LeFevre, Mylon


Band members                              Related acts

-  Mylon LeFevre -- vocals, guitar

 

  supporting musicians (1970)
- Barry Bailey -- lead guitar

- Kim Venable -- drums, percussion

- Auburn Burrell -- guitar, bass

- Dean Daughtry -- keyboards

- Paul Goddard (RIP 2014) -- arrangements

- Ron Graybeat -- bass

 

  supporting musicians (1972)

- Tina Blount -- vocals

- Auburn Burrell -- guitar

- Pat Cummings -- vocals

- Renay Garvin -- vocals

- Lester Langdale -- keyboards

- Jean Pierre Lauzon -- guitar

- Tom Robb -- bass

- Marty Simon -- drums, keyboards

 

 

 

 

- Mylon LeFevre and Albert Lee

- The Stamps Quartet

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Mylon (We Believe)

Company: Cotillion

Catalog: SD 9026

Year: 1970

Country/State: Gulfport, Mississippi

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1232

Price: $10.00

 

To be perfectly honest, I bought this album for one reason - members of The Atlanta Rhythm Section, including Barry Bailey, Dean Daugherty, and Paul Goddard were in Mylon LeFevre's backing band.  

 

 

Produced by Allen Toussaint, 1970's "Mylon" (the album's also referred to as "Mylon (We Believe(") is widely recognized as being one of the first "Jesus Rock" albums.   That shouldn't have come as a major shock given singer/guitarist Mylon LeFevre had been raised in highly religious family.  As a child he'd toured with his family's gospel group - The LeFevres.  By the time he was signed to Atlantic's Cotillion subsidiary he was also  veteran of the music wars having released a pair of solo albums on small, regional, religious oriented labels (1964's "New Found Joy" (Skylite catalog number SLP 6317) and 1968's "Your Only Tomorrow" (Sing catalog number #: MSLP-2215).  That by the time he'd been signed to Atlantic's Cotillion imprint, LeFevre had made some major lifestyle changes, including growing his hair out; ditched the polyester suits, and decided to expand his musical horizons into rock and roll.  

 

Showcasing a largely original collection (there was one cover tune), the album was a clear attempt by LeFevre to meld his Christian beliefs with a true rock and roll sound.  Admittedly, with good reason Christian rock remains a major turnoff to a sizeable part of the listening audience.  The good news was LeFevre had a nice Southern-boy voice that was capable of both a Tony Joe White-styled growl ('Sunday School Blues') and a more pop oriented delivery ('Contemplation').  At least this time out, LeFevre was also one of the few Christian artists who managed to avoid blatant proselytizing.   Tracks like 'Sunday School Blues', 'Trying To Be Free' and 'Pleasing Who, Pleasing You ?' clearly had Christian themes, but the lyrics were surprisingly subtle and inoffensive.  Yes, LeFevre occasionally went over-the-top in his joy and desire to spread the word ('You're Still On His Mind' and 'The Only Thing That's Free'), but you could always skip those tunes if you weren't interested in the message.   The other plus was the presence of the ARS sidemen.  Bailey, Daughtry and company gave the album a wonderful sound.   Wrapped in an early-'70s country-blues-rock vibe, anyone who liked Bonnie and Delaney was liable to find this enjoyable.  

 

"Mylon" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Old Gospel Ship   (Mylon LeFevre - Barry Bailey - Kim Venable - Auburn Burrell - Dean Daughtry) - 3:40

To be honest, 'Old Gospel Ship' really didn't sound all that different from a good Bonnie and Delaney tune - same Southern Gospel rock edge; nice lead guitar, Hammond B-3, chirping backing singers.  Nice, but hardly particularly original.  rating: *** stars 

2.) Sunday School Blues   (Mylon LeFevre -  Kim Venable) - 2:48

'Sunday School Blues' was a nice example of how LeFevre held true to his religious beliefs without the falling victim to the usual in-your-face preachiness.   Built on a truly funky melody (great Ron Graybeat bass line), the song exhibited LeFevre's tasty Southern tinged voice and his first-rate lead guitar.   One of the album highlights.   rating: **** stars

3.) Who Knows   (Mylon LeFevre - Kim Venable - Auburn Burrell) - 2:45

Opening up with what sounded like some Barry bailey lead guitar moves, 'Who Knows' was another tune than melded subtle religious lyrics with a killer rock melody.  rating: **** stars

4.) Sweet Peace Within   (Mylon LeFevre - Steve Saunders) - 4:44

Rock-tinged ballad with one of the album's prettiest melodies and some nice Dean Daughtry Hammond B-3 moves.   rating: *** stars

5.) You're Still On His Mind   (Mylon LeFevre) - 2:58

While I'm certainly in no position to question, or criticize someone else's beliefs, I'll tell you 'You're Still On His Mind' found LeFevre's abandoning any effort to be subtle with those beliefs.   On the other hand, it was hard not to smile at a lyric that managed to link your first beer and Christ's all knowing love.   rating: ** stars

