123. With Footnotes – The 2nd Chapter of Acts
WITH FOOTNOTES (1974)
The 2nd Chapter of Acts
Hands down one of the most “important” releases in the history of CCM and one of the best Jesus Music albums ever recorded. Jesus Music grew up in a big with this release and forced the rest of the musicians within the genre to step up with quality songs, productions and performances. It also contains one of the greatest CCM songs ever recorded, and possibly the very best!
After touring and performing with some of the best artists in the early Jesus Music scene like Barry McGuire, the three siblings were offered on recording contract of their own on Word’s rock label, Myrrh. Myrhh provided a decent enough budget to enlist the likes of Michael Omartian, David Kemper and a young Michael Been (The Call). Manyof the musicians would also become part of the ground tour band known as “a band called DAVID.”
The album starts with what would later become a 2nd Chapter classic, Which Way the Wind Blows. Older sibling Annie Herring wrote much the groups music along with husband Buck, while the vocal duties were shared amongst the three. But for many it would be the lone boy, Matthew Ward, who would amaze the listeners with his unbelievable range.
The Devil Lost Again features Matthew and would hint at what would come later for him as a solo artists. The more “rocking” of the three siblings, this song would have fit nicely on a Michael Omartian project and features some guitar work that pushed the envelope for the time.
“Love, Peace, Joy” features the trademark tight harmonies that would earn the group their international recognition and would also later draw comparisons to ABBA, and eventually be ripped off by Silverwind. Nothing sounds quite as beautiful as siblings harmonizing and this rings true throughout the project.
But the finest two and half minutes in Jesus Music history comes courtesy of the classic “Easter Song.” If ever a song deserved the recognition of the “classic” designation, it is this song. I can’t even imagine just how many times this song has been covered, sampled, sung, recorded or performed in its nearly 40 years of existence. I would venture to guess that only the Hallelujah Chorus has been sung at more Easter services. And it is also a wonderful song. Beautiful, inspirational and dynamic.
This album was a game changer and a lasting testament to the legacy of one of the most important groups in CCM history.