The All Saved Freak Band is widely recognized as one of America's earliest pioneers in what has since become known as Contemporary Christian Music. Five years before the term, "Contemporary Christian Music," was coined, and one year before Larry Norman, the "father" of CCM released his first album, the music of ASFB founders, Joe Markko and Larry Hill, was already being played on local radio in Ohio. Described by Black Keys and Arcs frontman Dan Auerbach as "the forerunners of an entire genre," the enduring music of the All Saved Freak Band continues to provide value for a new generation of listeners. For more information about ASFB, media interviews or contacting former members, please use the Contact Form at the bottom of this page.
My Poor Generation - 1973 - "The totally essential Jesus rock album featuring some baroque chamber folk with harpsichord, strings, piano and woodwinds, some otherworldly smoky dream psych and some stripped-down electric boogie blues. This was an odd congregation that collectively created an atmosphere representing the best in what was once Jesus rock." [Bob Felberg, New Creation Radio, WVOF and co-author of The Archivist]
For Christians, Elves and Lovers - 1976. "And what is the result of this musical fusion? An absolutely incredible album which might well become a classic in the annals of Jesus music. The credit for this record's brilliance belongs to the artists themselves. Because of their talent and versatility, the 14 cuts never suffer from being repetitious or boring. One need only look at the diversity in style from one selection to the next in order to appreciate the creative abilities of these musicians. This is the 3rd album for ASFB and belongs on the shelf of every Jesus music fan." [Russ Proctor/Harmony Magazine/May, 76]
“Artists like [Larry] Norman, Love Song and the All Saved Freak Band never intended to start a Christian music industry but one grew up around them after secular labels and performance venues shut them out.” [Rapture Ready!: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture, Daniel Radosh]
“Several other groups active in the late-1960’s are still remembered today. These bands were far cries from the clean-cut, church-sponsored productions that Hearn and Carmichael had created. What the likes of the All Saved Freak Band lacked in polish, they made up for in sheer intensity and weirdness – qualities that many of the best secular bands of the late 1960s displayed.” [The Billboard Guide to Contemporary Christian Music, Barry Alfonso]
“To many churches and religious leaders, the Jesus Movement was a threat. As soon as the first, few bands – All Saved Freak Band, Agape and Love Song, along with solo artists such as Larry Norman and Randy Stonehill – hit the scene, preachers rose up to call them twisted.” [Raised By Wolves: The Story of Christian Rock & Roll, John J. Thompson and Dinah K. Kotthoff]
“While the Beatles communed with the Maharishi and practiced TM, radio stations adopted Jesus rock formats featuring groups such as Love Song, Agape and the All Saved Freak Band.” [American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon, Stephen R. Prothero]
“Larry Norman, the All Saved Freak Band and the Resurrection Band were three of the most important of the early Jesus Music bands.” [From the entry for Christian Rock at Conservapedia.com, 3/13/09]
“There is an extraordinary urgency to the All Saved Freak Band. At a time when the growing industry of CCM was making its saccharine pact with the pop devil their music crackled with apocalyptic power and the desire to use the rock song as a vehicle of total transformation. Though it may be hard to square the All Saved Freak Band with the slick, suburban profile of CCM, they remain formative figures in the genre, with their messianic intensity providing the essential rock 'n' roll element of risk.” [The freaky origins of Christian rock by Erik Davis, Slate Magazine, 7/31/07]
“One of the most highly regarded bands in the whole Jesus music era.” [Tony Cummings, Cross Rhythms U.K.]
