Primarily here the mood is thoughtful and mature. “Baby Hates Clowns” has an Elvis Costello feel while the majority of the album has more of a Jackson Brown Americana rock sound that fits Stonehill best.

It is always difficult when dealing with an artist like Stonehill to know when he is speaking autobiographically or not so “Lonely House” may be an early indication of the struggles at home recently revealed or simply an expression of a common theme of the human experience. In either case it serves as a great example of the depth and honesty the whole album presents.

  1. Shawn McLaughlin
    October 28, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    I think that because Uncle Rand’s popularity began to fade at the end of the 80’s, people don’t give enough recognition to how vital his music continues to be. From Wonderama through 02’s Edge of the World he probably had one of the more impressive hot streaks of any artist on this list. Album releases were few and far between. but each release was quality.
    Also, “Hand of God” featured the incomparable Stuart Adamson from Big Country on guitar.

  2. Brian
    October 29, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Just love Randy Stonehill
    I prefer Equator but this album as does any other RS release, has its gems

  3. Brett C
    December 1, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Randy has not released a bad album IMHO.

  4. Liz
    March 29, 2011 at 1:36 am

    I agree – Every one of Randy’s albums is great. He is proably in my top 5 of favorite artists of all genres.

  5. Shawn McLaughlin
    May 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Well, I would find it hard to consider “Love Beyond Reason” a good album. Songs are fine but the production and arrangements can be atrocious at times.

  6. Greenchili
    June 13, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    I think the songs on “Love Beyond Reason” in of themselves are fine. Just a poor choice in production and arrangement. Anywho this is a fine album and one thing I’ve discovered over the years of listening to ‘ol Uncle Rand is that he is a very versatile musician to be able to adapt his music the way he did over the years.

    Not many artists are up to that. Although it does make it hard to make a balanced mix with such a wide variety of styles he did.

  7. Greenchili
    June 13, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    When it comes to mixes I usually end up dividing people like Rand up into “era’s”.. 🙂

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