the courts of the king reviewed in the Phantom Tollbooth Ted Sandquist Phil KeaggyThis seminal 1977 worship recording from a small community in upstate New York was born out of real relationships with each other and with God. And it still sounds great today.

Title: Courts of the King 30th Anniversary Edition
Artist: Ted Sandquist and the Love Inn Company
Label: psol music
Time: 14 tracks / 53:00 (approximate)

Back in the days when the CCM industry was in its infancy, a small community in upstate New York produced a recording of worship music born out of real relationships with each other and with God. For those old enough to remember, listening again to Courts of the King is sure to bring back memories, not of nostalgia, but of the days of discovering God's grace in their lives. Those who are younger should give a listen to this iconic release that, in many ways, paved the way for today's modern worship music.

Written by Ted Sandquist, this is worship music with real depth. Over the years, Ted Sanquist has been an under-appreciated pioneer of modern worship music. The music and lyrics Ted Sandquist pens are never trivial. This is music that draws one into worship; always pointing to the One Who deserves our worship.

Beautiful layered harmonies resound and the playing is quite organic. There were many good choices musically and in the production of this record that kept it that way. The fact that this recording stayed away from the heavy synthesizer use that tended to be common in this era certainly contributes to why it still sounds good today. The re-mastering brings out the best of this well mixed and recorded product, thanks to Peter Hopper the original producer, who also re-mastered the 30th anniversary edition.

Among the contributors to this record are Phil Keaggy, Phil Madiera, Nedra Ross (once a member of the Ronettes), members of the Phil Keaggy Band, and members of the upstate New York Love Inn community. There is plenty of wonderful vintage Phil Keaggy guitar playing and singing, but it is the contributions of the whole that make the record so wonderful.

Courts of the King is still joyful, still resonates over 30 years after its recording.

The 30th anniversary edition also includes two bonus tracks. One is a track from Keaggy’s The Master and The Musician sessions previously not released, and the second is a new track recorded by Phil and Ted. Interestingly, Ted and Dawn Sandquist’s son Jon-Mark, who assisted in preparing the anniversary release, was born during the original recording sessions.

Besides continuing to write and release worship music, Ted and his family have been for many years involved in various mission projects. A visit to their website will reveal details of the mission works they are involved in directly or support. If you sign up for their email list you will receive a newly recorded worship song each month for downloading. It's also the best place to acquire a copy of this release and additional music or books by the Sandquist family.


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