[Tunesmith Records]
At the time some critics considered our theatrics, light shows, smoke-bombs and flash-pot stage performances too raucous to be authentically Christian. At the heart was a desire to reach the ears and hearts of those who might not feel so comfortable in church buildings. Shying away from self-centered Jesus-and-me praise lyrics and easy-rock styles that typified most contemporary Christian music, Servant instead attempted to offer edgy, rhythmic, passionate rock and an aggressive stage performance filled with a kingdom message, and spiced with strong social commentaries.

1981-Rockin' Revival
Bruce Wright
David Holmes
Bob Hardy
Owen Brock
theatrical stage effects
theatrical stage performance
Bruce always the great story teller

Matt Spransy joined the band in 1981, and his thoughtful manner and skillful keyboards would round out both our sound and our personality. Matt and his wife Siv, had worked with us (Owen and Sandie), and Jim Palosaari (the band’s manager), in Europe with a rock musical called Lonesome Stone. In 1977, after returning from Europe, Matt and others formed a Joliet, Illinois-based progressive-rock band also named Servant. Members included Doug Pinnick, would later co-write Servant's hit song "I'm Gonna Live" and eventually become best known as part of King's X. Shortly after the end of Joliet-Servant, the Spransys went to a concert given by Servant in Chicago. They connected with the community donating a truck and musical gear and soon Matt became part of the band.

southern California music festival
southern California music festival
community house/1st Rockin' Revival cover
the band at home
Bob and the band in concert

The Rockin’ Revival record advanced the Servant sound and agenda, containing a fuller, richer sound (Look Out Babylon, Heidelberg Blues, Jealousies), and the camp genre (Suburban Josephine) utilized to convey the regrets of complacency. In a Gospel radio environment that was not quite ready for rock and roll, I'm Gonna Live even managed to garner some significant airplay. Many of the songs addressed issues related to the need to move beyond self-interested Christianity to a more service oriented, kingdom-based approach to life (Rockin' Revival, Listen). The band continued to address uncomfortable issues, more “message songs” challenged listeners to radically follow Jesus regarding the worship of money and power within the church, the misguided “health and wealth” interpretation of the gospels (Ad Man), and the apparent double life (Isolated), being lived by so many who where afraid of being judged instead of embraced.

a break from song writing
Rob Martens

Photos: N.Martinez, S.Cowper, C.Briscoe, and unknown

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