Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1975)

- David Atherton -- bass 

- Sonny De Vore -- lead guitar 

- Bob Terrell -- vocals, rhythm guitar  

- Bruce Whiteside -- drums, percussion 


  line up 2 (1976)

- David Atherton -- bass 

- Sonny De Vore -- lead guitar 

- Bob Terrell -- vocals, rhythm guitar  

NEW - Terry Wells -- bass (replaced David Atherton)

- Mike ??? -- drums, percussion (replaced Bruce Whiteside)





- Spare Change





Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Kristyl

Company: no label

Catalog: # 4569

Year: 1975

Country/State: Louisville, Kentucky

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor bowl warp; doesn't impact play

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: $450.00


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Kristyl

Company: Guerssen

Catalog: GUESS065

Year: 2009

Country/State: Louisville, Kentucky

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: Spanish reissue; includes biographical insert by the late Patrick Lundborg

Catalog ID: 2725

Price: $25.00



With a line up consisting of bassist David Atherton, lead guitarist Sonny De Vore, singer/rhythm guitarist Bob Terrell and drummer Bruce Whiteside, these guys were apparently from Louisville, Kentucky..  


First let me tell you Kristyl were a Christian band (before it became a popular and profitable enterprise), and in spite of what you may have read elsewhere, their religious beliefs and themes were actually quite obvious (note the serpent covering the earth cover, let alone the majority of the seven song titles).  'Christian rock' certainly wasn't something to be ashamed of, but I'd suggest "Kristyl" succeeded in finding a non-secular audience due to the fact it largely avoided the annoying in-your-face proselytizing  plaguing so much of the genre. The message was certainly there if you were paying attention - 'Deceptions of the Mind' was probably the most blatant slice of proselytizing.  As noted by Patrick "The Lama" Lundborg, it was kind of funny to note that the back panel featured a picture of drummer Whiteside wearing a t-shirt with a cannabis image.  Musically the collection gets high marks from most critics but I'll readily admit it took awhile for the album to reveal it's charms to me.  Featuring all original material penned by Terrell and De Vore, the seven tracks were all pretty strong from an instrumental perspective, though they tended to run into one another without a lot of distinction.  Tracks like 'Together' and 'Blue Bird Blues' showcased lots of tasty fuzz and wah-wah lead guitar from De Vore (I'm guessing much of it was double tracked since Terrell's credited with rhythm guitar).  At the other end of the spectrum Terrell's slightly flat voice and the band's equally flat harmony vocals take a bit of time to get accustomed to (check out 'Woman' to get an earful of their off-kilter harmonizing).  The one area where I'll agree with most other reviewers is the album sports a late-1960s sound and the performances showcase a sense of youthful optimism and energy.  I'll also warn you that what some folks find charming may simply prove irritating to others. Not for everyone, but will definitely appeal to some of you.  For what it's worth, reportedly only 500 copies were originally pressed, with De Vore's wife throwing most of the out in the early '80s when the family were cleaning house for an expected a child.  Extremely thin vinyl was used for the pressings so most copies have a slight bowl warp that doesn't effect play.


"Kristyl" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Together   (Bob Terrell - Sonny De Vore) - 4:17   rating: **** stars

'Together' opened the album with a tasty slice of growling rock, complete with some stunning De Vore lead guitar.  The only down side was a lame group-vocals that sounded like a bunch of bored kids tryign to escape catechism class.

2.) Deceptions of the Mind   (Bob Terrell - Sonny De Vore) - 4:35  rating: *** stars

'Deceptions of the Mind' was actually a great slice of blues-rock, with Sonny De Vore turning in a first-rate solo.  Unfortunately, the lyrics were about as heavy handed as you could get.  Easy to picture lots of folks gagging on the in=your-face preaching.

3.) Like a Bird So Free   (Bob Terrell - Sonny De Vore) - 4:50   rating: *** stars

The album's prettiest composition with another excellent De Vore solo, 'Like a Bird So Free' had a lot going for it in terms of melody and performance.  Even the religious lyrics were understated.  On the downside, the vocals were - well, challanging.

4.) The Valley of Life   (Bob Terrell - Sonny De Vore) - 6:45   rating: *** stars

Some of De Vore's nicest work opened 'The Valley of Life', but again, the group vocals took the edge of the song.  Shame it wasn't recorded as an instrumental, or with a better singer.


(side 2)
1.) Woman   (Bob Terrell - Sonny De Vore - 5:25
   rating: **** stars

I guess you could read a religious message into the bouncy, blues-rocker 'Woman', but it would take an effort.  Kicked along by a stunning De Vore slide guitar solo, this may have been the album's most conventional and commercial rocker,   Nice. 

2.) Blue Bird Blues   (Bob Terrell - Sonny De Vore) - 3:49   rating: **** stars

Whereas their harmonies were usually a bit tentative, on 'Blue Bird Blues' they actually sounded pretty good.  Another nice ballad, though De Vore's blistering guitar again provided the highlights.  Always loved the guitar  tone he got on this track.

3.) Morning Glory   (Bob Terrell - Sonny De Vore) - 7:12   rating: *** stars

'Morning Glory' opened up with some of the prettiest electric guitar I've heard in a long time.  Shame the song was burdened with such cheesy lyrics.  


The album's been reissued several times, but as far as I know the only legitimate release (with cooperation for De Vore), is the 2009 package on the Catalonian Guerssen label.