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JFH Music News

JFH Music News Archive

January, 2007



*Wednesday, January 31st, 2007*


Geoff Moore
Rocketown Records recently announced the signing of longtime Christian recording artist Geoff Moore—his first CD with the label, Speak to Me, is due to release April 3. With 16 albums to his credit in a 22-year career, acoustic roots songwriter Moore brings an impressive creative legacy and an authentic passion to speak through his music for the least of these. Moore says, “I believe this is what God has called me to do as my life’s work: to write and record songs that make Him known, and then travel and sing those songs, using the platform that they create to be a voice for the poor and oppressed who have no voice… I pray people will always find me doing what has sustained me these last 20 years: Loving God, loving my children and especially their mom, and taking advantage of every opportunity to make Jesus known.” Rocketown President Don Donahue said, “In addition to just being a great guy we love and respect, Geoff as an artist defies demographics. His music and message capture the imagination of listeners because he writes and sings from experience, and his songs have a timelessness that transcends trends. Geoff is also a very active spokesperson for Compassion, a ministry that strikes at the heart of who we are as well, and we see Geoff’s platform to sponsor children as another great reason to partner with him as he continues to speak up for the poor around the globe.” Co-produced by Moore and Dwayne Larring (By the Tree), Speak to Me recalls Moore’s earliest days as a singer/songwriter, melding timely lyrics with rootsy melodies to create tracks in the vein of Bruce Springsteen or Bob Seeger. The album’s first single, “When I Get Where I’m Going,” goes for adds at AC and INSP radio Feb. 23. Originally, a huge country radio hit for Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton, the Rivers Rutherford and George G. Geren III-penned song is now featured as a duet between Moore and Watermark’s Christy Nockels. Other tracks from the album include “Your Day,” “Captured,” “That’s What Love Will Do” and the title track, a reminder that God speaks to His children through a variety of means, especially the poor and needy of this world. Moore has experienced this first-hand via his work with Compassion International and his family’s adoption of two girls from China, Anna Grace and Ashley Rose. On the touring front, Moore is scheduled to join Mark Harris March through May for the “Every Single One” tour, a nod to Moore’s song of the same name that emphasizes the Christian’s call to care for the poor. The tour is sponsored by Compassion, which Moore has been a spokesperson for his entire career, accumulating more than 15,000 child sponsorships. In addition, Moore will be doing his own solo dates throughout the spring and summer before his Aug. 9 appearance at the Kingdom Bound festival for the 20th anniversary reunion concert of his former band, Geoff Moore and the Distance. For more information and updated tour dates, visit www.geoffmoore.com or www.rocketownrecords.com. (from Rocketown Records)

Jeremy Riddle
One of the most influential labels in the birth of the modern worship music movement, Vineyard Music, has announced the launch of Varietal Records, an artist-driven label which will provide a new vehicle for Vineyard Artists. The first artist signed to the label, Jeremy Riddle, is set to release his debut project, Full Attention, on March 6 through Word Distribution. The highly anticipated debut follows the unprecedented success of Riddle’s first radio single, “Sweetly Broken,” which was the #6 most-played song of 2006 on AC Christian radio, with over 2.5 million impressions. “The Vineyard church movement has always been fertile ground for powerful congregational worship songs,” said Bob Van Meter, Vineyard Music’s senior vice president and COO. “With Varietal, we now have a way of featuring those gifted people behind the music – humble, talented worship leaders who are faithfully serving their local church.” Adam Mosley, Vineyard and Varietal’s product development manager adds, “This whole thing, for us, is an adventure in discovering God. Whether you're a record label, a church, or an individual, one of your primary purposes is seeing what role God wants you to play.” “The role of Varietal is to blend the best of Vineyard Music's unique tie to the local church with a stable of compelling 'Vineyard Voices' that will bring a fresh new face and sound to the entire Vineyard Music family,” said vice president and chief creative officer, Casey Corum. He continued, “Jeremy Riddle's debut project is a benchmark for what people can expect from Varietal Records. We're very excited to be partnering with Jeremy on this first Varietal release.” Riddle’s broad fan base includes KLOVE Radio Network’s Jon Rivers, who said, “We have been playing Jeremy Riddle’s ‘Sweetly Broken’ in a high rotation for about 40 weeks…need I say more?” KXOJ’s Bob Thornton commented, “For just a handful of artists, you remember exactly where you were the first time you heard them. There was nothing to consider but how quickly you could get the song on the air. That's how I felt about ‘Sweetly Broken,’ and how I feel about the future of Jeremy Riddle.” Full Attention is produced by Bob Hartry and features songs written by Riddle, who is currently serving as a worship leader and junior high pastor at the Anaheim Vineyard Church. The record also features the talents of famed mix engineers Chris Lord Alge (U2, Snow Patrol, Madonna, Prince, Jars of Clay) and Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Bon Jovi, Barenaked Ladies, Switchfoot, Mercy Me). The second single from the project, “Stand In Awe,” is already making an impact at radio. In addition to national radio exposure, marketing plans for Full Attention include inclusion in Word Distribution’s “Spring Semester” retail campaign as well as performances and appearances during 2007’s Gospel Music Week. (from The WMG)

*Tuesday, January 30th, 2007*


The Wedding
The Wedding has announced the official title and release date for their forthcoming sophomore record and debut on Brave New World Records. "Polarity hits stores on April 17th! Get ready for Polarity madness on the myspace with new songs, new look, and lots of promotion for the new record! We're going to need all of your help getting the word out about this album! Keep checkin' back for updates. We love you all, thanks everyone for all of your support!" There ya have it folks. April 17 - mark your calendars. (from MySpace.com/TheWedding; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Our Heart's Hero
Our Heart’s Hero, the newest band to ink a deal with Gotee Records, is poised to unveil their debut on May 22nd. Led by front man and guitarist Nick Joyce, Our Heart’s Hero includes Jason Nattier (guitar), Jeremy McKnight (bass guitar) and Ricky Holbrook (drums). The self-titled debut effort hails 11 songs of heartfelt, soaring pop-rock, all penned by Joyce, and feature producer Brent Milligan (Audio Adrenaline, ZOEgirl, Rebecca St. James) at the helm. Sonically, Our Heart’s Hero is being likened to Switchfoot, Sanctus Real, Jimmy Eat World, and Delirious. "Gotee is thrilled to have Our Heart's Hero as the newest artist with our team,” said label co-founder, Toby McKeehan. “We love the music and the hearts of this band. Not only is their music top notch, but these are guys who pour their lives into the kids they play for and walk through whatever life brings to them with grace and wisdom. I can't wait for people to meet this band." Our Heart’s Hero has spent the last couple years touring extensively with over 150 dates a year nationwide. The band has amassed a grassroots following and racked up over 20,000 friends on myspace.com, as well as selling 20,000 copies of their independent album. Major tour plans are underway for Our Heart’s Hero and The Afters to hit 20 cities this March. The first radio single “Back To The Cross” is currently going for adds at AC and CHR radio. For more information on Our Heart’s Hero, check out www.gotee.com or their official artist website at www.ourheartshero.com as well as www.myspace.com/ourheartshero (from LB PR)

