Sometimes an artist just needs a change of pace. Derek Webb, who for many years performed before huge crowds as a member of Caedmon’s Call, now opts for more intimate shows as a solo artist. This inspired the Texas native to do a “house” tour in 2004 in which fans piled into homes for a community-style performance. Webb, who’s signed to INO Records, captured this magic on his live The House Show CD which he released independently. He admits the close-knit settings often spurred stressful moments, and not just from raided refrigerators and overflowing toilets.

“I didn’t have a PA, so sometimes it ended up breaking loose,” says the singer. “One night during the Q&A time, a guy stood up and tried to take over with some pretty crazy beliefs. It was difficult to pull it back together, but I said, ?You and I can talk about this after the show, but this is not your moment to try and convince everyone.'”

On that particular night, the outspoken attendee steered a discussion about honesty into a monologue about perfection. He said he hadn’t committed any sins in x number of years and quoted “bizarre scriptures” for about eight minutes. The man (who’s apparently not married if he still thinks he’s perfect) finally had to be cut off.

“I said, ?Man, if you say you haven’t sinned, I’ll do my best to believe you, but I’m not going to let you tell everyone in this room that they aren’t believers,'” recalls Webb. “We ended up having a good conversation in the front yard, but he was belligerent about being right.”

Webb gave the man an extended one-on-one conversation, whereas most artists would rather let their tour managers beat the man’s head with a hardbound Concordance. In essence, this epitomizes the singer’s personal touch that comes through both in concert and on his albums, most notably with his latest, Mockingbird.

The new studio album, which released December 26, is his third for INO, coming on the heels of 2003’s She Must and Shall Go Free and 2004’s I See Things Upside Down.

Mockingbird gets very personal as Webb skillfully reevaluates many commonly held beliefs while challenging the listener to consider new ideas about morality.

“I think Derek has delivered his best record to date,” says Jeff Moseley, president of INO Records. “I am a huge fan of the way he challenges our suppositions and makes us take a new look at the cultural trappings of Christianity. Mockingbird is a watershed recording that will raise eyebrows and evoke passionate conversation. I am proud to work with an artist that does not shy away from examining the ?sacred cows’ through the lens of Jesus’ teachings.”

Copyright © 2005 CCM Magazine, Used by Permission

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