St. Louis 1994

St Louis, MO May 28, 1994

by Mike Eisenbath

St Louis Post Dispatch May 30, 1994

The Cozy Musical World of Rich Mullins

Rich Mullins has gained plenty of nominations for Dove Awards the last several years, recognizing him as one of contemporary Christian music's most respected artists.

Mullins showed Saturday night at Westport Playhouse why he is so unlike other artists of that genre. He's a poet, idealist, occasional monk-wannabe, brilliant musician, a bit of a flake, a comic - often an Everyman Christian. Mullins, 40, also is a student at Friends University in Kansas who is nearing a degree in music education.

Mullins hadn't been close to the St. Louis area since last spring, when he played at a muddy Agapefest in Greenville, Ill. Saturday's setting, as intimate as a living room, proved more suitable to his style. Together with his silent sidekick, known only as Beaker, he played 25 songs over two hours.

He and Beaker casually moved from acoustic guitars to the lap dulcimer, to the piano and hammer dulcimer. Mullins' work on the hammer dulcimer on instrumentals such as "78 Eatonwood Green" looked exhausting yet was entrancing.

They hit most of their most popular tunes, including "The Howling," "Where You Are" and "Boy Like Me-Man Like You." Mullins took two breaks from singing, one to share of his experiences with the child-sponsorship group Compassion International. In the other, he told of ' his faith after sing-alongs of two of his most popular selections: "Awesome God" and "Hold Me Jesus."

For the main show's final song, "Sometimes By Step," Mullins welcomed everyone there into his cozy musical world to sing, "I will seek you in the morning and I will learn to walk in your ways, and step by step you'll lead me, and I will follow you all of my days."