The Gun Show
Making up for a three-year absence, Heath McNease serves up an extra helping of his word-slinging prowess on The Gun Show. This two-disc project — released at the same time as the more pop-oriented Shine On — taps into the Christian singer/songwriter’s deep reserve of freewheeling wit and relentless hip-hop beats. With the assistance of Playdough, the title tune flows with slick horn licks and self-mocking commentary. The guitar-powered “Space Cowboy” (offering a tip of the Stetson to Steve Miller) gets added heft from Red Umbrella’s production input. McNease slips into a skanking groove for “Everything Goes” and moves with a sweet folk shuffle on “I Will Live.” “Thank You” takes a wry look at romantic failure, veering into Jack Johnson/Mason Jennings territory. Amidst all the playful moments, The Gun Show offers such serous testimonies as “Makeshift Doxology,” an addict’s prayer for redemption. McNease’s light, supple voice and razor-sharp rapping style complement one another nicely.