This a paper I wrote for my music class that I lightly edited for this post.
I listened to Shane and Shane’s “Easter Family Night of Worship” concert on YouTube: Easter Family Night of Worship | Concert and Communion with Shane & Shane. Shane & Shane (Shane Barnard and Shane Everett) were joined by Adrian Dish on the piano. This is April 2020 so they are all standing 6 feet apart. This concert is in a gospel style. Shane and Shane write much of the music they play while also highlighting great hymns and other songs they have not written. Shane Barnard will start with a passage of the Bible and put it to music. He then melds truths from the Bible with beautiful melodies that create the right emotion to respond to that truth. Sometimes, it is an upbeat and happy tune. Other times, the tone is much more somber. Their focus is on Jesus. It’s all about Jesus, they don’t care whether or not people think they are great musicians. They just want to be faithful in using their gifts to worship Jesus and help others do the same. You can see, hear, and feel their conviction in what they are singing (Reque-Dragicevic).
Shane Barnard moved to Texas when he was in junior high. It was then he became a Christian and started playing guitar. When he was in college, he played in a weekly worship group at church. He borrowed a “real” guitar from Shane Everrett for his first outdoor concert even though he didn’t know him too well. They became friends, Shane Everett became a Christian, and they started making music together. Shortly after, Shane and Shane was born (Reque-Dragicevic).
Shane Barnard plays the acoustic guitar and is the lead singer for the band. Shane Evertt sings harmony and has a head for business. Shane and Shane like giving back and helping new artists get started. This led them to create the Worship Initiative, a website that provides tutorials teaching Christians how to play different instruments and play the songs they play (Shane & Shane About), (The Worship Initiative – Learn Popular Songs. Learn Your Instrument. Learn The Word.).
The first song is Psalm 34. This is an original song written by Shane Barnard working with Jimmy Needham and Joseph Rigney. The song is based on Psalm 34 in the Bible. It calls everyone who believes in Christ to taste and see God’s goodness. I hear a male lead vocalist who sings and plays an acoustic guitar while the pianist is playing in the background. There are some parts with just the lead vocalist singing and playing the guitar. His voice is a rich high voice that carries a reverent tone with greater emotion coming in throughout. The piano is a mellow accent in the background on the verses that gets louder for the chorus. There’s these little mini-melodies on the piano that you can hear very clearly on the quiet bridge.
I can hear a lower male voice come in throughout to sing harmony. They produce a nice harmony together, but I can’t hear the second voice as well. The vocals and instrumentation are much louder in the chorus. The lead vocalist holds certain words like Saa-aint-s through several notes. He uses a modified tag that lets him transition to the next song without having to stop playing his guitar.
The second song is called the goodness of God and is unsurprisingly about the goodness and faithfulness of God. They transition to a much quieter song. You can hear both Shanes singing in harmony. There’s a little section with just the lead vocalist and his guitar. Then the piano comes in. The guitar is quieter in this piece which emphasizes the piano more. The second male vocalist comes in for the chorus. There’s a quiet reverence in the lead singer’s voice. This song has quieter vocals throughout most of the song which somehow emphasizes both the instruments and vocals. I really like the piano in this piece. The vocals are much louder for the chorus. Both the vocals and instrumentation have a tender quality. A gentle beauty of a melody.
The last song is Psalm 46. This is another original song written by Shane Barnard working with Jennie Riddle, Josiah Warneking, and Joshua Lawrence Miller. It is based on Psalm 46 and 2 Kings 18-19 in the Bible. Shane Barnard gives a little context for the song. In 2 Kings 18-19, it tells the story of the Assyrian army attacking Israel. They had a reputation for being the most powerful army on earth (or at least the Middle East) at the time. They had hundreds of thousands of soldiers and had defeated nation after nation after nation. Israel was not bigger or stronger than any of the other nations they had conquered.
All the other nations thought their gods would save them and they did not. They mocked King Hezekiah and his “LORD of Hosts”. In 2 Kings 18:32b-33, we read the Assyrians saying, “Do not listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?” In chapter 19, we see Hezekiah giving the matter to God. God promises to deliver them because the Assyrians spoke against Him. Christ comes as the angel of the LORD and in one night kills 185,000 Assyrian soldiers who came to kill, pillage, and destroy His people. He defended them. Christ came to this earth years later and lived a perfect life so He could die in our place and take the punishment we deserve for our sin. Then He rose from the dead, defeating death. This song is a song of confidence and deliverance (Holy Bible: New King James Version).
Psalm 46 starts out with the lead vocalist singing in a slow, reverent tone. The guitar and piano play slowly in the background. There is a little bit of virtuoso singing where the lead vocalist sings a series of complicated notes within a single word. Then the second vocalist comes in with a lower male voice along with the piano and guitar both being played more loudly. The song gets quieter, then louder again. There’s a brief section with just the piano, then the acoustic guitar comes in, then tender, soft vocals come in. The softness emphasizes the words. The piano seems to set the beat or lead the melody in the next part. The second vocalist comes in and the guitar gets louder. The second vocalist leads in the next section of the piece. There is a tag ending that transitions into another song.
I was first introduced to Shane and Shane when helping to lead worship in a Christian speech and debate league. The worship leader chose Psalm 46 and I liked it. I listened to some more of their music at the time and would listen to it from time to time. Recently, I rediscovered their music and I really enjoy it. There’s a beautiful synchrony of deep truths and melodies in their songs I love. I chose this concert because I like how they seamlessly integrated the pianist, even though he wasn’t part of their normal band. They tend to have a lot of guest musicians play and record with them. I really liked the concert. They melded the wonderful truths of forgiveness and redemption and skillful music.
Reque-Dragicevic, Britta. “Q & A With Shane of Shane & Shane.” American Songwriter, 5 Dec. 2012, https://americansongwriter.com/q-a-with-shane-of-shane-shane/.
Shane & Shane. “About.” SHANE & SHANE, Shane & Shane, https://www.shaneandshane.com/about.
“The Worship Initiative – Learn Popular Songs. Learn Your Instrument. Learn The Word.” The Worship Initiative, The Worship Initiative, https://theworshipinitiative.com/.
Holy Bible: New King James Version. Thomas Nelson, 2011.
Image Credit: Jordan Whitfield/Unsplash
If you’re Mrs. Danzig, hi! I like this class.