Live (Deluxe LP)
Recorded before a live audience at Nashville’s Oceanway Studios, All Sons & Daughters’ Live achieves an intimacy all too rare among worship music albums. Members Leslie Jordan and David Leonard avoid theatrical excess to create a mood closer to that of a storefront church than a concert hall. The duo’s bittersweet, earnest vocals blend effortlessly as they offer tunes rooted in American folk and country traditions. Opening with the penitent’s prayer “Brokenness Aside,” Live slowly builds as it praises the Lord’s majesty (“Hear the Sound”) and offers expressions of spiritual need (“Reason to Sing”). Musically, AS&D veer from galvanizing Mumford & Sons–like numbers (“Oh How I Need You”) to yearning pop hymns (“My God My King”) and sweet acoustic balladry (“Called Me Higher”) while the crowd joins in as the Spirit moves them. “All the Poor and Powerless” is a particularly moving expression of reverence, accented with gospel piano and keening steel guitar. Taken together, the spiritual humility and plainspoken musical grace heard on Live make it a worship project of unusual honesty and power.