The Almost
After wrapping a successful January headlining trek, The Almost--the brainchild of Underoath drummer/vocalist Aaron Gillespie-- have announced they’ll release their debut album Southern Weather April 3 through a first-ever joint venture with Tooth & Nail and Virgin Records. Meanwhile, the group recently shot a video in Southern California for their first single “Say This Sooner,” helmed by Shane Drake (Panic At The Disco, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus). The Almost scored the #1 most-played ranking on PureVolume some four-plus months in advance of Southern Weather’s April 3 release. The first week “Say This Sooner” was up, it received over 100,000 combined plays on PureVolume and MySpace. Currently, the combined plays for The Almost have already reached over 1.5 million. Gillespie--who sings and performs virtually every note and instrument on his solo debut--teamed with acclaimed producer Aaron Sprinkle for Southern Weather, and while the two had never met, Aaron was a big fan of Sprinkle’s work with Pedro The Lion. “Aaron is an incredibly talented producer,” says Gillespie. “And it turns out we have a lot in common. He wears a lot of hats and plays every instrument. He’s able to open up your eyes and make you think about things you can do on an album that maybe you didn’t think about.” While some artists might find themselves overwhelmed by the prospect of working as a solo artist, Aaron says he was motivated by the experience. “I’m used to working in a band environment,” he admits. “So that was a shift. But when I hit my stride, I could just go for things. I didn’t have to explain what I was looking for to someone else or over-think anything.” Gillespie plays from the heart on Southern Weather. Throughout the album Aaron incorporates pieces of his youth. “I grew up in the Deep South,” he says. “Like anyone, I’ve had struggles along the way. But I am very much informed by Southern values and I think the songs speak to that.” The album kicks off with the attention-grabbing, percussion-driven anthem “Say This Sooner” which is set to impact radio February 14. “It’s about dealing with misunderstood intentions,” says Gillespie. “And the frustration of being judged on someone else’s misconceived perceptions.” Other album highlights include the alt-country inspired “Dirty And Left Out,” which features a guest vocal collaboration with Sunny Day Real Estate singer Jeremy Enigk; the inventive Thursday-meets-Oasis vibe of “Everyone Here Smells Like A Rat;” and the breathtaking, undying roar of “I Mostly Copy Other People,” which benefits from the bass and guest vocal work of The Starting Line’s Kenny Vasoli. The Almost will head out for a West Coast tour beginning in mid-April, to be followed by an East Coast trek in early May. Expect dates and venues to be announced soon. Later this summer, the group will join the Vans Warped Tour for select dates. On the road, Gillespie leads The Almost on vocals and guitar and is joined by: Jay Vilardi (guitar), Nick D’Amico (guitar), Alex Aponte (bass) and Kenny Bozich (drums). (from MSO PR)

Matt Brouwer
TAG Artist Group has announced the signing of former Reunion Records artist Matt Brouwer to a long-term distribution agreement. Brouwer’s latest release, The B-Sides Recording Vol.1, will be in stores April 3rd. Brouwer first hit the Christian music scene with his Reunion Records release Imagerical, which garnered national attention with two Top 10 radio singles, two Vibe Awards and a Juno Award nomination. Imagerical was followed by the independent release Unlearning, which produced two well-received CHR singles. With the release of The B-Sides Recording Vol. 1, Brouwer further explores his unique brand of soul-searching Americana and confessional folk/rock. The CD features brand new recordings and previously unreleased music spanning his career from college to present day. Included on the disc are the hit single “Father I Adore You” and the radio mix of “Surrender.” “We are excited to have Matt Brouwer as a part of our TAG family,” says Dan Huisinga, President of TAG Artist Group. “Americana is a growing music genre and Matt’s true and worshipful lyrics have already generated success at Christian radio and we expect continued success at retail.” The B-Sides Recording Vol. 1 will be supported by a national radio, publicity and marketing campaign, as well as extensive touring throughout North America. TAG Artist Group, LLC in Nashville, Tennessee is home to Bryan Duncan, Phil Keaggy, Dino, Clay Crosse, John Cox, Matt Earle, Sean Smith, Bruce Carroll, Randy Stonehill, JJ Heller, Ceili Rain, Janelle, Kim Dexter, Jerimae Yoder, Kent Bottenfield, Sarah Gaines, Leon Patillo, Chuckie Perez, Steve Archer, J-Roc, Greg Troyer and more. (from Nashville Publicity)

NewSong
Congratulations to Drew and Lori Cline welcome baby daughter, Daisy Joy, born Thursday, January 25th, weighing 8lbs, 1oz and measuring 21 inches. Drew is lead singer for Dove Award winning, GRAMMY nominated group NewSong and a worship artist with a solo project releasing this Summer. Lori, former Director of National Promotions for Word Label Group, recently started her own independent promotions company, Brighter Promotions. The new parents are ecstatic about their little addition. (from Springboard Entertainment)

*Sunday, January 28th, 2007*


JFH
CBN.com's Belinda Elliott recently chose the devotional books that will best aid Christians in getting a fresh start in 2007 for an article titled "Get Closer to God This Year." The article selected a few highlight books before breaking down specific selections for Couples, Moms, Teens, Men, Women, and Dads. For the Dad choices, Elliot chose Jesusfreakhideout.com's own devotional author J.M. Farro and her latest book "Life on the Go Devotional for Dads: Inspiration from God for Busy Lifestyles," stating that "These devotionals pack a quick punch of power in readers' busy lives." You can check out Farro's devotionals here at Jesusfreakhideout.com by visiting our Devotionals section. To get your copy of "Life on the Go Devotional for Dads," visit the JFH Merch Store! To read Belinda Elliott's article, visit CBN.com. (from CBN; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

