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To contact penuel for booking, call or text 806.283.7454.
penuel formed in 1999 with 3 members: Chris Baggett, Travis V. Hill, & mshane Qn. Once Baggett & Hill were introduced by Qn, the three quickly began collaborating and found a musical home in one another.
Baggett is an acoustic guitar virtuoso often considered one of the most creative rhythm guitarists alive today. His style is modern & percussive (but never too busy), and his tasteful mixes of various tunings, tones, and strumming patterns & styles lay the foundation on which penuel’s music is often built. He is the most prolific songwriter of the three, and he also contributes memorable vocals.
Hill plays mostly electric rhythm guitar with penuel and adds a sophisticated texture & layering to their guitar-driven sound. He is also the group’s de facto “front man,” as he generally navigates the concert. With a background in both gospel music as well as hard rock, his vocal prowess contributes both dynamic lead vocals and also searing harmony vocals to the group’s signature harmony-laden sound for which they are well known.
A well-known instrumental worship leader around the world, Qn has also toured with professional a capella groups for many years. In addition to focusing on the vocal & instrumental arrangements, he bears a significant songwriting load. In concert, he frequently moves between varying keyboards (usually gliding along a piano or drenching a tune with Hammond B-3 vibes), a percussion section full of goodies, or handles an occasional harmonica or acoustic guitar part as well as lending both lead & harmony vocals.
Each penuel concert is unique, but Baggett, Hill, & Qn are a sight to see and sound to hear just on their own. However, normally, they are joined by friends in a rhythm section comprised of a drummer, bassist, & auxiliary percussionist and featuring an electric lead guitarist with often not-so-nice Blues / Rock intentions. Occasionally, a funky or nasty secondary keys player will be present along with a female lead / harmony vocalist.
penuel is an experience, but the band that facilitates the experience is grounded in spiritual community. penuel writes all of its own music, but they often mix in songs they consider worth hearing (whether or not they are well-known).
Their debut album, "the morning after" (released in 2000), is a provocative exploration of spiritual themes by a band of highly skilled musicians influenced by a diverse mixture of musical genres ranging from folk to rock to blues. The majority of the songs are vertical in nature, and the themes run the spiritual spectrum. This album is drawing strong praise and critical acclaim from fans of classic rock (the Eagles, ZZ Top, The Allman Brothers Band), modern rock (Sheryl Crow, Creed, Alanis Morissette), folk/folk rock (Marc Cohn, John Cougar Mellencamp, Dan Fogelberg), and pop rock (Sting, Sara McLachlan, Jars Of Clay). Radio can't decide what kind of music this new "hybrid" of folk, rock, and blues should be called. It doesn't fit any of the pre-chosen categories that other artists fall so easily into. "the morning after" is comprised of musical attempts to address an experiential mindset that acknowledges the spiritual journey every person must take at some point in his/her Life regardless of the person's decisions about spiritual matters. According to various music critics, the "thoughts are refreshing," "the discussion authentic," and "the conclusions convicting." "The music is first-rate and fresh with acoustic drums instead of loops or synthesized patterns, great electric and acoustic guitar work, and gritty organs." "The vocals are enticing and mesmerizing...".
penuel is more than a band name — it is an experience. Perhaps we should explain what we mean by that statement. The word "penuel" is a Hebrew word meaning "face of the Deity." It was used by Jacob — who became known as "Israel" — after he encountered YHWH at the ford of the Jabbok river before meeting his brother Esau. Jacob was scared about the meeting, so he sent everyone else across the river first. When he was alone, YHWH came to Jacob in the form of a man to wrestle with Jacob. They "struggled" during the night. When YHWH saw that he had not prevailed against Jacob (because Jacob would not give up), YHWH touched the socket of Jacob's hip and dislocated it while they were wrestling. YHWH did this to show Jacob that — although He wanted Jacob to "struggle" with Him and engage with Him in Jacob's Life — YHWH still held Jacob's very Life in His hands and was the powerful Creator.
YHWH asked Jacob to let go of Him in order to test Jacob, but Jacob refused — unless YHWH would bless Him. YHWH asked Jacob to supply his name for the blessing, but — when Jacob told YHWH his name — YHWH changed it to Israel: a Hebrew word/name meaning "one who struggles with YHWH." Then, YHWH blessed Jacob.
Jacob named the place where all this happened "penuel" because — as Jacob put it — "i have seen YHWH face-to-Face, yet He has preserved my soul." It is with all this in mind that we note the lesson Jacob learned that night: YHWH's blessings come from struggling with, engaging with, trusting in, and depending on YHWH — not retreating from Him or acting independently of Him. We call this mindset of spiritual engagement and personal relationship a "penuel" mindset. So, when You attend a penuel concert or listen to a penuel CD, we hope it encourages You to run toward YHWH instead of reinforcing the world's encouragement to run away from Him. We hope our music influences You to engage with Your Creator instead of supporting the world's idea that You should be apathetic or indifferent about Him. And we hope that our meager thoughts and music and lyrics move You closer to making a decision to enter into a real relationship with YHWH on His terms — not Yours — instead of moving You in the world's direction and activities and relationships.
This is why we say that penuel is more than a band name — it is an experience. Our Lives — and by extension our music and lyrical themes — are all about our struggles with YHWH and people...just like Jacob, but we believe there are blessings in the struggles which YHWH ordains for us. You might say that we are struggling for the blessings. May You find them, too...!