Personnel: Mark Schultz (vocals, piano); Pete Kipley (guitar); Mark Hill (bass instrument); Dan Needham (drums).
With Live... A Night of Stories & Songs, Mark Schultz fulfilled the three main reasons an artist releases a live album so early in his career: (1) to show the connection he has with his fans; (2) to offer alternate versions of former hits; and (3) to fill a void in between studio releases. Schultz indeed seemed to have the audience eating out of his hands with this radiant show of rock piano and a stalwart backing band -- Scott Bernard on guitars, Danny Myrick on bass, and Will Denton on drums. For the most part, Schultz's Billy Joel-meets-Michael W. Smith fusing confirms why his first three albums met with such success. Many of his hits from those albums, like "I Am the Way" and "When You Give," translate very well to stage. Live... filled a three-year gap between Stories & Songs and Schultz's fourth studio recording, Broken & Beautiful. The album was recorded in 2005 at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, where he worked as a youth leader. It won the 2006 Gospel Music Association Dove Award for long-form music video of the year. The CD includes a DVD with an identical set list. ~ Jared Johnson