God My Rock (Live)
South Africa–born worship artist Brenton Brown is best known as the composer of such church favorites as “Everlasting God” and “Hosanna (Praise Is Rising),” but God My Rock may help familiarize Christian music fans with his distinctive voice. Recorded live at a Dare2Share youth ministry event in Dayton, Ohio, the album matches his signature tunes with a sprinkling of new material. This live set finds him in dynamic form, backed up by guitarist Scotty Murray, bassist Daniel Ornellas, and drummer Ben Showalter (known collectively as The Worship Republic). Much-loved tunes like “Glorious,” “Humble King,” and the aforementioned “Hosanna” get crowd-rousing treatments, with Brown’s breathy vocals riding on crisp guitar-centered arrangements. The new tunes are consistently strong, ranging from the soaring “Joyful” (a reimagining of “Ode to Joy”) to the stately praise hymn “Send Us Out” and the yearning, twang-laden “Word of God.” A special treat is a blazing country-rock rendition of Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light.” God My Rock can stand as one of 2012’s standout worship releases.