*Saturday, January 27th, 2007*


Project 86
We're excited to announce that Project 86 has a release date for their forthcoming sixth studio album. The still untitled record is being projected for a June 5th release on Tooth & Nail Records. "We have tons and tons of new songs (approaching 30) and we are working all day, every day on more," the band announced last night in a blog. "We are having a great time coming up with material I am sure will please. We have added some Summer dates with more on the way, with Spring dates coming, as well as a national tour for May/June. Please check back often as journal entries, podcast, dates, and teaser clips of material are soon to come! We enter the studio February 13 to begin recording the new album with Producer Ulrich Wild (Deftones, Bleeding Through)!" The day before Valentine's Day? Appropriate. Vocalist Andrew Schwab went into further detail about the latest writing process... "I have been told by those close to me that I am 'bordering on obsession' and 'beginning to scare them' at social functions because I am always humming melodies and and mentallly rewriting material at times sort of forgetting the people that are standing right in front me talking to me. The process lately has also included waking up in the middle of the night with song ideas running through my head, and being unable to go back to sleep until I record them (on anything I can get my hands on), I grab my cell phone, my computer, or anything else that will record such as an answering machine. I have loads of unused material as recorded ringtones on my phone, from driving when inspiration strikes and having nowhere else to record it. Obsession can be rewarding when it's so much fun." Oh yes! Um... may we follow? (from MySpace.com/Project86; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Rush Of Fools
Band With a Mission helped skyrocket the career of premiere new band Rush of Fools after winning last year's talent competition. The band recently signed a major record label deal with Midas Records based in Nashville, TN. The self-titled debut studio project will be released into the CBA marketplace in May through EMI CMG. Following on the heels of last year's success, Band With a Mission plans to add two additional breakthrough services this year. Booking Pro will be the largest subscription-based online database of Christian and secular venues across North America. The company is also launching a new spiritual service in collaboration with former Newsboy's bassist Phil Joel. The service will feature Joel's Deliberate People resources in an effort to create a powerful spiritual community designed to feed the minds of today's independent and signed Christian artist community. "Band With a Mission will always be about finding great unsigned talent, but we have a real burden to provide every artist that comes to our site with a solid spiritual foundation, especially as they are approaching a national platform," says Chris McConnell, part owner and Promotions Director for Band With a Mission. The CCM industry is rallying behind Band With a Mission in an effort to provide artists with a way to get valuable exposure and spiritual insight. Leading companies Fervent Records (Barlow Girl, Big Daddy Weave, By The Tree), TVU and RadioU, musichristian.com, AirPlay Direct, Indie Community, Food for the Hungry, Infinite Drops, The Management Agency and 316Muzik have joined forces with Band With a Mission to seek out and empower today's independent Christian music community. "What we are essentially doing is helping artists define their mission and achieve their career goals. We never tell an artist that they are not good enough; instead we help them get from Point A to Point B, and that is a message that the industry clearly supports," says McConnell. Band With a Mission was created in 2005 as a resource for independent artists to harness their gifts and develop effective ministry tools. "We had an amazing turn out for the first year," says Austin Cook, President of Indevo Records. "I was really excited whenever I first heard Rush of Fools, you could really tell that Wes had a passion and believed in what he was singing about." Band With a Mission benefits bands and solo artists alike by allowing them to showcase in front of decision makers in the Christian music industry. For interview opportunities please contact: Chris McConnell / Band With a Mission / 3800 South 48th Street / Lincoln, NE 68506 / chris@bandwithamission.com
(from Band With a Mission)

*Friday, January 26th, 2007*


JoC
Jars Of Clay fans and guitar collectors alike will be interested to know that acclaimed Jars guitarist Steve Mason is selling a couple of his own instruments on eBay. A portion of the proceeds from the auction winnings will go to the band's ministry Blood:Water Mission to help support clean blood and clean water solutions in Africa. The first auction is for Mason's Gibson Epiphone 335 DOT, which he played on the first tour supporting the new album Good Monsters. The second is a Taylor Acoustic, which was Steve's first Taylor guitar, which he'd been a proud owner of since 1995. It's a wide-ranged acoustic that he used in the studio on every record that Jars of Clay has done, and it's been a faithful road warrior on tour -- a must-have for diehard Jars fans (*notice the live photo of Steve from our Autumn Blaze '05 review)! (from Jars Of Clay; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Casting Crowns
Casting Crowns, one of Christian music’s top-selling artists, recently celebrated the RIAA Gold certification of its DVD/CD project Lifesong Live (10/3/2006). This marks the group’s fourth project to receive RIAA honors including its RIAA Platinum self-titled debut, the RIAA Platinum DVD Live From Atlanta and its Gold-certified sophomore album Lifesong. Lifesong Live debuted No.1 on the Nielsen SoundScan Top Christian Music Videos chart and at No. 5 on the overall Top Music Videos chart. The two-disc set features live performances and in-depth, behind-the-scenes footage shot during Casting Crowns’ “Lifesong Tour” which tallied more than 357,000 fans in attendance, 43,000 salvation responses, and ranked as one of the top 100 tours in the country according to Pollstar Magazine (06/2006). The DVD also showcases the band’s latest music video, “Does Anybody Hear Her.” The success of Lifesong Live underscores the continuous impact the band has had over its past three-year career. The band won its first GRAMMY for its sophomore studio album Lifesong, and was named Group of the Year for the second consecutive year at the 37th Annual Gospel Music Awards. Casting Crowns has been the most played artist on all Christian radio formats combined with six No.1 radio hits, and the group has sold more than 2.3 million albums to date. Lead singer and songwriter Mark Hall has been a student pastor for 15 years and currently serves on staff at Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in Atlanta. (from Provident Label Group)

Nichole Nordeman
Roll out the red carpet for Nichole Nordeman. The award-winning singer/songwriter’s music is connected with two major new films. Nichole, who has twice won the Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year, sings a gripping version of the classic hymn “Just As I Am” on Music Inspired By The Motion Picture Amazing Grace. The multi-artist soundtrack is in stores now, and the movie will hit theaters in February. Elsewhere, you can hear the title track from Nordeman’s latest studio album, Brave, playing over the trailer for the current Jennifer Garner flick called Catch & Release. And speaking of catchy new releases, Recollection: The Best Of Nichole Nordeman becomes available nationwide on March 6, compiling fifteen hits and two exclusive new songs, “Sunrise” and “Finally Free.” (from Sparrow Records)

