Even with twelve years as a successful Christian music artist under his belt, Aaron Shust takes on new territory with his latest project: his first live album. Shust's new record for Centricity Music, Love Made A Way, is scheduled for release March 10. Working with producer Nathan Nockels (Matt Redmond, Chris Tomlin), Shust delivers both familiar worship anthems and powerful new songs in the 11-song collection. This includes Shust's latest single "You Redeem," which is currently top 40 at Christian Radio and rising. The single garnered 12 out of the box adds from WRBS Baltimore, MD , KLJY St. Louis, MO, SOS Network, Fish Portland, OR, Word FM Network, WCLN Fayetteville, NC, WHPZ South Bend, IN, KCVO Columbia, MO, WJTL Lancaster, PA, WCHR Hagerstown, MD, WLJN Traverse City, MI, and KYCC Stockton, CA. The song's performance video gives an early sample of what Shust's record showcases-- his special ability to engage others in genuine, meaningful worship. This spirit of worship is the heart of the recording and Shust's passion.
"I've always said that in a concert setting I want people to worship, so to have people singing along on the album is pretty magnificent," Shust says. "When I invited people to be a part of this live album recording, I wanted to make sure they wanted to worship. I didn't just want them to be spectators. I wanted them to be desirous of entering into the presence of God, raising their hands and closing their eyes if they wanted to, and that's how the night was. It was a genuine experience of worship."
For Love Made A Way, Shust features vocalists such as Matt Hammitt, Christy Nockels, Grayson|Reed's Molly Reed and For All Season's Emily Hamilton on the album. Listeners will recognize classic praise songs such as "Ever Be," "Cornerstone" and Shust's career staple "My Savior My God," but they'll hear them performed like never before-- an intentional decision from Shust.
"This was a chance to take some of the songs we play live every night and freshen up the recordings," he says. "But I also wanted to write new songs and offer new thoughts, new praises and new worship."
These new songs came from Shust's inspiration to write bold music celebrating the Lord and proclaiming His strength. This is seen in the declaration of God's power to turn trials into blessings in "You Redeem," as well as the humble trust of God's promise to guide in "Lead On (King Eternal)." All of the songs reflect Shust's desire to lead worship for a worthy, unfailing God. While this radiates throughout all the music of the singer-songwriter's decade-long career, Love Made A Way delivers the message in a captivating way that will connect with listeners from start to finish. For Shust, it's been a challenging adventure worth pursuing.
"Hitting the 10-year mark, it felt like a new season," Shust says of deciding to take the plunge and create the live album. "We had a guest speaker recently at our church talk about how God is a God of celebration. God wanted to make sure His people were able to remember and celebrate their past. I felt that after 10 years, it was time to celebrate."
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Powerful, Heartfelt Live Worship| Posted March 06, 2017
For over a decade now, fans have seen Aaron Shust thrive as each new release showcased his ever-developing songwriting, craftsmanship and passionate heart for worship. Now a successful mainstay in the worship genre with several hit songs that have become staples for the church, it seems hard to believe that Aaron's latest album marks new territory for the seasoned artist.
His seventh studio album, Love Made A Way, is the singer's first live project. Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee last fall, the record features both brand new material and familiar favorites reinvented in the live setting. Featuring guest vocals from the likes of former Sanctus Real frontman Matt Hammitt, Grayson|Reed's Molly Reed, Christy Nockels and more, Aaron didn't want the night of recording to be just a concert or performance. He wanted a crowd gathering together for a genuine, heartfelt worship experience. In the beginning of what feels like a new season for Shust, the album celebrates the faithfulness of our God, with declarations of His goodness and strength radiating through each track.
Energetic new tune "Heartbeat" opens the album by capturing listeners in a time of praise in response to all He is to us: "You are my every heartbeat, every breath that I breathe / You're all I need." Hearing the live audience sing along makes the moment even more powerful as it leads into one of Aaron's most impactful songs, "My Hope Is In You." The signature piano riff begins the encouraging message of finding peace while waiting on the Lord as, once again, hearing the crowd sing along adds something special to the familiar song.
Another new upbeat anthem, "Belong" is just one example of Aaron's remarkable ability to lead crowds in meaningful moments of worship. The first single from the album, "You Redeem," follows with its vivid lyrical pictures of redemption and powerful message of restoration still to come: "You redeem / You restore what's been stolen from me / You reclaim / You release / You rebuild with the words that You breathe." Truly the highlight of Love Made A Way, this hopeful track puts Aaron's compelling songwriting at the forefront as lines of bold faith and Scriptural promises encourage the listener's heart.
Pulling out a few already-adored worship gems, Aaron's versions of Bethel Music's "Ever Be," Elevation Worship's "Resurrecting" and well-known "Cornerstone" prove to be significant moments that focus the attention solely on Christ and His unchanging character. More of his signature pieces, "God Of Brilliant Lights" and "My Savior My God" (the biggest song of Aaron's career and a major success in the CCM realm), have made a deep impact in their original form, but even more so here with the background of a live audience singing along with every faith-filled word.
Eloquently written "Death Was Arrested" is yet another bold track that is sure to draw congregations into a moving time of reflection and praise. Closing out the album, "Lead On (King Eternal)" is a lively longing for Christ to guide us: "You go before us / lead on, King Eternal / lead on, we will follow."
The Bottom Line: At the very core of his artistry, Aaron Shust's heart is inviting people into a life-changing meeting with God through worship. With each song displaying the exceptional writing that pulls Biblical truths and transforms them into comforting anthems, Love Made A Way is Aaron Shust at his best as the live environment suits him better than any studio ever could. His heart and passion for genuine worship is tangible in every track as the live "choir" backing the whole album only adds to the power in the songs. The perfect combination of new introduced and old reimagined, it's impossible to hear Love Made A Way and not walk away encouraged by the Spirit of God that lives within these recordings.
Song To Download Now:
"You Redeem" (Get it on iTunes here.)