Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday Review: LET ME SING (Live at Great Escape)

LET ME SING - Live Worship From Great Escape
Great Escape is a Wednesday night Bible study in Nacogdoches, TX. For years, it's been a bright spot of devotion and music among college students in East Texas.

Let Me Sing is the new live project from the Bible study. Worship is led by the Blake Russell Band, a talented mix of musicians and leaders.

The record has a lot working for it. The first thing I noticed was how well this band has adapted some pretty large songs. Without adding a ton of overdubs or additional special elements, this team delivers each of these songs with the same fullness and intensity as the original versions. It's great proof that with dedication and some creativity, even smaller teams can pull off these big songs. Granted, there are some fantastic musicians playing and that makes a huge difference, but I was impressed with how well each of these songs came across.

The second strength is variety. As with many live records, Let Me Sing is an effort to capture the songs that are already favorites among the crowd. There's not much in the way of "new" music here, but that's okay. There's a balance of the rockers we all love but also some strong hymn versions, too.

Third, I just love the attitude of these folks. They've released this record with great humility and seem to have arranged the CD in a way that makes it accessible to the local church - which is exactly a worship CD should be!

There are some downsides to the project, but not too many. I think the vocals end up being the weaker link on some of the tunes and I would have liked to hear more original songs as opposed to covers. Those are two important aspects in any worship record, but I think they're rescued a bit by great arrangements and musicianship.

You can find out more about the record at and find the band on Facebook and Twitter.