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Official Homepage for the 77s. Discography, Lyrics, Webstore and More... more.
77s.com - 7Ball Critical Discography
The 77's & Michael Roe
Read 7ball's exclusive Interview with Michael Roe "It was charity," said Roe of the Scratch Band's work as an outreach of Sacramento's Warehouse church. It wasn't until they started recording, he said, that the band decided they might have any artistic pretensions. About the first three albums, Roe said: "I look at those and say that was part of learning. 7&7 is (Michael Roe sort of solo) Roe scored a couple of college radio successes with the one-two shot of "Miserable" and "Tattoo. When it finally saw the light of day courtesy of Brainstorm Records three years later, it was shrunk to a single disc collection featuring material written exclusively by Roe, save for a spirited cover of the Yardbird's "Over, Under, Sideways, Down." Self-titled by the record company, but called "Pray Naked" by the band and fans (my copy was hand titled by Mr. Roe hisself), this was the first 77's all-new recording in five years and the first to feature new members David Leonhardt and Mark Harmon. "Pray Naked" set the stage for Roe's "end of your rope" narratives that have defined his work since this project. How did Mike Roe celebrate conquering the ccm mainstream and landing a deal with Myrrh Records, the mother ship of all Christian pop labels? How else? Michael Roe "Till Jesu Comes" and "I Need God" were the two singles that *again* could have put Roe over the top of the christian radio charts, but never got the shot. Roe insists, "it's not truly a box set. With fewer players and musical layers to lean on, Roe puts his guitar in the listener's face with a fiery blues assault that stands in contrast to the pop and gospel from Safe as Milk and the post-modern rock on Drowning with Land in Sight. Michael Roe For example, on "Love Like Gold" Roe combines a slight country twang with Beach Boys' harmonies and Jerry Garcia-influenced lead guitar. Few others can effectively draw on such a wide array of influences without losing sight of the song. Again Roe manages not only to keep the song in focus, but use these subtle shades to draw subtle nuances out of the music that a narrower focus would ignore or not explore. Harmon and Spencer join Roe on this musical excursion, and prove to be as versatile as their leader at performing disparate styles of music.
77s.com - 7Ball Feature Story on Michael Roe
It's 11 o'clock Wednesday morning (Sacramento time) and Michael Roe, one-third of the seminal Christian rock band the 77's, isn't by his phone like he promised when we spoke the previous Friday...
Michael Roe ...However, his infamous answering machine is working just fine: "Michael row the boat ashore, hallelujah," strains a child's voice over the hiss and crackle of an overly used microcassette before breaking into a giggle. The next verse--same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse--is joined by a man's gravelly bass who sounds like he should have had four more hours of sleep--or cups of coffee--before attempting this feat. Less than an hour later, Mike gets treated to my answering machine: "Hi. Please leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. All apologies, he explains he is experiencing a really bad morning and would I be so kind to call back ASAP. I am. Welcome to a day in the life of Michael Roe. His is an existence filled with phone tag, goofy messages and requests for waffles for breakfast from a 6-year-old girl. It's bluesy guitars, recording budgets that disappear too fast and people wanting money and time. It's a spiritual yearning cloaked in metaphor and coupled with a desire to be as real as he knows how. It's a matter of getting the boat ashore before the winds change direction or the leaks sink it. "I've had the title The Boat Ashore for many years," says Roe concerning this, his third solo release. Hooking up with longtime friend and current 77's drummer Bruce Spencer, the two crafted an album rife with moody, acoustic pop, which Roe describes as "autumnal. Throughout the album, Roe points out hints of Fleetwood Mac, Jerry Garcia and Bruce Hornsby, among many others. Though the overall vibe is laid back and reflective, Roe refers to the final days of production as "the panic sessions. A self-proclaimed procrastinator, he admits he got a little lazy with the lyrics, hoping they would "tumble out" as he went along. Admitting that the idea of God wanting to love him intimately is a difficult idea to grasp, Roe says many of the songs fall into the "prayer and plea" category. Some document turmoil (I've got a debt that I carry around, carry around like a weight/It don't relieve me to know/That it's already paid), while others are subtle celebration of a connection being made (Near the waterfall/When you speak I don't hear the water fall/I hear with my heart and you speak to me softly and clearly ... ). "When I look at how hard the world is--the world God made and allowed to go astray--I can get so upset that I tend to mispercieve his love and not be able to see it," confides Roe. To listen to The Boat Ashore is to catch a glimpse of the world according to Roe. From the opening, where two unknown females think they're being clever by singing "Michael Roe your boat ashore" on his answering machine, to the refrain of "Be Yourself! on track 77, The Boat Ashore is the artist's attempt to present the world through his eyes. "Waking up to something like an answering machine message with people singing a bad joke ... it sounded like they were at some type of drunken party with people thinking, 'Let's drive Mike crazy.' Placing the lyrics to the song 'The Boat Ashore' right after that is the most autobiographical I think I've ever been. It communicates the feelings I get when I wake up and have to face the day, and I'm just simply unprepared." Critical Discography: the recording history of the 77's and Michael Roe
