Stories and Songs of the Everlasting
Canada Christian College
April 30, 2005
Impersonations of REO Speedwagon, worship songs, modern day limericks and good pop music are usually found in different venues but Steve Burchell and Canada Christian College brought Mark Shultz to Toronto on April 30th and Schultz rolled all those elements into one concert.
On his current album Stories & Songs and his new live album still to be released, Schultz has gravitated more towards story telling and writing from the experiences in his own life and those he has been close to. One such song is Letters From War inspired by discovering and reading his grandmother's diary. Her entries during World War II chronicled her anxious moments awaiting word from her three sons serving in the military. Schultz told the audience the story of a General from the Pentagon who upon hearing the song on the radio got in touch with him requesting that they record a video in the courtyard of the Pentagon to encourage the troops. He tells of people opening windows to see what was happening and joining in singing and praising God.
Pop / Worship songs like Child of Mine and the beautiful solo rendition of Remember Me remind us that God's love continually seeks us out. Remember Me was originally recorded as a duet with Ginny Owens on his self titled album. These are songs that highlight not only Schultz's songwriting ability, but his excellence in composition.
Throughout the concert Schultz moved back and forth between the guitar and keyboards playing both effortlessly.
Schultz writes from deep within his soul and his genuine love for people in his life is evident in songs like When You Come Home written about his mother. It is also evident when he recounts the friends he has lost to cancer during the past year, how it has impacted his own life and songs that appear on his most recent album. As you sit and chat with him the love for his girlfriend and respect for the work her mother does with inner city children is undeniable. These are the people and emotions that have contributed to a songwriting style that has propelled Schultz to the forefront of the Christian music scene today.
For all his success Mark Schultz appears untarnished. Unlike other performers who turn the house lights down and the stage lights up he prefers to the house lights to be on so he can interact more easily with his fans, read the expressions on their face and their body language. He wants to know if the connection is there because if it isn't he wants the ability to switch gears.
Schultz also performed songs from his albums Stories & Songs as well as Song Cinema. He took time to try out two still to be finished songs on the audience. They will be featured on his new live album scheduled for release in the fall.
For those who had not heard Running Just to Catch Myself from Stories & Songs it was a reminder of our sometimes hectic lives, whether we are a harried stay-at-home mom or commuting to work daily. The crowd laughed heartily to words like
I am driving
I am late for work
Spilling coffee down my whitest shirt
While I'm flossing and I'm changing lanes
Now I'm driving
Through the parking lot
Doing eighty, hey what the heck why not
Watch it lady, Cuz you're in my spot
Once again, It's early to work
And here's a surprise, I got a
McMuffin for just 99 cents today
I think they ran a special
Writer: Joe Montague