238. Sweet Comfort – Sweet Comfort Band
SWEET COMFORT (1977)
Sweet Comfort Band
No band made the progression from Jesus Music artist to CCM icons quite like the Sweet Comfort Band. From the very outset they were different than anything in Jesus Music, especially the music coming out of Calvary Chapel. Most of the bands had a Poco, Eagles, country rock style and SCB was funk/soul/rock. They were also significantly less “preachy” than most of those artists.
Despite being in existence since the early 70’s , SCB did not record until 1977 on the Calvary Chapel connected Maranatha Music label for this debut. On the debut the vocals were shared by guitarist Randy Thomas and keyboardist Bryan Duncan. Over the years that would change with Duncan taking on the nearly sole responsibility.The rest of the band were the Thomson brothers, Kevin (bass) and Rick (drums). Kevin would become famous for his blinding fast and creative bass solos.
This album is considered a classic for its high production value and very cutting edge sound for the time. Primarily funk and soul, the band fit in nicely with Chicago, Steely Dan and the bulk of Top 40 music for the time. Great rocking funk and stunning ballads would become the trademarks for the band. Also, the heavy use of a brass section was unheard of at the time and used as a key ingredient here. They would also separate themselves by stellar musicianship and incredibly high energy live performances.
The album is filled with iconic songs including “When I Was Alone” which would become a contemporary worship classic long before the invention of “modern worship” music. Duncan’s high pitched emotive voice would take the song from “album closer” to classic status. The rocker “Get Ready” (shocking, another rapture song from a Jesus Music band) would feature a very rare drum solo for CCM.
Childish Things would probably be the closes thing to a huge radio hit with limited radio at the time. But some 10 years later we were still playing at on KYMS in our “golden” rotation. There really are no weak songs on the album. But Maranatha would soon change directions and go exclusively into creating children and worship music. SCB would produce the remainder of their releases on the Light Record label.