Rush Of Fools
Premiere new band, Rush Of Fools recently signed a major record label deal with Nashville, TN based Midas Records and has plans to release their debut studio project this spring into the CBA marketplace through EMI CMG Distribution. In addition, the Birmingham, AL based group has signed a management deal with Patton House Entertainment, headed by 17 year Christian music veteran Andrew Patton, a former major record label department head for a number of the CCM music industry’s top labels and the recent recipient of the Radio and Records Promotion Executive of the Year award. Rush Of Fools rounds out its A-list CCM industry team with the signing of a concert booking deal with Greg Oliver Agency (BarlowGirl, Mark Schultz, Big Daddy Weave, Todd Agnew), in support of their much anticipated May 8, 2007 debut, self-titled release. "I speak for everyone at Midas Records when I say that we are so blessed to have Rush Of Fools as an addition to our roster,” says Brad Allen, head of A&R for Midas Records. “We are confident that their music and message will resonate with a new generation of worshipers for many years to come and we are thrilled to play a part in their beginning.” Top level music producers Matt Bronleewe (Jars of Clay, Michael W. Smith, Plumb, Rebecca St. James, Leeland), Jason Ingram (Bebo Norman, Gray Holiday and front man of CCM band The Longing) and Scott Davis (Jessie Daniels) have joined forces with Rush Of Fools to create a unique, progressive worship sound that’s both relatable and honest. “I just feel that Christ has led us to say things in their purest form,” says front man Wes Willis. “Our songs tell how it is.” With Wes Willis and band founder Kevin Huguley (acoustic/electric guitars and background vocals) co-writing most of the songs on the record, Kevin says that, “When I write songs, my main goal is to show my countless weaknesses. There is no doubt in my mind that we have been assigned this mission by God to spread the true Gospel back into our Christian culture. I hope for people to see less of me and more of Christ, in our songwriting, at our concerts and through our lives." Formed in 2005, Rush Of Fools’ name was inspired by 1st Corinthians 1:25-27 which says, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” Band With A Mission, a resource for independent Christian artists to harness their gifts and develop effective ministry tools, chose Rush Of Fools as their 2006 winners. "We had an amazing turn out for the first year," says Austin Cook, creator of Band With A Mission and President of Indevo Records. "I was really excited whenever I first heard Rush Of Fools, you could really tell that Wes had a passion and believed in what he was singing about." The yearly event, created in 2005, benefits bands and solo artists alike by allowing them to showcase in front of decision makers in the Christian music industry and assists participants with booking and promotional resources. In support of the band’s May 8 release, Rush Of Fools completed a highly successful, 2 week radio promotion tour in December 2006 and has already seen unprecedented chart action with the release of their debut single, “Undo,” with numerous adds well before its official add date. The band will embark on the “World On Fire” tour, a major market concert tour in the spring of 2007 with By The Tree and The Turning into 10-12 cities and perform at Alive Festival in Canal Fulton, OH June 20-23 along with Switchfoot, Chris Tomlin, Leeland, David Crowder Band and Toby Mac. Spring tour dates and cities to be announced in the coming weeks. “We are excited about the music & ministry of Rush of Fools, and are honored to be a part of their team. I think this band has the ability to have real staying power for many years to come.” Stated Greg Oliver, president, Greg Oliver Agency. “We are looking forward to working with the team of Midas Records & Patton House Entertainment to build the career & ministry of Rush of Fools.” Rush Of Fools consists of Wes Willis (lead vocals and electric guitar), Kevin Huguley (acoustic/electric guitars and background vocals), Jacob Chestnut (bass) and Jamie Sharpe (drums). For more information, visit http://www.myspace.com/rushoffools (from L.A.B Media)

*Thursday, January 25th, 2007*


Creation Festival
Creation Festivals announces the official line-up for its 29th Annual Northeast and Northwest events. Tickets are available now through iTickets.com. The largest outdoor Christian music and teaching festival of its kind, Creation Northeast will be held June 27th – 30th at the Agape Farm in the beautiful mountain ranges of Mount Union, PA., and Creation Northwest will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary at the amazing Gorge Amphitheater in George, WA July 25th –28th. Continuing the tradition of featuring the hottest acts in Christian music, as well as highlighting up-and-coming artists and introducing audiences to the finest speakers across the nation, this year’s main stage line-up includes performances from a diverse array of artists such as Switchfoot, Relient K, Casting Crowns, Newsboys, Third Day, Kutless, Israel and New Breed, Leeland, Barlow Girl, Grits, Bethany Dillon, KJ-52, Thousand Foot Krutch, Sanctus Real, Parachute Band, new artists Aaron Shust and Ayiesha Woods and MSN’s 2006 Artist of the Year, David Crowder Band. Speakers include Ron Luce, Founder of Teen Mania Ministries, Bob Lenz, President of Life Promotions, Duffy Robbins, Margaret Copeland and Celebrate Ministries founders, Jay and Laura Laffoon. The Tooth and Nail Records sponsored “X2007 Fringe Stage” will feature the best the in alternative Christian artists, including Emery, Flyleaf, Family Force 5, Project 86, Hawk Nelson, John Reuben, Pillar, Superchick, MOC, Fireflight, Mainstay and Seventh Day Slumber, whose lead singer, Joseph Rojas, will also share his testimony with the crowd. Reggie Dabbs, Mark Matlock and Zoro will also be speaking from this stage. "For nearly three decades the Creation Festivals have gathered believers from all over the world,” says Pastor Harry Thomas, festival co-founder. “Our prayer for CREATION ’07 is that people will be changed, restored, and challenged to serve the Lord and make a difference in this world. You are invited to come and experience what could easily be the highlight of your summer and maybe your life!" An important focus for the Festival is worship and this summer is no different. Creation Northeast will partner with WorshipTogether.com while Creation Northwest will see a partnership with Christian Musician Magazine for the Creation Worships Tent. Both festivals will offer a training conference for worship leaders, musicians and writers each afternoon. With distinct seminar classes ranging from songwriting to hands-on training for bands, worship leaders and musicians will have a rare opportunity to come together for teaching and fellowship. A new addition to Creation 2007 is the 1st Annual Generator Stage. Taking a fresh, unplugged approach, this stage will be off the beaten path and will feature local and regional talent. The late night Creation Café is always a popular part of the event. This year’s performers include a Comedy Night with Darren Streblow, Blues Night with Jimmie Bratcher and the 2nd Annual Indiescovery Ultimate Battle of the Bands, where the winner has the opportunity to open Saturday’s Fringe Stage and record a demo for a major Christian Record label. “The Creation Festival has the ability to provide a great platform for independent artists to show off their talent and we are committed to offering them an opportunity to do so,” explains Nick Kulb, vp of marketing and sales for the Festival. “We are pleased to be working alongside hearitfirst.com for the second year for the Ultimate Battle of the Bands competition and are excited to be kicking off the Generator Stage, where growing artists can showcase their talents.” To enter your band for the Indiescovery Ultimate Battle of the Bands, please go to www.hearitfirst.com/indiescovery. Additional information about the opportunity to perform on the Generator Stage will be posted soon on the Creation Festival website, www.creationfest.com. (from Springboard Entertainment)