“One of America's greatest hippie, Christian bands. While bands like Petra and Resurrection Band spent the '70s perfecting a heavy rock'n'roll, ASFB plowed a blusier furrow. One joy is the fact that they wrote songs that were simple in their message, songs to get people to think about the Gospel, an art that seems missing in modern Christian music.” [Mike Rimmer, Cross Rhythms Online Magazine, U.K., 3/13/09]
“One of the most fascinating and controversial aggregations in the whole development of Christian music, the All Saved Freak Band were a pivotal group as the Church sought to come to terms with the '60s and '70s musical culture to develop Jesus music.....an unexpected and ongoing musical legacy.” [All Saved Freak Band: Jesus Music Pioneers, Cross Rhythms Online Magazine U.K., Tony Cummings]
“The Jesus Movement looked to already existing forms of communication. Alternative Christian newspapers became popular. Dance, drama, mime and other media were used. And, in perhaps the most lasting development, the Jesus movement turned to rock music. Modern Jesus music was invented and artists such as Agape and the All Saved Freak Band burst on the scene.” [The Liturgical Renewal Movement, John W. Riggs]
"Truth be told, Jesus music was best served weird and the All Saved Freak Band had this down to a science. It was surprisingly good —part folk, part garage, part psychedelic, part blues and part who-knows-what." [Rachel Khong, Yale Herald]
“Man, these guys were just so good! Wailing away one minute - folk mood, jazz lightness the next. Seems impossible on paper, but with ASFB it works. Showing maturity in sound and lyric, all their albums are treasures with layers of interest both musically and lyrically.” [Bob Felberg, New Creation Radio, WVOF and co-author of The Archivist]
“This is a tough band to figure out. With some of the best Christian 70s rock by anyone anywhere their music is stunningly powerful with a dark, creeping psychrock menace achieved via songwriting and guitar/organ arrangements that spell big league all the way. So much variety here, too - it never gets boring.” [Ken Scott, Archivist - Vintage Vinyl Jesus Music]
Brainwashed- 1976. "This is a tough band to figure out. With some of the best Christian 70s rock by anyone anywhere their music is stunningly powerful with a dark, creeping psychrock menace achieved via songwriting and guitar/organ arrangements that spell big league all the way. If "For Christians, Elves & Lovers" is the mellower side of ASFB, "Brainwashed" is the flip side of the coin. This album is non-stop sizzling stuff with plenty of heavy organ, harmonica and, of course, Glenn Schwartz's searing guitar fireworks. This is an incredible album folks. So much variety here, too - it never gets boring." [Ken Scott, Archivist - Vintage Vinyl Jesus Music]
When Someday Comes: Memoirs of a Survivor is Joe Markko's autobiography. Written as a record for his children and grandchildren, the book winds through a childhood of abandonment and crime, the violence-plagued demonstrations of the 1968 Democratic Convention, his years with ASFB, electrocution with 27,000 volts of electricity, the shotgun-shooting death of his oldest child, falling from grace as an ordained clergyman and the long road to physical, spiritual and emotional healing.
Awarded Honorable Mention for the Best Autobiography of 2011 by the New York, London, New England and Hollywood Book Festivals, the Memoir is available from Amazon.
The Sower - 1980. "Man, these guys were just so good! Wailing away one minute - folk mood, jazz lightness the next. Seems impossible on paper, but with ASFB it works. Showing maturity in sound and lyric, all tracks are standouts. All their albums are treasures with layers of interest both musically and lyrically." [Bob Felberg, New Creation Radio, WVOF and co-author of The Archivist]
Harps on Willows: best of ASFB - 2011. "Here's a welcome collating of the best performances from one of America's greatest hippie Christian bands. While bands like Petra and Resurrection Band spent the '70s perfecting a heavy rock'n'roll, ASFB plowed a blusier furrow with ace blues guitarist Glenn Schwartz exemplifying his renowned skills. This 18-track CD brings together tracks from their four albums and, while the bluesy thing is going on, the band's music is not easily pigeon holed.
One joy is the fact that they wrote songs that were simple in their message. These are songs to get people to think about the Gospel, an art that seems to be missing in modern Christian music. These recordings are very much of their time so they are a little ragged around the edges production wise but the band certainly fulfilled their ambition to create music that would stop people in their tracks and make them respond to the Gospel."[Mike Rimmer, Cross Rhythms U.K.]
NOW AVAILABLE: The remastered, 50th Anniversary release of all four ASFB albums. Click here for more info.