77s.com - Rad Rockers Interview with Michael Roe
Interview with Michael Roe
Many of you will know Michael Roe as the hard working lead singer/songwriter of the 77's. Many years of rock-n-roll excellence have led the 77's to be called Christian music's greatest rock band by just about every critic in the biz. Now, some critics are dropping the Christian and just calling them "one of the worlds greatest rock-n-roll bands. Currently, besides working with the Sevens, Michael Roe is busy as one fourth of the critically acclaimed Lost Dogs and is nurturing a rapidly growing solo career. Recently, Michael Case spoke with Mike Roe, currently on tour with The Lost Dogs, about his many new projects... ROE: It was recorded around Thanksgiving 92, the year Aaron Smith was touring with Michael Card and other people like that so we were forced to go out unplugged and hone our vocal harmonies and acoustic guitar skills. ROE: Yes, Its a limited edition, its so rough we felt it would be best to release it on our own, we've never tried to sell one on our own. ROE: It reads like a greatest hit of 77's, the sappy pop version of the 77's that is, pretty well representative - it covers the whole span - at least through Pray Naked. ROE: We're in route to Atlanta Georgia, its fun and funny to travel with these guys, the traveling part is not that great we're short on personal and kinda crammed into a small travel space. ROE: I don't no, as long as we all still enjoy it and have fun, I've looked at it as a hobby band - its hard to do that when your a professional musician. ROE: Yes, It was pretty frustrating, our A&M/Island years. ROE: One week before the Joshua Tree, basically U2 kicked our ass, how could you compete that album... ROE: We're encouraged by what's happening, with success from Jars Of Clay, John Q Public just signed a major deal, etc. It's opened up the record buying public to our kind of music... We've been about five years ahead of our time with the Lost Dogs - we thought we were crazy with the first record - but we were sort of like John the Baptist. CASE: Tell me about your new solo record, Michael Roe - The Boat Ashore. ROE: I've waited all my life to make an album with that title ROE: The previous album is more like a sketch pad - this is a very commercial, very produced album, very competitive but still quirky and artistic like in the way safe as milk was. ROE: Now that the album (Tom Tom Blues) is exploding off the charts (laughs)... ROE: I was a bit disappointed with the response to Tom Tom blues. ROE: That's been a steady sort of item, its an unofficial bootleg that Randy Layton released to help me get going after the demise of the early group. ROE: Actually, there's a whole album, called The Magnates, that I recorded with Mike Urbano (also from Bourgeois Tagg) and Larry Tagg.
77s.com - Boat Ashore Reviews
Michael Roe the Boat Ashore Reviews
Michael Roe, of course the lead vocalist, guitarist, and only surviving original member of The Seventy Sevens, has added a new selection to this summer's must-have list. The glibly titled The Boat Ashore does more than play on the artist's name, it plays on the artist himself. As the Sevens flex every Zep, Who, and Stones muscle they have, here Roe re-visits his love for more melodic (nose-ring crowd read: mellow), smooth pop music. Fans of the Sevens' more laid-back diversions, like God Sends Quails and MT, will thrill to these 10 cuts. Roe has stretched out over this disc with gobs of heart and soul. Whereas his debut solo album, Safe as Milk (especially the contraband curdled version), seemed to be a drainage valve for material his label wouldn't let him release on any Sevens record, The Boat Ashore sounds like the sound he has self-censored in order for The Sevens to have every possibility to break into the larger mod-rock scene. Lyrically, Roe has carved out some impressive new ground here. The general theme seems to be that, after tossing about on the waves for the last several years, he's hit shore, albeit a bit violently, but at least it's ground. In contrast to dwelling in misery and despair, he has taken control and is doing his best to recover. No doubt the break-up of Roe's marriage several years ago is the major catalyst behind these songs, but the nature in which he addresses his emotions is encouraging indeed. Take the opening lines of the title track: Woke up in the morning and it felt like the black of night, Tumbled out of bed, tripped on my Bible, stumbled over the light, Blinded by the break of day, I shut my eyes, I was alone, Couldn't say my prayers, Good God Almighty where's my telephone? Now