Home > CCM, Christian Music, Christian Pop, Christian Rock, Greatest Albums, Jesus Music > 105. Higher Power – Darrell Mansfield

105. Higher Power – Darrell Mansfield

HIGHER POWER (1979)

Darrell Mansfield

Possessing a powerful testimony, a killer bluesed soaked voice, freakish harmonica skills and some of the best hair in Jesus Music, Darrell Mansfield has been a rocker, bluesman and evangelist for the better part of 40 years. He has released over 30 albums and played with the best the world has to offer. Through all that one thing has remained the same; Darrell Mansfield “knows who he believes in, and is persuaded that He is able to keep him…”

After a brief stint with the short lived Jesus Music band, Gentle Faith, Darrell formed The Darrell Mansfield Band and began playing bars, churches and youth camps throughout Southern California. Much heavier musically than his former band, Mansfields penchant for ZZ Top type blues rock and powerful ministry was gaining a large following. A survivor of suicide (he still has the scars on his wrists as a reminder), Mansfield passion for the lost has propelled and challenged him to make a difference in the world around him. Humble and sweet-natured off stage, it was always amazing to see the passionate and fierce rocker on stage.

Mansfield’s first solo project is the album in question here and remains on the truly classic rock releases in the genre. Released at a time when the simplicity of the Jesus Music movement was waning and the CCM genre was being birthed, Higher Power was the perfect transitional album. Legitimate rock numbers with strong production and progressive musical influences are balanced by straight ahead Gospel messages and the consistent “Second Coming” themes of an earlier time.

The rockers outnumbered the ballads (a real rarity for the time), and they were great rockers. the lead track, “Children Don’t Run,” starts with a slow bluesy verse structure before becoming a steady rocker in the vein of Bad Company or Eddie Money.

“That’s All Right” would be the biggest song from the album and remain a mainstay in Mansfield’s live repertoire to today. A great bluesy number that builds and builds throughout. An apologetic of sorts, the song examines evolution and world religions and throws the post-modernist penchant for relativism back at the opposition. The songs guitar and harmonica work creates and killer bridge and finale. Mansfield would, for several years, peform the song wearing a monkey mask in mockery of the evolutionary theory. He would then throw the mask off (sometimes into the crowd) when he song the line, “not gonna let no scientist make a monkey out of me.” It worked extremely well back in the day.

(On a total side note: One time while performing at a roller skating rink, he threw the monkey mask to me and had me where it while it skating. For a 17 year old fan, that was about as cool as it could get).

The only two ballads are the very BJ Thomas sounding The Prize and Giver of Life. never understood why he sounded so much like BJ Thomas on ballads but never on any rockers. No More Blues, Love Conquers All, and the title track all contain legitimate rockers for the day and made Mansfield a household name in many Youth Groups throughout the country, though his main area of strength would be California.

Mansfield would go on to experiment with more blues rock (Get ready), pop (The Vision) and even heavy metal (Revelation), but his strength and lasting prowess would be the acosutic and traditional blues that would fill the majority of his career. Albums with guitarist Eric Turner and Resurrections Band’s Glenn kaiser are all top notch, but Higher Power would not only remain his finest rock outing, it remains one of the best rock albums the genre has ever produced.

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  1. Greenchili
    January 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Agreed on every point.. 🙂

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