Guitar Ensemble, The

Band members               Related acts

- Toby Archuleta -- guitar (1970-71)

- Raymond Chavez -- rhythm guitar (1970-71)

- Ernest Coca -- guitar (1970-71)

- Dick Devine -- bass (1970-71)

- Bob Johnsen -- vocals, guitar (1970-71)

- John Johnsen -- guitar (1970-71)

- Mary Kay Johnsen -- vocals, organ (1970-71)

- Mel Martinez -- rhythm guitar (1970-71)

- Roy Montoya -- guitar (1970-71)

- Julian Pino -- guitar (1970-71)

- Bob Rivas -- vocals, guitar (1970-71)



- Concern (Bob Rivas and Roy Montoya)




Genre: Christian rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  The You-n-You

Company: private press

Catalog: LS-812

Year: 1971

Country/State: San Miguel, New Mexico

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: --

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4509

Price: $50.00

Cost: $66.00


Christian rock is one of those niche markets that turns off lots of conventional collectors.  That said, this short-lived New Mexico-based outfit may be one of the outfits that's the exception to the rule.  


Can't say that I know too much about this eleven member (ten guys and one girl), early-1970s group.  Judging by the Christian nature of the material, along with the liner notes and group photo's they look like they were college students involved in some sort of church sponsored program.  That said, it's interesting to note that 1971's "The You-n-You" wasn't funded by a church, rather was sponsored by a series of local businesses (Pino's Mobile Service, Las Vegas Barber Shop, Graham's Pharmacy, etc.).  Produced by John Wagner the album features an intriguing mix of folk, garage and rock moves set over fairly obvious religious lyrics.  With guitarists Bob Rivas and Bob Johnsen responsible for the majority of the material, the set sports a decidedly low-tech feel, but the combination of blown notes and off-key vocals ('Close To Me') only serves to underscore the group's considerable charm and enthusiasm.  Powered by eight guitars and Mary Kay Johnsen's keyboards tracks such as 'The You In You', 'The Answer', 'Let's Sing to the Lord' and 'This Is a Man' are actually good enough to overlook the occasionally cloying lyrics.  The only real disappointments are the couple of prayers they've set to music.  Clocking in at 1:05 each, 'The Our Father', 'Holy, Holy, Holy' and ''Lamb of God' are little more than singsong choruses. 


"The You-n-You" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) The You In You   (Bob Rivas) - 2:55

2.) Close To Me   (Ernest Coca - Mary Kay Johnson) - 3:40

3.) Have Faith  (Bob Rivas) - 3:00

4.) The Answer   (Bob Rivas)- 3:40

5.) Man of Mind, Man of Soul   (The Dameans) - 4:30


(side 2)

1.) Let's Sing to the Lord   (Bob Johnsen) - 2:30

2.) Lord Have Mercy   (Bob Johnsen) - 1:05

3.) The Our Father - 2:00

4.) Holy, Holy, Holy   (Bob Johnsen) - 1:05

5.) This Is a Man   (Bob Rivas) - 3:25

6.) Lamb of God - 1:05

7.) The Call   (Bob Rivas) - 3:20

8.) Don't Say Love   (Bob Rivas) - 3:03



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