Jonathan and Charles
Band members Related acts
- Charles -- vocals
- Jonathan Guest --
- none known
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: Another Week To Go
Grade (cover/record): VG/VG
GEMM catalog ID: 4613
You always need to be skeptical of dealer hype and this is an album that's received more than its share of rave reviews over the last couple of years. You also need to be skeptical of liner notes, but those are the only source of bibliographical information I've been able to track down on this duo (I don't even know their last names).
Jonathan was the English guy (I'm guessing he's the one hold the gloves on the cover photo) and Charles (the one leaning on the guitar case) was the American. Originally from Oxford, Jonathan started out as an engineering major, but after discovering God he ended up in the Anglican ministry where he became interested in attracting young people to the cause. Love to know how he ended up working in a Roanoke, Virginia restaurant which is where he supposedly met Charles. A native Virginian, Charles was studying business administration and one night while he was out for a late dinner with his parents, he met Jonathan who was apparently their waiter ... sounds pretty cheesy to me.
In the interests of full disclosure you should be aware that 1967's "Another Week To Go" was released by the small Inter-Varsity label which was an offshoot of a student Christian fellowship movement. That said, for the most part these eleven original tracks avoid the cardinal sin of being overly preachy. Mind you, lyrics such as 'Jesus gives me a song' and 'Jesus was a pretty good guy' aren't particularly subtle, but for the most part the pair avoid the in-your-face confrontation that's become common in more recent religious works. Remember my earlier comparisons with Chad and Jeremy and Peter and Gordon? Well, musically those comments aren't that far off. Material such as 'Mrs. Chisolm's Weekend' and 'What Would You Say shares the same fey pop feeling found in the work of those other groups giving the album a very mid-1960s English feel. Most of the album sounds like something you would hear at one of those Saturday afternoon Catholic masses (you know, the one with the three kids playing hymns on the acoustic guitars their parents bought them). 'Loves You Too', 'Woke Up One Morning' and a couple of other tracks sport full electric backing, but the psych influences that some dealers have hyped remain a mystery to me. Someone want to explain what I'm missing?
For the true fanatics out there, two different pressings existing with the second replacing the song 'Why' with 'Colours and Shades'. There's also a highly sought after UK pressing on Herald Records.
"Another Week To Go" track listing:
1.) Mrs. Chisolm's Weekend - 2:16
2.) Like a Lonely Street Lamp - 2:28
3.) Songs in the Daytime -1 :46
3.) Weary and Worn - 2:47
4.) What Would You Say - 2:46
5.) Loves You Too - 2:43
2.) Colours and Shades - 2:59
3.) Everything's the Same - 2:37
4.) Woke Up One Morning - 2:25
5.) You Call Me a Fanatic - 2:17
When I originally wrote this review I knew little about this obscure duo. At the time I didn't even know their last names. Lo and behold the internet is an amazing creature. Out of the blue I got an email from a person who took the time to fill in some of the bibliographical gaps (thanks Ms. Bowman) ...
Jonathan (the guy on the right on the album cover) is the Rev. Dr. John Guest, longtime Episcopal priest and a popular speaker and author. He was brought to the States by a mutual acquaintance who lives outside Philly and did a lot of youth ministry up and down the East Coast back in the late 60s/early 70s. He's originally from Oxford, England and currently heads up an 800-member church outside Pittsburgh. He was my pastor at St Stephen's Episcopal Church in Sewickley, PA back in the 1980's, is still a friend, and as a musician I took an interest in the album and know it fairly well. John doesn't play guitar much anymore these days but still has a wonderful singing voice -- better quality in person than what's on the LP. He did tell me once who Charles was but unfortunately I've long since forgotten.....
......for whatever it's worth. Good to know the LP is still out there!
Director of Music, Carnegie (PA) Presbyterian Church
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