Polarboy
Former Rustproof Records rock band Polarboy has returned from a long break from music. The band is teaming with producer Bill Campbell who worked with them on their 1998 record Back From Nowhere. The group's last release was in 2000, entitled 4008. With a sound that capitalizes on the maximum potential of guitars, bass and a solid set of drumsticks, listening to a Polarboy CD is like enrolling in a course in the fundamentals of rock-n-roll. Unfazed by musical fads, Polarboy uses a "less is more" approach to musicianship. Instead of focusing on what's trendy, they use what works for them: a combination of clever musical pacing and thoughtful vocal inflection for a sound reminiscent of old school U2, REM and Tom Petty fused with the modern sounds of Coldplay, Matchbox 20 and the Wallflowers. (from MySpace.com/OfficialPolarboy; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Jessie Daniels
EMI CMG Distribution and Midas Records have agreed to a long-term distribution agreement. The new agreement calls for EMI CMG Distribution to have exclusive worldwide rights to the Christian, general market and digital retail distribution of Midas Records’, Christian music artists and products, including the label’s debut Christian artist Jessie Daniels (www.jessiedaniels.com) and newly signed band Rush Of Fools (www.rushoffools.com). EMI CMG Distribution assumes the distribution rights from Infinity Music Distribution, a division of Central South Distribution as of January 29, 2007. Navarre, Midas Records Nashville’s current general market distribution partner, will continue to distribute the label’s country artist roster. “Midas Records is an important emerging new music label with a growing roster of creative and relevant artists and we are pleased to partner with them in building their retail presence worldwide,” said Greg Bays, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for EMI CMG Distribution. “Building on the momentum for Jessie Daniels’ forceful debut CD will be an important first quarter priority for our team and Rush of Fools is poised to make a significant impact later in the year.” “We are pleased and uniquely blessed to have EMI CMG partner with us as we look to expand our presence in Christian music,” said Robert Morrison, Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations for Midas Records. “EMI CMG has distinguished itself with its impressive track record in the marketing and distribution of faith-inspired music and we are looking forward to the promising opportunity that lies ahead to work with EMI CMG's experienced sales, marketing and distribution team.” Daniel’s self-titled CD will re-release to Christian retail on February 5. The debut from the 19-year-old native of Long Island, N.Y., has already seen success at radio with her first two singles, “The Noise” and “Everyday” placing Daniels as the No. 10 most played Christian CHR artist in 2006, according to Radio & Records. ChristianityToday.com raved that “pop sensibility, strong sense of melody, unshakable hooks, and Daniels' credible voice make this a noteworthy debut.” Rush Of Fools is slated for a May 8, 2007 street date. The progressive worship band from Birmingham, Alabama won a Band With A Mission contest last year and is now in the studio recording its new CD with producers Jason Ingram (Bebo Norman), Matt Bronleewe (Michael W. Smith, Leeland) and Scott Davis (Jessie Daniels). The first single, “Undo” is already showing strength at radio, climbing to #24 on the R&R AC chart in only its second week of release. About Midas Records: Midas Records, Inc. is a wholly-owned independent label founded by Ron Clapper, a multi-faceted entertainment visionary and entrepreneur. Established in 2001, Midas Records, Inc. is a full service record label whose vision is to provide a platform for the development of long-term career goals for recording artists in the Country and Contemporary Christian genres. For more information, please visit www.midasrecords.com (from Spinhouse PR)

Haste The Day
Indianapolis favorite, Haste The Day is set to release their third album, Pressure The Hinges on March 20th on Solid State Records. Production duties were commanded by acclaimed producer GGGarth (Rage Against The Machine, Chevelle), and the uncompromising and intense Pressure The Hinges builds dramatically upon the success of previous efforts Burning Bridges (2004) and When Everything Falls (2005) which sold over 100,000 copies combined nationwide. Drummer Devin Chaulk offered “Pressure The Hinges is a more diverse and mature record than anything Haste The Day has released to date. It's heavier and yet it's more melodic. It's more brutal and at the same time, more beautiful. We've broadened the spectrum of sound on this record. We took the elements of Haste The Day that people have embraced, which are heaviness and melody, and stepped them up a notch. We've never been so proud and we can't wait to unleash it on our fans, and introduce it to those who haven't heard us before. We're stoked, and we think others will be too.” In addition to the single disc album release, a Deluxe Version of the album will be available, including 3 bonus tracks as well as a bonus DVD disc including 2 live shows, former vocalist Jimmy Ryan’s final performance with the band, 3 past music videos, behind the scenes studio footage and a plethora of bonus materials. The first single released from the album will be the outstanding track “Stitches.” Known for their dynamic, aggressive and fiery live performances, Haste The Day has become absolute road dogs, performing roughly 300 dates a year. Past touring has been executed with everyone from Every Time I Die and Bleeding Through to Strung Out and From First To Last. The band has additionally become favorites on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. Promotion for the release has already kicked into high gear as the band will be hitting the road on tour co-headlining with From Autumn To Ashes starting March 6th in Buffalo, NY. (from Big Machine Media)

Future Of Forestry
Future of Forestry releases their debut project Twilight this week fresh off a tour of the Western States. A four-piece from San Diego, Future of Forestry has put a new twist on the alt-rock formula, which has gained them recent BBC airplay, as well as frequent spins at Gap and CVS stores. To celebrate, the Credential Recordings band will be performing in their hometown this Friday, January 26th at Epicenter. Also appearing will be Charlotte Martin, Writer and Jamesdrive. This tour kicks off a West Coast run with labelmates Dizmas, Edison Glass, and Lost Ocean. Produced by Ken Andrews (Failure, Mae), “Twilight” pushes the boundaries of pop music. Unafraid of ambient instrumental breaks mixed in with their guitar-laden hooks, Future of Forestry have achieved a balance. Balance between loss and gain, fear and faith, hurt and strength. When asked about working with the band, Andrews explains “I’ve become a lot more selective about things I choose to produce lately, having focused more on mixing for the last two years, but when I heard the FoF demos, I couldn’t resist. The song writing is just beautiful and quite varied throughout the album with Eric’s emotive voice and classic song writing sensibilities pulling it all together. “One thing I hate is listening to and working on albums with a lot of filler. I’m proud to say if you like the first song on this album, you’ll like the last one and everything in between. My favorites are “Twilight,” “Thinking of You” and “If You Find Her.” These guys should open for U2.” (from Biscuit PR)