6.) Trying To Be Free   (Mylon LeFevre) - 5:10

From the opening chords, 'Trying To Be Free' bore a resemblance to early Atlanta Rhythm Section (albeit without the preachy mid-song vamp).  Another album highlight with some of the most melodic bass you'll ever hear.   rating: **** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Searching for Reality   (Mylon LeFevre) - 2:45

Nice rocker showcasing the album's best lead guitar solo and some surprisingly thoughtful, if clunky, lyrics.   Not exactly what you would have expected on this album.   rating: *** stars

2.) Pleasing Who, Pleasing You ?  (Mylon LeFevre - Kim Venable - Auburn Burrell) - 2:00

With a country-tinge, 'Pleasing Who, Pleasing You ?" was a surprisingly entertaining rocker.   Shame it was so short.   rating: **** stars

3.) Contemplation  (Mylon LeFevre) - 3:10

A simple, largely acoustic ballad, 'Contemplation' certainly wasn't the album's most commercial tune.  On the other hand it had a pretty melody and was one of the few tracks that didn't seem to have an overt Christian edge (the Christian lyric was there, but subtle).  Cotillion released the track as a promo 45 (Cotillion catalog number 45-44100)   rating: **** stars

4.) Hitch Hike   (Ray Whitley) - 2:40

Another tube with kind of an ARS vibe.   Nice mid-tempo rocker with some tasty Barry Bailey lead guitar.  rating: *** stars

5.) Peace Begins Within   (Mylon LeFevre - Barry Bailey - Kim Venable - Auburn Burrell - Dean Daughtry) - 6:45

One of two group-penned originals, 'Peace Begins Within' sounded like an in-studio jam with plenty of room for band solos.   Far from a great performance, but the band quickly found a groove and locked in tight.   rating: *** stars

6.) The Only Thing That's Free   (Mylon LeFevre) - 3:40

'The Only Thing That's Free' ended the album with a country tune  for folks who didn't really like country. 

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Mylon

Company: Columbia

Catalog: C 31085

Year: 1972

Country/State: --

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4341

Price: $15.00

Cost: $66.00

 

I own a couple of Mylon LeFevre LPs and until recently I was under the impression he was just another talented guitarist that rock and time had forgotten about.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered he's become one of the founding (and leading) exponents of today's wave of contemporary Christian music (CCM). 

 

On the other hand, I guess that shouldn't have been a major surprise since LeFevre got his musical start as a Gospel singer.  Born into a devotely religious family, as a young child he became a member of family gospel group - The Singing LeFevres.  LeFevre's big break came in 1966 when, as a 21 year old, he performed at the Gospel Quintet Convention in Memphis, Tennessee.  Elvis Presley happened to be in the audience and subsequently recorded one of LeFevre's songs for his "How Great Thou Art" album.  The Elvis connection opened up the doors, with record companies swamping LeFevre with offers.

 

1972's "Mylon" is kind of interesting in that it's produced by the late Felix Pappalardi (he also contributed several tracks to the album).  To be perfectly honest, while LeFevre is a decent writer and singer, there isn't anything particularly impressive or original here.  Tracks such as 'Wonderin' (For Summer and Lady Ann', 'Baby I'm Down' and Railroad Angels' offer up a bluesy-rock sound that incorporates country and Gospel touches.  Anyone familiar with Bonnie and Delaney, or Leon Russell will instantly recognize.  Perhaps because they boast nice melodies and rock a little more than most of the album, LeFevre's cover of Mountain's Silver Paper'' and 'Holy Smoke Doo Dah Band' are probably the best tracks here. 

 

"Mylon" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Wonderin' (For Summer and Lady Ann)   (Mylon LeFevre) - 3:07

2.) Baby I'm Down   (Felix Pappalardi - Gail Collins) - 3:57

3.) Silver Paper   (Leslie West - Felix Pappalardi - Gail Collins - Gardos - Knight - Corky Laing) - 5:57

4.) Railroad Angels  (Mylon LeFerve - Marty Simon) - 4:04

5.) Mountain Home   (Mylon LeFevre) - 1:57

 

(side 2)
1.) Holy Smoke Doo Dah Band   (Mylon LeFevre - Auburn Burrell)) - 4:07

2.) Why You Been Gone So Long   (Mickey Newberry) - 2:47

3.) Pool Shooter   (Lester Langdale - Eddie Laurie) - 2:35

4.) Sixteen Tons   (Merl Travis) - 3:00

5.) Angel Band   (arranged by Mylon LeFevre - Felix Pappalardi) - 4:45

 

Any true rock and roll fan knows the rest of this story.  Immersed in the rock lifestyle, by the early-1970s LeFevre found himself addicted to cocaine and heroin.  While on a 1973 tour of England he managed to survive a heroin overdose, though the episode left him with moderate memory loss.  In the early 1980s he rediscovered God and began performing and recording Christian-oriented material with a new band - 'Broken Heart'.  I've never heard any of his Christian-oriented material, but its apparently quite popular and LeFevre's won a couple of Dove awards (which I believe are like Christian Grammies).

 

 

 together. It was a great concert at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC.)

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