Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Richie Furay Band "I've Got a Reason"

The Richie Furay Band
I've Got a Reason
1976 Asylum Records
Produced By: Michael Omartian & Bill Schnee

album cover



Track Listings

We'll See (3:02)
Starlight (3:40)
Mighty Maker (3:54)


Vocals: Richie Furay
Guitar: Steve Cropper, Alex Perkins, Richie Furay
Bass: Jay Truax
Banjo: Don Gerber
Drums: Jerry Mehler
Percussion: Alex McDougall
Keyboards: Top Stipe, Michael Omartian
Background Vocals: Michael Omartian, Stormie Omartian, Jay Truax, Myrna Matthews, Ann White, Carolyn Willis

With all of the music I've thus far posted on this blog, this is the first on many levels. 1) it's the first vinyl album I own to make the blog, 2) I knew nothing of the album when I purchased it and 3) it has to be one the older albums I own.

Last spring my wife's grandfather came down from Maine to visit family in North Carolina. If that visit wasn't earth shattering enough, the family decided to take him up the road a little ways to Mt. Airy, NC...the home of Andy Griffith. Better known as Mayberry to most in the area, I decided to tag along as I had never been there myself. 

In the afternoon the guys and the ladies decided to split up since our tastes in shopping varied. Walking up and down Main Street, you had several different shops to choose from, but most were antique stores. While I did find some comic books at one store, that's a story for a different time and a different blog. We're here for music afterall. 

Inside a used bookstore there was a small section of vinyl near the front door. While I don't actively buy much vinyl, I'm always up for a deal. I found this record for $.25. I recognized Richie's name from the Pakaderm Records album, Portrait of the Spirit where Richie recorded the song "Man of Many Sorrows". While it had been a long time since I've heard that song, I always liked the acoustic sound of the music and his voice. Since the album was only a quarter why wouldn't I grab it?

Once I made it back home and had a chance to play the album, I was hooked. The album was released in '76, one year before I was even born! While the style of music is different than what I usually listen to, I have become more accustomed to more and more 70's style rock as I've grown older. Listening to classic rock radio stations is not something I thought I'd be doing when I was in middle or high school! 

I've had fun reading up on Richie's musical history, you see I had never heard of the super band Poco that he once was a part of. However it seems that after he was saved he left the group to form his own band and I've Got a Reason was his first Christian album. Myrrh Records would later go on to reprint this album in 1982 for the Christian retail market.

Listening to this album I can hear many of these songs fitting in on secular radio. All of the musicians are very talented. The guitar work is especially impressive to me, including the banjo work on "Gettin' Through". I love it! The music is pretty diverse on the whole album. I found myself singing along with a few of the songs after listening to the album a few times through. Musically, I can't compare him against anyone else since I'm not as familar with music from this time period.

I wish the album I bought had the inner sleeve with the lyrics, though I'm sure I can easily look those up online. You can tell Richie's heart was (is) on fire for the Lord by listening to the words in his songs. Browsing through his discography on his website, he returned to releasing music in the late 90's with 97's In My Father's House. Guess I've got something new to look into. In the meantime, I may see if I can find this album on CD so I can take it with me in the car. Listening to these tracks via YouTube however I'm starting to understand why some people say the music on vinyl just sounds better. I can tell the difference, but either way you can't go wrong with this masterpiece.

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