Jars Of Clay has launched a new promo site for their upcoming Spring 2007 Tour with special guests Needtobreathe and two members of Burlap To Cashmere. The site includes exclusive flash games, tour dates, promo banners and links, and a chance to hear the title cut from their latest record Good Monsters. Visit www.nettwerk.com/player/jarsofclay/tour07/ to see if the guys are coming to a town near you... (from Provident Label Group; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

*Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007*


Jeff Deyo
Innovative worship artist Jeff Deyo announces his new partnership with Franklin, Tenn.-based Christian media company Indelible Creative Group. Deyo will release his upcoming worship project, Unveil, via Indelible on May 22. As the voice behind Dove Award-winning group SONICFLOOd’s rendition of worship hits like “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever,” “In the Secret” and “My Refuge,” Deyo has helped invigorate the heart of worship for a whole new generation. In his role as SONICFLOOd’s lead singer, primary songwriter and co-producer, Deyo saw the band’s Gold certified, self-titled debut (1999) and its Grammy nominated follow up, Sonicpraise (2001), reach combined sales of more than one million albums. Deyo followed that success with the release of his debut solo album, Saturate, in early 2002. The critically-acclaimed project garnered him a 2003 Dove Award nomination for New Artist of the Year, while its single “More Love, More Power” landed at No. 1 on R&R’s CHR radio chart. Subsequently, Deyo’s sophomore record, Light (2003), spurred the congregational worship favorite “Bless the Lord” and radio single “As I Lift You Up.” His third solo offering, Surrender (2005), was a live album recorded in New Zealand before 24,000 worshippers. Chris Thomason, president and co-founder of Indelible Creative Group, welcomes Jeff’s talents and enthusiasm. “Jeff Deyo’s music and ministry is a powerful, down-to-earth experience that interprets our need for intimacy, meaning, and our core purpose to be in a worship relationship with God,” he says. “Unveil reveals our need for something greater than ourselves, and Indelible is excited to be a part of bringing this and future products from Jeff's ministry to people around the world.” Unveil, Deyo’s first new studio album in three years, will be available at retail May 22. Produced by Josh Deane, Unveil marks a fresh direction for Deyo and his band, who retain their inspiring, worshipful lyrics while charting new sonic territory. In support of the spring record, Deyo and band will continue playing large youth conferences, festivals and sold-out concerts, including stops in Singapore, Brazil, and Bogota. “I’m really pumped about my new relationship with Indelible Creative Group and Chris Thomason,” comments Deyo. “The heart that they have for ministry is contagious and refreshing. They believe in me, and I believe in them, and we both are focused on impacting this world with the pure love and power of Jesus.” Additional information on Unveil is forthcoming. For more information on Jeff Deyo, visit: www.jeffdeyo.com. (from Savvy Media)

Matt Kearney
The dates are set for Mat Kearney's headlining tour, and the ticket pre-sale starts on Wednesday (tomorrow). As part of the VH1 "You Oughta Know" Tour, Kearney will be taking out special guests The Feeling, and Rocco DeLuca and the Burden. All three artists are part of the "You Oughta Know" breaking artist program, and all three bands will appear on each stop of the tour, with each night capped off by a full headlining set from Kearney and his band. For more information and the latest on Mat, keep an eye on www.myspace.com/matkearney. (from www.MySpace.com/MatKearney; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Chasing Victory
Chasing Victory has posted an update on their upcoming new release, Fiends, "We finished mixing our record last week, now on to the mastering and artwork. We did a photo shoot for the artwork last week in Nashville...turned out really good! Now we're doing a few weekend shows and spending some time at home...but fear not, we're heading back out on a tour in March!!! This tour is going to be amazing - we'll be filling you in on the info soon...and don't worry, we'll be covering the U.S. on this next one (and maybe even Canada, eh?), so to all of you Canadians, have your hockey sticks and Bryan Adams records ready for us!" For the latest on the band, visit (from MySpace.com/ChasingVictory; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

*Saturday, January 20th, 2007*


Michael W. Smith
Thomas Nelson, Inc., the world’s largest publisher/seller of Bibles, announced that they will be releasing a 25-hour, 20-CD, diverse star-studded audio Bible production of The New Testament entitled The Word of Promise: New Testament Audio Bible in association with Falcon Picture Group (FPG). This NKJV New Testament, presented in a compelling, dramatic audio theater format is scheduled to release in October 2007. The Word of Promise: New Testament Audio Bible concept was the brainchild of Carl Amari, CEO of Falcon Picture Group, who is also a leading producer and distributor of audio dramas and founder of Radio Spirits, Inc. Amari approached actor Jim Caviezel (“The Passion of the Christ,” “Déjà vu”) to play the lead role of Jesus Christ, after working with him on the 2004 family-friendly film “Madison.” Caviezel relished the chance to explore the character in a new medium. He is also co-producing the project with New York Times Best selling author and broadcast journalist, Raymond Arroyo, as well as Carl Amari. A multi-talented group of Hollywood actors join Caviezel on The Word of Promise: New Testament Audio Bible. The cast includes:

Jim Caviezel (“The Passion of the Christ,” “Déjà vu”) – Jesus
Michael York (“Romeo & Juliet,” “Austin Powers”) – Narrator
Richard Dreyfuss (“Mr. Holland’s Opus,” “The Goodbye Girl”) – Moses
Marisa Tomei (“My Cousin Vinny,” “What Women Want”) - Mary Magdalene
Stacy Keach (“Prison Break,” “Hemingway”) – Paul
Lou Gossett, Jr. (“An Officer and a Gentleman,” “Roots”) – John
Terence Stamp (“Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” “Superman II”) – Voice of God
Kimberly Williams-Paisley (“According to Jim,” “Father of the Bride”) - Mary, Mother of Jesus
Lou Diamond Phillips (“La Bamba,” “Young Guns”) – Mark
John Heard (“Prison Break,” “Home Alone”) – Matthew
Ernie Hudson (“Miss Congeniality,” “Ghostbusters”) – Peter
Luke Perry (“Beverly Hills 90210,” “Jeremiah”) - Judas & Stephen
John Schneider (“Smallville,” “Dukes of Hazzard”) – James
Chris McDonald (“Happy Gilmore,” “Quiz Show”) – Luke

