I grew up singing into my hairbrush to Randy Stonehill tunes. He’s kind of like the Paul McCartney of Christian rock to me. Big statement, i know, but he was that influential in my life – a hero of sorts.

A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to back my buddy, Brent Parker’s, worship band on the drums as he opened up for a Randy Stonehill and Phil Keaggy in Spearfish. It was a memorable evening. I even got to carry Randy’s guitar and walk with him out to his vehicle – just me and him. I’m not usually star-struck, but – as I said – this was like a version of one of the Beatles to me! I wrote a bit about that experience here.

So, anyhow, I was floored to find out that Randy was making a stop in Duluth this month. And, even better, that it was a FREE event at a historic church (a friend tells me it has roots with the Jesus People movement) over on the west end of town – or, in other words: a pretty cool and intimate concert venue. Cynthia, Bella, and Kella all went with me. They didn’t know any of his songs, but they had a great time anyhow. Well… Kella fell asleep about halfway through, but she’s 6 – she’s forgiven.

It was just him and his guitar, but Randy’s quirky, fun personality still shines through and he captivated the audience, which was a pretty full house, from beginning to end. He shared several stories of meeting and working with other Christian music legends: Keith Green, Keaggy, and Larry Norman… cool stuff. And he talked a lot about Jesus. You could tell he was unembarrassed to say His name – to tell the Gospel story. I could totally see the hippy in Randy… and I totally “dug it”.

Watch portions of a couple songs from the evening below. I do want to say upfront, that when the audience starts singing along to “I Love You”, that’s not my voice you hear from the audience! Ha!

Categories: music

Shawn Michael

Husband, father, musician, pastor, Internet junkie, and Foursquare District NextGen Rep for the Gateway District