The Keyhole/The Way In (Church of the Redeemer)

It’s hard to think of a group that defines 1970’s Christian folk/coffee-house music as much as this one, which morphed into The Fisherfolk. The group had its start in 1969 as the resident singing group of The Way In, a Christian coffee-house in the Allen Landing area of Houston, Texas. The Way In was, in turn, a ministry of the Church of the Redeemer, a Charismatic Episcopal church near the Gulf Freeway.

Their style was heavy on acoustical guitar and light on percussion, which quickly became de rigueur for Christian coffee-house groups. The style was certainly replicated in churches and coffee-houses in the region, as I found out while living there in the mid-1970’s. It can even be seen across the pond in the UK in groups such as Achor and The Alethians.

Eventually the Fisherfolk took their leave from the Lone Star State, and are still active, but alas they don’t use these albums for bait any more. Unfortunately the Church of the Redeemer, unable to maintain the building (with its famous “Christ of the Workingman” mural above the altar,) was forced to close in 2011.

The Way In (GIA M/S 129) 1968

Their first album, and their style pretty much defines what coffee-house/youth group music in the late 1960’s and 1970’s was like. The style is a little flat, but they keep things moving. It’s very similar to the style that characterised the Catholic covenant charismatic communities such as the Word of God, People of Praise, Community of God’s Delight, etc., and given the date on this album, it’s not hard to understand who figured it out first.

The songs:

  • Like The Wind
  • To Be Redeemed
  • What A Great Thing Is This
  • To Everyone That Thirsteth
  • If I Had All The World’s Money
  • The Spirit Is A-Movin’
  • I Am The Resurrection And The Life
  • They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love
  • My Lover And My Master
  • I Will Arise
  • Ye Were Sometimes Darkness
  • Bless Thou The Lord O My Soul
  • My Beloved
  • My Soul Doth Magnify The Lord

DL

Hallelujah Jesus is Lord (GIA M/S 130) 1969

The album is similar to the first, but moves in a decidedly “spiritual” direction, with songs they probably picked up from visiting Pentecostal churches, both black and white.

The songs:

  • Hallelujah! Jesus Is Lord
  • By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them
  • Go Down Moses
  • The Song Of Moses
  • Joshua Fit De Battle Of Jericho
  • Come Go With Me To That Land
  • I’m Gonna Sing
  • Come Follow Me
  • Jesus Is Soon Coming
  • Planted Wheat
  • The Canticle Of The Gift
  • Foot Washing Song
  • Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Knees

DL

Glory (GIA M/S 140, 1973)

This is, AFAIK, the last in a series of albums they did for GIA in Chicago. It was during this year that they took their ministry on the road, touring with the renewal outreach of the Fishermen, Inc.

The album contains several coffee-house and liturgical renewal classics (the performances were definitive also) but some striking original pieces such as “Living Words.” The tempo tends to drag in spots but, if you want to know what it felt like to sit in a Christian coffee-house in the 1970’s and take in the music, this is a great place to start.

Personnel:

  • Gwen Arnold
  • Mimi Armstrong
  • Ed Baggett
  • Ann Caldwallader
  • Nancy Carr
  • Diane Davis
  • David Farra
  • Mike Kennedy
  • Gary Miles
  • Jodi Page
  • Ricky Roberts
  • Albert Rountree
  • Jon Wilkes
  • Max Dyer, Cello
  • Arabella Miner, Tambourine
  • Cover Design: Cathleen Gillis
  • Photography: Paul Pedrazas
  • Sound Production: ACA Recording Studios, Inc., Bill Holford, Engineers

The Songs:

  • Sing to God a Brand New Canticle
  • The Lord is a Great and Mighty King
  • Psalm 42: As a Doe
  • Peace
  • I Am the Resurrection
  • Living Words
  • Sing, Sing Alleluia
  • Glorious in Majesty
  • Glory
  • Praise My God With a Tambourine

DL

Sweet Jesus (Praise Records FF 1008, 1974)

The Keyhole continues their ministry on a new label with this one. The group is starting to show signs of “running out of gas” (the first oil crisis took place the previous fall) but there are still some very good performances on this album, especially the haunting “Hey Soul” (which found its way into our retreats and Masses.)

The Performers:

  • Gwyneth Arnold
  • Ed Baggett (Guitars)
  • Francine Baggett
  • Holly Carnahan
  • Jeff Cothran (Piano)
  • David Farra (Saxophone)
  • Ruth Gordon
  • Jan Gundelfinger
  • Grace Krag (Flute)
  • Brian Howard (Guitars, Electric Bass)
  • Marty Pearsall
  • Ricky Roberts (Guitars)
  • Oressa Wise (Guitars, Electric Bass, Xylophone)

The songs:

  1. Let Us Give Thanks
  2. What Could Be Better
  3. Come Unto Me
  4. I Heard The Voice of Jesus
  5. Capernaum Comes Alive
  6. Jesus Is A-Drivin’ Out Satan
  7. Christ Is Risen
  8. Sweet Jesus
  9. Hey Soul
  10. I Will Sing, I Will Sing
  11. Song Of Repentance
  12. O How Amiable
  13. Allelujah Today
  • Album Music Coordinator: Nancy Newman
  • Cover Design: Kevin O’Neill, Roger Gumbinner (also photography)
  • Produced by N.E.T. Records, Houston, Texas
  • Recorded by ACA Recording Studios, Houston, Texas, Bill Holford, Sound Engineer

Download Sweet Jesus

For more music click here

23 thoughts on “The Keyhole/The Way In (Church of the Redeemer)”

  1. Cherie….Try downloading each one separately, meaning one song at a time. I was unable to download whole albums but when I did it one song at a time it worked. I used Realplayer.

