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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

The House Show

  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Jun
The House Show
Sounds like … acoustic rock music from the former Caedmon's Call member, for fans of James Taylor, Bob Dylan and Steven DelopoulosAt a glance … an intimate look at Webb's solo work, including some effectively stripped-down hits from his Caedmon's Call daysTrack ListingFaith My EyesShe Must and Shall Go FreeIntro to "Nobody Loves Me"Nobody Loves MeThis WorldThe OneEvery Grain of SandIntro to "I Repent"I RepentIntro to "Dance"DanceLoverIntro to "Wedding Dress"Wedding DressTake to the World

While with Caedmon's Call, Derek Webb often played for thousands of concertgoers in college theatres or sports arenas. But in the two years since he's gone solo, Webb's gigs have been much more intimate. After releasing his critically acclaimed debut, She Must and Shall Go Free, Webb hit the road and redefined the phrase "up close and personal," plopping on fans' couches and playing hundreds of living room shows.

It proved to be the perfect mouthpiece for the progressive, prophetic Webb, one of Christian music's finest singer/songwriters. The House Show is a collection not just of songs, but of Webb's musings and candid conversations with his tiny crowds. His detailed introductions to the brand new rootsy acoustic track "I Repent" and the jubilant "Dance" (from Caedmon's Long Line of Leavers) almost shape up like a VH1 Storytellers special.

The album includes several career gems, like Caedmon's Call's "Faith My Eyes" and "This World." Without the context of the full band, Webb strips such songs down to their nuts and bolts to truly expose the provocative lyrics. Even more riveting are the Bob Dylan penned "Every Grain of Sand" and the poetic "She Must and Shall Go Free," perhaps the two best examples of Webb's casual yet confident concert demeanor.

If there's any fault with The House Show, it's that eleven songs doesn't feel like nearly enough, given Webb's tendency to perform many more in a concert setting. Maybe that's indicative of how good the material is, leaving the listener thirsting for more. And like any live recording, some of the original intimacy is also missing. But thanks to this modern day prophet's personality, it still makes for an organic and enlightening experience.