Shane Ladean Beeson feels the need to create.
The 38-year-old Sequim associate and worship pastor at Kings Way Sequim plays music for a living and helps others explore their faith through it.
But Beeson took a break from recording for about 11 years, until 2018.
“I realized how much rougher life was without making my own music,” he said.
Following an early life surrounded by a strong family and church upbringing, Beeson began writing music as a boy and hasn’t stopped despite real world stuff like his family and career taking up more of his time.
“There’s a real purpose in writing and making my own music even though it’s extremely hard work and time-consuming,” Beeson said.
“There’s a purpose that brings a level of fulfillment to me that makes the healthiest me.”
Last year, he released the eight-track worship album “Closer Still” and just released his latest extended play (EP) “Rise Above” on streaming and music download websites.
He hosts a free show for “Rise Above” at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at Kings Way Sequim, 1023 Kitchen-Dick Road. There he’ll be joined by David Isaac Rivers, and Isaac and Kristi Godwin playing original worship music with words on screen for people to sing along.
Beeson describes his latest album as an acoustic pop rock worship album with an indie flare.
Two of the songs, including the title track, grew from a tough time. In 2018 and part of 2019, Beeson said, he was struggling, stressed and on a verge of a nervous breakdown. But he learned that many people in his church community were struggling, too.
He recorded a demo of the song “Rise Above” and shared it with friends as encouragement.
“’Maybe this will help,’” Beeson told them.
“I wasn’t planning on recording it,” he said. “but I realized that people were listening to it and finding a lot of healing.”
He later asked if they were comfortable with him recording it, and that song grew into the title track.
While recording, Beeson included a spontaneous slam poetry rap because he had a specific flashback of a dreary moment laying on the floor in the dark.
“I saw how God was faithful to pull me out of the pit,” he said.
For the Nov. 8 show, Beeson plans to share more stories of inspiration for his songs.
Leaving on a jet plane
Faith was always around Beeson growing up in Southern California. He grew up in a Christian home and a thriving church environment, he said.
Being around the Calvary and Vineyard movements, music and arts were a big part of his life too.
Playing music became a part of his routine at age 9 when his grandpa Jerry gave him a guitar.
“He gave me incentives, if I’d learn these three chords, he’d give me my next piece of gear,” Beeson said.
The first song he learned to play was “Leaving on a Jet Plane” by John Denver. The chords came first followed by the lyrics and music together.
“It was difficult to learn to sing and play at the same time … That got my brain and coordination going in that realm,” he said.
“At first I learned to play, and playing and singing came later. I had more of a desire to play than to sing. I didn’t think about it until a little later in life.”
In junior high, a youth pastor asked him to play some songs for his youth group, which Beeson said propelled him into a mindset for music ministry.
Eventually, that turned into a full band of junior high players — Reason to Believe — playing and writing their own songs.
“I guess we became pretty good for what we did,” he said.
By 15, the band began touring and playing youth events across California.
New wave of punk
The mid- to late 1990s were a blossoming time for up-and-coming rock and punk bands in Southern California, Beeson said.
“There were a bunch in the Christian and secular music scene that were becoming well known that were friends of ours (like P.O.D., O.C. Supertones and Project 86).
Reason to Believe began garnering record label attention, Beeson said, which led to a meeting between the band members and their families to determine if they wanted to go forward. Initially it was a go, but it fell apart after a few days, he said.
Shortly thereafter, Beeson learned his parents were transferring to Colorado for work.
“I was pretty broken-hearted,” he said. “I was playing with all the bands I looked up to, and you want to be on the same label.”
Beeson moved to Colorado too, and found himself in a culture shock.
“No one even listened to the same music as me,” he said.
After the move, Beeson went back and forth between Colorado and Southern California but eventually found himself questioning his faith.
“I feel like I was running from God for a few years based on the hurt I experienced feeling like my dreams had been removed,” he said.
“I had experienced that let down from the music thing. There was, in my running, a major disruption where God made himself present and known. In that experience, I knew I was on the wrong path and I needed to quickly course-correct.”
Beeson said from that point he knew music was a huge connector for him and he began seeking God and his faith again.
He connected with City on the Hill, a church in Boulder, Colo., and began volunteering with its worship team and in the youth group. That connection led to forming another band, Seven Stars, with some musical hopefuls in the youth group.
“Those guys were headed on the same trajectory as me: they wanted to do the rock star thing,” he said.
Beeson offered to make music with them to avoid pitfalls he experienced. The group made a record and toured Colorado and elsewhere.
The group disbanded following graduations, but Beeson saw it as a successful discipleship project.
While working with the church Beeson met his wife Elisa, and the pair married in 2005.
Around this time, he pursued more worship song writing and recording leading to his first release “Shane Ladean — Worship for a Revolution” in 2006. Some of the Seven Stars band members helped play on the album.
Beeson said he didn’t know where his initial songs fit prior to recording, whether in a band or church, until he realized when others heard his songs that it felt like a vehicle for worshiping God to him.
“At the time, it didn’t sounds like other worship music out there,” he said. “I feel like I had some different tools to bring into the worship environment.”
The tune “Worship for a Revolution” brought in a lot of people who wouldn’t normally listen to worship music, Beeson said.
“That really drove my passion,” he said. “There’s an audience of people who don’t listen to worship music … When I gave my life back to the Lord, ultimately I knew music was a calling and it was really up to me how I’d steward what I’d do with that.”
Beeson followed his first release with “Shane Ladean Band — Only Hope” before taking the 11-year gap.
In January 2014, between his second and third release, he and his wife moved to Sequim. It’s a town they’d vacationed for years.
“Our hearts were just really drawn to (the area),” he said.
“Every year we came, we just said we wish we could come live out here.”
Now Beeson leads music on Sundays at Kings Way Sequim and continues to help worship team members in his church and others. Look for his music to stream or download on all major music sites.
Reach Matthew Nash at email@example.com.