Shane & Shane CD Review: An Evening With.

Texan worship duo Shane Barnard and Shane Everett are at it again, this time in a no frills live performance. An Evening with Shane & Shane is a two-disc set, the first featuring ten live versions of songs from their last three studio albums, plus one new track. The second disc is a concert DVD with the same song set performed in an intimate venue, Spaceway Studios in Duncanville, Texas. (Musicians and worship leaders will appreciate extras like “Lessons in B,” one-on-one guitar instruction with Barnard in which he walks through several songs on the album.)

Opening up disc one, “Arise” is the sole new track and carries an energy typical of the Shanes. Dueling acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies are just as strong as on previous albums. Studio musicians Todd Cromwell, Taylor Johnson, Will Hunt and Joey Parish join the duo to create an inviting, percussive concert experience. “Yearn,” “Fringes” and “You and I” are some of the group’s newer songs included on this album, and several selections from the first collaborative effort, Psalms, are played with all the heart and intensity you would expect.

“Psalm 145” is one of the strongest re-releases, simply because it is gets a more dramatic facelift from previous recordings (which actually isn’t much of a change). “Every day I will praise. For you open your hand and satisfy the desires of all things, my God and king.” The biblical honesty Shane & Shane structure into their songwriting is refreshing. Following these worship musicians throughout the years, one can see that they are truly artists and not simply partakers in the Christian media pocketbook.

Of track five, “Fringes,” Barnard explains: “The point is that everything, everything we see here on the earth, is just a fringe on the garment of God, a tiny peek at who he is.” He says he considers everything that has been created at one time – trees, nature, even a laptop, or a guitar amplifier – to be a “reflection of God’s amazing creativity.” Though creativity is woven into the individual songs of the album, there isn’t much new ground covered on the whole. And that is my sole complaint.

Because so much of their previously recorded material is also acoustic and very lightly produced, it doesn’t seem like there are enough significant changes to merit a new live disc. Which is undoubtedly why they chose the interactive DVD add-on. It’s up to the listener to decide if an old dog can in fact learn new tricks, or if they’d even want it to. Old faithful Shane & Shane fans will still find An Evening With to be worth the cost.

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