This arresting world-class audio production immerses listeners in the dramatic reality of the Scriptures as never before. Complete with an original music score by prolific Italian composer Stefano Mainetti (Abba Pater) and ambient sound effects that are woven together with compelling narration by Michael York, the Bible comes to life for a new generation. The post-production, sound design and Foley (sound effects) are produced, engineered and mixed at Cerny American Creative in Chicago—an award-winning post-production facility ranked in the Top 3 in the nation for sound design. Dove and Grammy Award winner Michael W. Smith is also lending his musical talents to the project. “The talent represented on The Word of Promise: New Testament Audio Bible is amazing,” says Wayne Hastings, Sr. Vice President and Group Publisher for the Bible Group at Thomas Nelson, Inc. “The vocal and music talents, combined with the highest level production value, has resulted in a powerful presentation that will take listeners on an incredible journey through the story of the New Testament.” “Working with the highly talented staff of Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the remarkable composers and stars who give voice to The Word of Promise: New Testament Audio Bible has made this the most rewarding project I’ve ever been involved in,” comments producer Carl Amari. “I believe that The Word of Promise: New Testament Audio Bible will stand the test of time and become a cherished keepsake in millions of homes.” The planned follow-up to the New Testament is the Old Testament, a 60-hour, 50-CD audio production with Richard Dreyfuss, Michael York and Terence Stamp already on-board to reprise their respective roles. Many other Hollywood actors have expressed interest in voicing roles in the Old Testament including Jason Alexander of “Seinfeld” and Eric Bogosian of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” Thomas Nelson, Inc. is a leading publisher and distributor of books emphasizing Christian, inspirational and family value themes and is the largest publisher of Bibles and inspirational books in the English language. Falcon Picture Group, (FPG) is an Illinois Corporation owned and operated by Carl Amari. FPG produces and distributes a full-line of "family-friendly" audio/video/DVD consumer products for sale through Internet, mail order, retail and direct marketing channels of distribution. Falcon will work with its affiliate Sound Enterprises, LLC to coordinate and run all of the direct to the consumer sales on The Word of Promise: New Testament Audio Bible. For more information on The Word of Promise: New Testament Audio Bible visit www.nelsonbibles.com. To hear an advance audio clip montage mp3 trailer of the project, presented in dramatic audio theater, click here. (from PRLeap.com)

Mat Kearney has been nominated as a Yahoo! Music "Who's Next" User's Choice nominee, and he needs your vote! Voting has begun for this online poll of upcoming talent. If Mat wins, he'll film an exclusive live concert that will stream online. Vote now at music.yahoo.com (from MySpace.com/MatKearney; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Anberlin
You can now pre-order Anberlin's new album Cities at Interpunk.com and get a free limited edition 7" vinyl! A small number are gold vinyl and the rest of the limited pressing are orange, so order now and don't miss out. The Godspeed 7" is said to include an unreleased track along with the title track (could this be the same one available on iTunes?). Also, are two different versions of Cities available. The Cities Special Edition features 3 bonus tracks and special packaging with exclusive artwork, plus a bonus DVD with behind-the-scenes, in the studio, "making of" footage, and more. Order the Cities Special Edition with bonus 7" here or order the regular edition with bonus 7" here. (from MySpace.com/Anberlin; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

toby
Cool stuff on the horizon from the folks at Verizon: in the coming weeks, Verizon Wireless will emphasize ringtones, downloads, and more from Christian musicians including Top 5 Hits features on Steven Curtis Chapman and Chris Tomlin, and a showcase of tobyMac’s new Portable Sounds album. Visit Verizon’s V Cast Music Store to learn how select cell phones can double as music players and to be on the lookout for offerings of your favorite Christian music. (from Sparrow Records)

Kutless
BEC Recordings’ Kutless appeared live on Radio U yesterday morning to announce the three winners of its online sweepstakes promotion during the band’s recent Hearts of the Innocent Tour Powered by Suzuki. Chuck Kelly of Lumberton, Texas was the grand prize winner of the new 2007 Suzuki SX4 compact sport X-over. Diana Furlong of Franklin, N.C. won a 2007 Suzuki RM-Z450 motorcycle and Jason Steinke of Dayton, Oh. won a 2007 Suzuki DR-Z400SM motorcycle. They were among the more than 150,000 Kutless fans who registered at Kutless.com for the chance to win one of the sweepstakes prizes. The worldwide announcement included a live phone call to Kelly from all five members of the band (Jon Micah Sumrall, James Mead, Ryan Shrout, Jeffrey Gilbert and Dave Luetkenhoelter). In addition to the Suzuki sweepstakes announcement, Kutless told Radio U listeners about what is going on with the band, including the upcoming Newsboys “go” tour which kicks off in February. The band also gave away Kutless CDs including the new Kutless Live From Portland CD/DVD. (from Spinhouse PR)

Day Of Fire
The lead singer for GRAMMY-nominated and Dove Award winning Day of Fire, Josh Brown, is writing a monthly devotional throughout 2007 for HM (Hard Music) Magazine Online, www.hmmag.com. Through his monthly HM devotional, Brown hopes to share where his heart is today and encourage others through his experiences. Prior to his days with Day of Fire, Brown was the front man for Full Devil Jacket, one of the hottest post-grunge, hard rock bands in America. They had it all: sold-out concerts, rabid fans, appearances with Stone Temple Pilots, Incubus, Nickelback, and a high-profile set at Woodstock ’99 that launched them on to tours with Chevelle, Type O Negative, Slipknot, Fuel and Creed. But it came at a price, which Brown paid with addictions and a heart drained of hope. Those days came to an end when Brown found peace with God. According to Brown, “I’m very proud to be a part of HM Magazine Online. I look forward to sharing my thought and understanding of the Gospel to those who are willing to listen.” Doug Van Pelt, Editor of HM Magazine, looks forward to what Brown has to share, “I would be so daring as to say that anyone who knows Josh Brown loves him. His enthusiasm for life is infectious and his devotion to Jesus is right at the core of this enthusiasm. I’m looking forward to being challenged and edified by Josh each and every month throughout 2007.” Cut & Move (June 6, 2006), Day of Fire’s follow-up to its self-titled debut, which won a Dove Award for Rock Album of the Year at the 36th Annual Gospel Music Awards, was produced by Pete Thornton with lyrics penned by Brown and music by the five-member band, collectively. Day of Fire has also received a GRAMMY nomination, played for more than 500,000 fans in the U.S. and Europe, and has been featured on both CNN and The 700 Club since the release of their first project. For additional information on Day of Fire, visit www.dayoffire.com. (from Provident Label Group)

