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Cephas - Cephas (1980)

Spunky co-ed folk-to-folkrock-to-rock outfit from Redondo Beach, California (college folks I’d wager). Fresh sounds put together with acoustic and electric guitars, piano, synths, bass and drums, alternating male and female lead vocals, with a larger ensemble on backing vocals. Usually I don’t go for these deals where there are eleven singers, but in this case they absolutely got it right, and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. ‘Free To Love You’, ‘Rockin’ On To Heaven’ and ‘Cephas Theme’ are all packed with youthful swinging folkrock enthusiasm, the latter zestfully opening the album with the proclamation that “God is soul and God loves rock and roll”. Notable rock edges can be found on ‘The Kingdom’ (which ends with a powerful electric guitar solo) and the boogie rocker ‘Lookin’ For The Lord’. ‘Night Traveler’ moves along at a brisk pace, slipping in a lively synthesizer solo. Steel guitar country moves on ‘As One Voice’, while ‘Love Is Simply Everywhere’ supplies a charming delicate acoustic ballad. Closes on an upbeat rock-and-roll note with ‘Livin’ And Lovin’, a must-be-heard-to-be-believed rewrite of The Beach Boy’s ‘Surfin’ USA’ where the chorus “everybody’s gone surfin’, surfin’ USA” is replaced by “everybody’d be livin’, in the Christian way”. Good electric guitar activity throughout, dynamic drums, vibrant harmonies - a fun spirited album all around!  (Ken Scott - Archivist)

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