I know, Know what you meant when You told me You wanted to hold me, Hold me forever ... No I did not know, I didn't understand the plan You had for me, It isn't that I don't believe, I do believe that You truly love me, But how do I reciprocate when I know there's nothing good in me? Say it's so ... Say it till I really hear it when you say don't fear it, let go. Mike Roe's music hasn't contained so full a recognition of God's role in many years. Both extremes are brilliant, and this just goes to show that Michael Roe is fully worth the acclaim he receives. TLEM 1996 Rob: Mike Roe's ship has definitely come in. Counting his work with the77's and The Lost Dogs, this makes Roe's third album in the last year, and it's the best of the bunch. The Boat Ashore, for me at least, fulfills the musical promises that were made on his older albums but seemed forgotten on Tom Tom Blues and Safe As Milk. Just when I was starting to wonder if Roe had lost his touch, this album came along to show that he's better than ever. Beth: Well, Safe As Milk was one of my favorite albums last year, so I wouldn't say that he seemed to have lost his touch. Collaborating with 77's drummer Bruce Spencer, Roe has crafted a bunch of moody, melodic tunes that weave an aural spell. In "I Buried My Heart At Bended Knee," Roe faces the fear that some people carry around deep inside--the fear that somehow, somewhere, we will cross a line with God from which there is no return: If I was trying to introduce someone to the music of Mike Roe this time last year, it would have been a toss-up between giving them Sticks And Stones and Drowning With Land In Sight.
77s.com - Say Your Prayers Reviews
Michael Roe Say Your Prayers Reviews
RelevantMagazine.com July 2002 Michael Roe's latest solo album, Say Your Prayers, is an introspective collection of songs that offer praise to God in the day-to-day joys and struggles, and everything that happens in between. Some listeners already know him as the bluesy frontman for the critically acclaimed 77s. Other listeners will discover Roe for the first time, and soon realize that he is not only a skilled guitarist and vocalist, but also an extremely talented solo artist who has the ability to bring universal messages to life through his songs. Say Your Prayers is his third solo effort, and one in the catalogue of numerous projects he has been a part of, both individually and collectively, throughout his 20-year career as an artist. As a result, Roe has become highly recognized and well-respected by many. In whatever role he serves, Roe demonstrates that he desires not only to put forth finely crafted songs, but also to show himself in a very real way through what he writes. Audiences can expect to hear rootsy, lightly folk-influenced numbers, mixed with pop-driven praise songs that speak from the heart. The strength of the project lies in the fact that Roe is a passionate songwriter who writes from an honest and transparent place. He is also not afraid to touch on some of the tougher issues our culture has to deal with. Written, recorded and studio produced by Roe on his independently owned Fools Of The World record label, Say Your Prayers features stellar vocals and acoustic guitar stylings throughout. Former 77's Singer/Songwriter Michael Roe Completes New Solo Album Say Your Prayers Michael Roe, singer/songwriter of the legendary 77's pop group, has released his latest solo effort Say Your Prayers on Roe's independently-owned Fools Of The World label. As with his earlier solo efforts, the project promises listeners an introspective, thoughtful and heart-wrenching collection of songs. "If I have any strengths as a writer besides the pretty melodies, people say they like my lyrics because they feel very honest, real and penetrating to their hearts," Roe says. Roe not only writes from a real place, but the writing also reflects great maturity and depth. He says that Say Your Prayers has been an outlet for him to stretch and grow lyrically. "In my younger days, I was more caught up with the music than I was the lyrics," he notes. Despite the lyrical emphasis, the album also faithfully delivers the intricate and passionate guitar work that have become a signature stamp of Roe's overall recorded output. The new project by this pop music veteran is characterized throughout by gorgeous melodies, catchy tunes and meaningful messages that will cause listeners to reflect on themselves and look at others with a fresh insight. Written, recorded and produced by Roe himself, Say Your Prayers features a stellar vocal and acoustic guitar performance by the artist who gave us other well-known classics like "Come and Gone," "The Treasure in You", "Your Pretty Baby" and "Ache Beautiful." No matter what role he finds himself in, whether the bluesy frontman for the critically acclaimed 77's, all-things-to-all men guitarist/vocalist for the rootsy collaborative Lost Dogs, or expressing his genuine creativity as solo artist, Michael Roe is always aiming for something higher. "I set a goal for myself long ago to always try and improve the lyric writing, to try to make it as good as I can," Roe says. "However, the higher that standard gets, the harder and harder it is to pull it off, which is probably why I waited so long to put something new out" he muses.