SHALLOW WATER | 1979-1980
[Tunesmith Records]
Perseverance and hard work eventually paid off and in 1979 Servant, now a little more weathered, was offered a recording contract, and became the first artist on the fledgling Tunesmith Records. The recording experience was a critical turning point for our roughly unshaped band, and under the very capable hands of Bob Rock (of later Metallica fame) things finally took on substance.

1979-Shallow Water
recording session with Bob Rock
Sandie working on overdubs
cover photo shoot for Shallow Water
setup for cover photo shoot
cover photo shoot
inside album shot
Shallow Water back cover image
Sandie and Owen
1979-community wedding

The release of Shallow Water is perhaps hard to appreciate in today’s saturated market. When this award-winning album hit the market with its contemporary cover image, social commentary and progressive music seared onto red vinyl, it was a tidal wave through the fledgling Christian music scene. Servant headed out on their first national tour and played ninety dates in three and a half months in everything from miniscule coffeehouses to packed auditoriums where audiences responded enthusiastically to the energy of the young band. Some of the songs on Shallow Water record sound dated now, and the band was definitely still getting their sea legs making things a little stiff in places, but the energy and passion of those early songs would stir the audiences. For the most part it was like nothing they had heard before. Whether challenged to wake up to the world’s needs, (Shallow Water, Cup of Water, and Rich Man) or taking a concerned swipe at the luxury of the Christian star maker machinery (Jesus Star), being utilized to promote the simple teachings of Jesus. There were also themes of celebration and fun (Here Comes David, Holy Roller Blues-the basis of Bruce’s theatrical monologue that left folks rolling in the aisles, Rejoice, Watergrave, and Fly Away), letting listeners know that there were also rich rewards to be had on the sacrificial journey.

1980-at home in Oregon
worshiping Oregon community
Bruce-songwriting in the make-shift studio
home in Oregon
equipment. equipment, eqipment
the front 40, on the Oregon property
1980-on the road, band and crew, somewhere snowy

Photos: J.Wolliscroft, S.Cowper, and unknown

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