Sunday, February 27, 2011

ArkAngel: Warrior

About a month and a half before I left Eastern Kentucky for the coalfields of Southern West Virginia, I received an album in the mail at WEMM where I was program director. The band was ArkAngel (not to be confused with the metal band of the same name) and the album was “Warrior.” Since WEMM didn’t play contemporary Christian music, I thought it better suited to travel home with me rather than be tossed into the dumpster.

I will have to say that this particular album was one of my favorite LPs for the longest time. The sound was fresh and since it mixed contemporary and traditional instrumentation, it was right up my alley. I nearly wore this album out in 1981. ArKAngel was led by Kemper Crabb who is now an ordained Episcopal priest.

“Warrior” is my favorite cut on the album. I think it may be the unique use of bagpipes along with distorted electric guitar. In fact, I credit this tune for inspiring me to buy a set of Highland bagpipes ten years later. One word of advice if you are going to get a set of pipes, don’t buy a set made in Pakistan. The quality was horrible and the thing began falling apart within a week. I never could get the chanter to play when plugged into the bag; however the three drones worked most of the time.

If you have the desire, save your money and get a good set. I eventually sold mine at a loss at a garage sale. We advertised it among about five other key items in the local paper for our sale and it was sold to the second visitor. People asked about the pipes all day long.

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