John A. Garies JAG - It's Your Choice (CD)

$15.99

  • Remastered and Reloaded
  • For Fans of Whiteheart, Giant and Journey
  • 6 Panel fold in Jewel Case
  • Includes Lyrics
  • Enhanced Cover, Photos and More

It's Your Choice (1987) was a private label release and the only release to come out on that label. It was also first effort by JAG to form a sound all his own and put it to recording. It was freeing and indeed captivating.  Free Indeed is funky but there are also plenty of rockers on here. It's almost got a 70's feel at times and also includes a ballad Selah.  But if you wanna rock, you don't have to wait very long, only about 20 seconds into the first song ROAD TO BABYLON and those guitars start flying at you. Song 3, WHEN THE DAWN BREAKS THROUGH contains one of the highlights with some serious guitar shredding. Yep there are some keys and some soft spots but the guitars are thrilling on more than 1 song. This only leaves you wanting more after one pass through.  It's one of those album that you'll find yourself reaching for at just the right moment. It's raw and unapologetic both lyrically and musically. It's unclear who plays all these instruments but I have a sneaking suspicion that I know who. But I will let you decide for yourself and just see if we are jiving on the same wave length. Get my drift?  

  1. Road To Babylon
  2. This Could Be The Day
  3. When The Dawn Breaks Thru
  4. Free Indeed
  5. I'm So Happy
  6. He’s Touching Somebody
  7. I Hope You Know Him
  8. Psalm Of The Heart
  9. It's Your Choice
  10. Selah

JAG is similar to bands like Liason, Whiteheart, Nouveaux, The Brave, Idle Cure and Fighter. They are polished with a slick sound but also enough grit and guitar crunch to make them a favorite among Christian rock fans. They just might be the best under-promoted and under-appreciated AOR Hard Rock band of that era.

Strong songs loaded with powerful vocals and killer lead guitars solos thanks to Dann Huff (Giant, Whiteheart). It helps when you have Billy Smiley at the helm and David Martin, Phil Maderia doing song writing alongside. But the big surprise is you’ll actually swear you are listening to a Whiteheart album or even some reincarnation of a GIANT / WHITEHEART supergroup like Mr. Big, none of which is a bad thing. Anytime you can have members from such great bands helping you form your sound it can only be a plus. Billy’s hands on the throttle and Dann Huff (GIANT) handling most of the guitar work, both founding members of Whiteheart, helped put these albums in a different league.

Had these albums been released five years earlier, in the mid 80's they would have been all over the radio and the band would have played main stage at all the Christian rock festivals. We are grateful for the opportunity to have these remastered 30 years later. They deserve your attention and will command your respect.

 

Just listen...

 

THE EARLY BEGINNINGS

JAG started in 1987 when John Allen Garies released an independent cassette called IT’S YOUR CHOICE on the private label Steady Wind Records featuring 10 songs. It was released without much fanfare but just 2 years later, JAG, as John was known by, released SHAKE IT OFF by JAG AND THE BITE on 45rpm 7" Record (shown below) in 1989. 

This is where the story would normally say “That record got the attention of Billy Smiley, founding member of Whiteheart.” However the truth is JAG didn't cut his teeth in the insular CCM scene. Before becoming a Christian in 1979 he made his living "playing bars as a drummer/vocalist in Texas, playing blues by ZZ Top, Johnny Winter and Zeppelin." In 1986 John Allen Garies (JAG) released his first independently recorded album mentioned earlier and it did open a door for him when attended a Whiteheart show and somehow made his way onto the Whiteheart tour bus and gave Billy his SHAKE IT OFF tape.

 

Billy, impressed with what he heard, went on to produce 3 albums for the band, THE LONGEST ROAD (1990), THE ONLY WORLD IN TOWN (1991), and FIRE IN THE TEMPLE (1992).

JAG - THE LONGEST ROAD

THE LONGEST ROAD (1990) starts off strong, with a very GIANT-like guitar intro and a serious Whiteheart-like rhythm. Again, the influence of both of these bands abound through the album. However, SHAKE IT OFF, that was on that 45rpm made it onto this album and sets it apart. It’s got a feeling and movement more like a great U2 song. The actual song on the 45rpm is the exact version that was already on this original CD however the CD version had an extra 15 seconds of guitar added to the end that the 45rpm did not have.  The 45rpm was 4:37 but the CD version was 4:52rpm. 