  2. Dear Brother in the Lord Jesus. could you tell me if I could buy the The Keyhole/The way in albums.This is my very favourite christian music.I`ve been praying over 25 years to find these albums

    1. Thanks for the link. I have the vinyl albums, but this was much easier and faster than analog recording would have been.

  3. Wow, I can’t stop playing these songs I am SOO familiar with.
    I know one of the writer/singers, she is very much looking
    forward to hearing herself after 30 years!!!!! Amazing!!! THANKS!

  4. I would also like to know how to get this music. We had an original vinyl of it and would like to get a cd or MP3 file. I like the others, have tried to get the individual songs to download with no success. This music was important to me as a child. My parents were very involved in Street ministry in San Diego, and to be honest, this is a missing link to what I feel will usher in the final revival.

    1. There’s a link to it in the blog entry above. It’s a little tricky to figure out; once you’ve selected the songs or album, you need to click right on “Click Here to Order” rather than “Buy This Album”.

      Personally, although this music is classic, it’s not the only in its genre and not the best. I’d take a look at the following (esp. the first, if evangelism is your highest interest, as it should be):

      https://www.vulcanhammer.org/2011/06/01/fruit-of-the-spirit-he-loves-you-and-me/

      https://www.vulcanhammer.org/2012/08/02/phoenix-sonshine-shinin-in-the-light/

      https://www.vulcanhammer.org/2011/03/09/a-city-set-upon-a-hill-cannot-be-hid/

      1. Hello,
        I did attempt last evening to purchase as indicated by clicking on the right of screen where each song is located..then followed by clicking the purchase icon at the bottom. However once the Paypal purchase button is selected. I am unable to do so with a message that states “This party cannot receive payment” As to the comment about the genre of music. I was not addressing “Quality” of sound or the fact that there are many more “Skilled” musicians to entertain me. The music has the rare and raw annointing that captured the worship and love of Our Loving Father. Sometimes evangelism is more about how we show our affection for our Lord Jesus. Actually…no our love is exactly how they will know us.

        1. Hmmm…

          Unfortunately, this puts me in a bit of a bind, but allow me to explain.

          When we (and when I say “we” I mean myself and Randy at the Ancient Star-Song) posted these, they were definitely out of any kind of commercial distribution. However, as you see, we were asked to take them down and direct people to the site where they were being sold. As was (and is for me) our policy, we honoured this request.

          You can see from the comments that this has, up to now at least, worked. It’s hard to tell whether they’re out of business or just had their PayPal account hacked.

          Given what’s happened in the past year (Randy, for example, lost his entire online collection in the wake of the Kim Dotcom fiasco and quit offering the music altogether) I’m reluctant to repost these unless I have really good reason to believe that they’re out of distribution again.

          What you might want to do is to contact them via their form

          http://www.celebratethewhole.net/forms/reconnect.htm

          and try to find out what’s going on.

          I’m sorry it has come down to this, as you know there is a great deal of ministry in this music and many of the other artists have been very gracious to me in their support of what I am doing.

          As far your other comments, I went to college about 100 miles from the Church of the Redeemer, they made a major impact on what I was blessed with. Some of that is here:

          http://www.vulcanhammer.org/2009/05/30/the-answer-is-jesus-christ-coffeehouse-rehearsal/

          1. Hi. Hi
            Hi. Like Daniel I tried to buy “Sweet Jesus” but got the same “merchant cannot accept payments” message. I filled in the online form as suggested, clicked Submit and got Error 404. Bearing in mind that this is 3 months down the line it seems reasonable to say that this purchase avenue is non-functional. Having recently downloaded and enjoyed 2 Achor albums I am hoping you might be able to help with this one please? Having said that I do appreciate the cleft stick in which you find yourself.

  5. I’m looking for a recording of “On Jordan’s Bank” by Gary Miles, circa 1974-75. We use this song every Advent, from the Gather Second Edition #260. This is not the old hymn, but rather seems to have a bit of a fun and funky ’70’s beat. Any info on song or composer would be great. Thanks and God bless!
    Paul Dolejsi
    Holy Rosary, Seattle

  6. Hi,
    I am trying to find a copy of:

    Bless Thou The Lord O My Soul

    From the Way In album (keyhole).
    I believe that is the song our Spanish group is singing ( in Spanish) at Easter Vigil – final song (similar guitar style as 30+ years ago)!

    Alan Fox
    Fortuna, CA

  7. Here’s a link to the Community of Celebration’s store and “Joy In The Morning” album on which I believer is found your desired version of “Bless Thou Th Lord O My Soul”. You can click on the notes to the left of the song to here a sample of it. It’s a little more refined a rendition than the earlier one performed by the Keyhole, but many of the same people from Keyhole performed with The Fisherfolk later and many of the same songs.

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