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

  • There are folks who have encouraged me as I grew, through the good and the stupid. Yeah, I had stupid moments. I would have to say Randy is a huge part of that encouragement side of things. The way he can turn a 3 minute tune into a half hour of fun for an audience really is amazing.

    Not long ago I started a project that Randy is producing, (not even getting into how the Lord arranged that), and when I heard his first roughs on my songs it felt like breathing in unison. His production just makes sense. It was natural and made me feel at home. I pray to finish this project soon and get out there and share the songs, but also the love Randy pours into the music and purpose of it all, along with his buddy Mike Pachelli.

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