Lead Vocals: John Garies (Jag)
Lead Guitar: Paul Brittain
Guitars: Dale Oliver (1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10)
Drums: Chuck Connor
Rhythm Guitar / Keys: Joel MeCreight
Guitars: Dann Huff on Shake It Off

  1. Highest Place
  2. The Longest Road
  3. Smile Minded
  4. Shake It Off (From the 45rpm single (1989)
  5. Empty Spaces, Quiet Places
  6. 21 Reasons
  7. Father Forever
  8. Even the Hardest Heart
  9. Follow His Heart
  10. The Other Side

JAG - THE ONLY WORLD IN TOWN

THE ONLY WORLD IN TOWN (1991) JAG’s second album was “arena rock” all the way. Even more importantly, the songs on this album have some significance. First, Billy, while touring Australia with WHITEHEART, heard the hit song, "Hands up in the Air'' from the band BOOM CRASH OPERA and worked with JAG to record it as the first song on the album. The song, 'Two Worlds Collide", was going to be cut and recorded by the band GIANT. Since GIANT already had 14-15 songs for their album, John talked Billy into making it a JAG song. Dann Huff played all the guitars, and it became the 4th song on the album. The idea for the song The Only World In Town came from John's eight-year-old daughter. "We were driving along and I was talking about the monopolizing phone company, saying 'they were the only game in town'. Then my daughter, who was in the back of the car, pipes up. 'Hey papa, this is the only world in town.'  The song looks at the way we are destroying this world of ours and speaks about the 'source' of all the world's problems, about how, until we get our hearts changed, the world won't change."

Lead Vocals: John Garies (Jag)
Lead Guitar: Paul Brittain
Drums: Chuck Connor
Bass: Michael Lusk

  1. Hands Up In The Air
  2. 40 Watt City
  3. What God’s Love Means
  4. Two Worlds Collide
  5. The Only World In Town
  6. Sense of Wonder
  7. Mastermind
  8. Somebody’s Watching You
  9. The Last Time I Looked
  10. Written In Stone

JAG - FIRE IN THE TEMPLE

A quick listen to the first few songs off their 3rd album, FIRE IN THE TEMPLE (1992), and you’ll realize that they found "it," putting out their best album to date. Those early guitar notes on the first song, "Stand by Love" almost have a King’s X vibe but take a quick leap to mountain-top-like screaming.  "Streams in the Desert", the 3rd song, was later recorded by the Imperials and written by Billy Smiley and David Martian. Song 8, "Land of the Living" was going to be a Whiteheart song. That should give you enough reason to buy it, however there are actually 10 reasons to buy it. Every song from start to finish will make you wonder why this wasn't on your top want list.

In 1992, JAG toured as the opening act for WhiteHeart, drawing on their ever-increasing band of supporters both for their high-octane rock and the exceptional lucidity and intelligence of their material.

These remastered albums are dedicated to John Gaires who lost his life to Liver Disease in August of 2007. As for the other members, Michael Lusk plays now for Loretta Lynn, Chuck Conners played with Geoff Moore, Richie Biggs now works for Facebook.

Lead Vocals: John Garies (Jag)
Lead Guitar: Paul Brittain
Drums: Chuck Connor
Bass: Michael Lusk

  1. Stand By Love
  2. Invisible Man
  3. Streams In The Desert
  4. Long Lost Friend
  5. I Keep Coming Back
  6. Fire In The Temple
  7. Mine, Mine, Mine
  8. Land of the Living
  9. 1000 Words
  10. A Circle Unbroken

JOHN ALLAN GARIES - IT'S YOUR CHOICE

It's Your Choice (1987) was a private label release and the only release to come out on that label. It was also first effort by JAG to form a sound all his own and put it to recording. It was freeing and indeed captivating.  Free Indeed is funky but there are also plenty of rockers on here. It's almost got a 70's feel at times and also includes a ballad Selah.  But if you wanna rock, you don't have to wait very long, only about 20 seconds into the first song ROAD TO BABYLON and those guitars start flying at you. Song 3, WHEN THE DAWN BREAKS THROUGH contains one of the highlights with some serious guitar shredding. Yep there are some keys and some soft spots but the guitars are thrilling on more than 1 song. This only leaves you wanting more after one pass through.  It's one of those album that you'll find yourself reaching for at just the right moment. It's raw and unapologetic both lyrically and musically. It's unclear who plays all these instruments but I have a sneaking suspicion that I know who. But I will let you decide for yourself and just see if we are jiving on the same wave length. Get my drift?  

  1. Road To Babylon
  2. This Could Be The Day
  3. When The Dawn Breaks Thru
  4. Free Indeed
  5. I'm So Happy
  6. He’s Touching Somebody
  7. I Hope You Know Him
  8. Psalm Of The Heart
  9. It's Your Choice
  10. Selah

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