It's been a good year (or so) for live albums in the Christian music world. With Zach Williams, Needtobreathe and Maverick City Music all releasing great projects in the last twelve months, it would seem that music created live in front of an audience still has a distinct place in our current culture.
Add to this fine list of albums a barnburner of a live set from near-veteran family band We The Kingdom, played and recorded in the "high church" of southern music, the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. The band delivers a full, rambunctious set of songs, all stretched out in a live setting and showcasing this group of musicians at their finest.
Opening number "Left It In The Water" nearly burns that hallowed stage down (where the legendary "man in black himself," Johnny Cash, famously once stomped out all the lights he could find during a particularly rowdy set) all by itself. The opening number from the band's most recent self-titled album, "Left It In The Water" is a great kick-off song by itself. But the band here adds a slice of Credence Clearwater's (by way of the great Tina Turner) "Proud Mary," and the classic "Johnny Be Good" by Chuck Berry, to end the number and bring the crowd to a full roar. The mixing of classic songs is a great live tradition, and the band's lead vocalist, Franni Rae Cash, does the songs proud (pun intended) with her exuberant, wailing vocals. The following, "Child Of Love," matches the classic rock energy to a tee, while the bluesy, stomping "Don't Tread On Me" rounds out the opening set wonderfully.
Things slow down for the soulful current single, "Jesus Does," with the band building the song wonderfully to a crashing crescendo at the end. The rapidly-becoming-iconic "God So Loved" also fairs wonderfully in this live setting. "Miracle Power" swings with gospel purpose, while "Peace" and "Family" slow things down well for a bit of a concert halftime.
With only two studio albums under their belt, We The Kingdom already has more than enough material for a great night of rock and roll, and by the time hit single "Holy Water" rolls around towards the end of the set, it's apparent that this southern-raised family band is here to stay and born to take their particular high test mix of southern rock and gospel to any stage in the world.- Review date: 8/10/23, written by Alex Caldwell of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Capitol CMG
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