Greg Hough, one of the founding members of Petra tells the story of how, when he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour, God’s message of “You will play for Me” came to him. John DeGroff (also a founding member) completes the story as he tells of meeting both Greg, and Bill Glover (another founding member of Petra) at Christian Training Centre in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1972. It is towards the end of that year that they got onto stage in church to play together, ministering through the medium of what is now Christian rock music.
Produced by John DeGroff, “SALT” follows on from “…demos and other moments…” released in
2015. “SALT” gives the impression of ease, or better, effortlessness. There is a playfulness in the descending arpeggios that open “Runnin’” that sets the tone of the album for me. John is a fan of progressive rock and jazz music, and having recently revisited Kansas’ “Point of Know Return” album myself, I’m loving John’s musical direction. I enjoyed how the bass guitar and organ synchronised with one another on this first track, complemented by John Schlitt (Head East, Petra – 1986 to 2005) on vocals.
I’m intrigued by John’s harmonic playing on “Sneeze”, where bass notes ring together much like they would when you strum a guitar. On this track you’ll also hear perfectly executed tempo changes; proof of a great band locked into the groove. “Dave’s Living Room” showcases the band’s lightness of touch, and is addictive like cotton candy.