Reviewed by Adrian Cherrill
From youth worker to award winning professional musician, Mark Schultz has seen God move in his life and supply all his needs and more. After three studio albums he releases a live set recorded in Marion, Illinois in front of an appreciative audience who are plainly familiar with just about every song. To be honest, although this is a combined CD and DVD package where the DVD looks more of a bonus item, it's the DVD that really makes it worth buying. You get to see the concert and there's a whole raft of extras including two videos, extra clips, photo gallery and an excellent 40 minute documentary on Mark's journey, interspersed with visits to his hometown of Colby in Kansas. What of the concert and music? Well, piano-driven MOR rock is hardly groundbreaking in style, but its delivery is heartfelt and honest and he is clearly taken aback by the audience's reaction and participation, whilst his band (especially drummer Will Denton) are obviously enjoying themselves. Influences of many well known piano-playing singer/songwriters are in evidence, especially Billy Joel. The stories are a mixture of humorous (the rendition of incomplete new song "Walking Her Home") and poignant ("He's My Son" and "Letters From War"), though there are more in the documentary, and there is a good mixture of up tempo songs and ballads. If there is any criticism it's that the dialogue is sometimes too quiet, more so on the CD, but if you're watching the DVD then it is less of an issue. As an added bonus a studio version of "I Am" rounds of the CD. If you've never listened to Mark Schultz before but are in tune with well crafted pop with a powerful spiritual message, this package is a very good place to start.
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