*Friday, January 19th, 2007*


Jackson Waters
Jackson Waters' stellar debut Come Undone may be coming to you sooner than its scheduled March 6th release date. "There is a possibility that it may be released ahead of time into the mainstream markets on February 27 because of the interest that has been shown from those markets," announced the band in a recent blog. "That means that in a little over a month our album Come Undone will be in Target, Best Buy, Walmart, etc..., in addition to all of the Christian retail outlets. We hope all of you guys go get it or buy it off iTunes! Thanks for sticking with us, there are a lot of things in the works. We will share the info with as soon as we hear it." Check out the record on February 27th and expect our thoughts on Come Undone to hit the site real soon... (from MySpace.com/JacksonWaters; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

toby
In true tobyMac fashion, the word is out and buzzing about the upcoming studio release Portable Sounds (streets February 20th), which has already produced a hit with the first single “Made to Love.” This single debuted at No.3 on the Soundscan Top Singles chart (retail sales), moving up to No. 2 right under Beyonce last week and holds the No. 2 slot again this week. The debut track is also making its mark at radio with three formats: No. 1 CHR (CRW), No. 2 CHR (R&R), No. 17 AC Monitor (R&R), and No. 25 AC Indicator (R&R). Portable Sounds features the most dynamically diverse sounds on a tobyMac album to date. With an increased commitment to melody and soulful singing, and his now trademarked rock/funk/hip-hop mixed with catchy hooks it makes this disc the best of old school soul and funk with the best of the new-school tobyMac sound. For more information visit: tobymac.com or myspace.com/tobymac (from The M Collective)

Seventh Day Slumber
Seventh Day Slumber will unveil their third musical offering on BEC Records, titled Finally Awake, this coming March 20th. Finally Awake touts the producer handiwork of Paul Ebersold (3 Doors Down, Saliva, Skillet, Third Day) and features 11 songs that offer both the high-energy, heavier sound of Seventh Day Slumber as well as the moving ballads. Song titles include “Awake,” “Last Regret,” “Missing Pages,” “My Only Hope,” and “Always,” as well as “Breaking Away,” “Burning Bridges,” “Undone,” “On My Way Home,” “Broken Buildings,” and “Every Saturday.” Seventh Day Slumber fans can anticipate both a regular and special edition CD release of Finally Awake. The special edition version will hail music videos, including the band’s new video for “Awake,” along with exclusive acoustic and bonus tracks. An interactive website (www.areyoufinallyawake.com) will accompany the album release and give fans access to additional exclusive content. On the radio front, there are multiple singles set to impact the airwaves including the first single “Missing Pages” (CHR) followed by “Awake” (Rock), and “On My Way Home” (AC). Seventh Day Slumber, comprised of lead man Joseph Rojas, Jeremy Holderfield (guitar), Joshua Schwartz (bass), Ray Fryoux (drums), will be headlining a tour in support of the album, with plans underway to perform at all the major Christian music festivals this summer. The band’s two albums to date, 2003’s Picking Up The Pieces and 2005’s Once Upon A Shattered Life, have yielded multiple accolades including a Dove nod, a BMI Award, and numerous radio hit singles. For more information check out the official artist website at www.seventhdayslumber.com (from LB PR)

Relient K
Relient K is offering the fans a little something extra with the release of their new album Five Score And Seven Years Ago. The "Special Edition" version of the album will include a bonus DVD set to include an Acoustic performance shot in the Capitol A Studios of 5 to 7 songs with storytellers elements, a Track to Track interview with band, a Photo Gallery/Fan Gallery, and a B-roll of the Nintendo TourOctober/November 06! Fans can preorder the special edition now in the JFH Music Store here and also receive a Relient K calendar! Finally, you can now read the Jesusfreakhideout.com "PReview" review of the new record, by clicking here! (from EMI CMG; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Phil Joel
Phil Joel has come out and shared about his recent departure from the Newsboys and what's ahead for him in a letter to fans this week... "First, I wanted to let you know about some big changes in my life. As of December 31st, my 12 and-a-half year role as bass player for Newsboys has come to a close. As big of a decision as it may seem, it is very clear to Heather and I that the Lord has called us into this new season. We are very excited about the future and the things the Lord has set before us to do in 2007. We wish the guys all the best, and pray the Lord's blessing on each of them and their families. Secondly, we want to update you on what we are currently working on. This January we'll be in the studio working to finish up our deliberateKids CD. Over the past 6 years we've been very involved in the kids music ministry at our church and the Lord has put a real passion in our hearts to write new songs that teach and inspire the newest generation to know the Lord and develop a personal relationship with Him at the youngest age possible. It's shaping up to be one of the most fun and fresh projects I've ever been a part of! It's set to be released June 5th." (from Phil Joel; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Project 86
More news in from Project 86 about their pending sixth release... "Only two more weeks until we begin pre-production for our 6th album with Ulrich Wild (Deftones, Bleeding Through). The record will be recorded and mixed in Los Angeles in the month of February. Keep posted here, as we will be giving away teasers and beginning the studio podcast shortly. We have been shooting some video as well to see if we can capture some of our best moments for you. We have 23 songs and more to come, writing a song a day. Some of the material is very different. But it is still very Project 86 at the same time..." We're stoked! More to come... (from MySpace.com/Project86; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Everyday Sunday
Everyday Sunday frontman Trey Pearson talked to Jesusfreakhideout.com recently about more buzz surrounding their upcoming May release of Wake Up! Wake Up!. Pearson also posted a new blog to detail a bit of the excitement... "The singles "Wake Up! Wake Up!" and "Find Me Tonight" will be released to radio stations all over the country starting this Friday, January 19th! Several stations have added it early, but please call your local radio station and tell them you want to hear new music from Everyday Sunday! Starting Monday, online and at shows, you will be able to get 3 songs from the new album on the "Wake Up! Wake Up!" sneak peek CD when you pre-order the new album! Please check back and tell all your friends!" We should have more info about the new record soon, but for now you can hear new music now at MySpace.com/EverydaySunday (from MySpace.com/EverydaySunday; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Disciple
S/R/E Recordings (Columbia Records) band Disciple start the year off strong with a winter tour for their current album, Scars Remain, which hit stores nationwide on November 7, 2006. Headlining once again, Disciple brings along a batch of rockers to share the Scars Remain Tour including Family Force 5, Fireflight, and Decyfer Down. Featured on Yahoo Music for several weeks, Disciple’s success continues to grow also at radio and press. Scars Remain debuted #1 on Billboard magazine’s “Heatseekers Chart” and this week FMQB reported between 43-78 spins nationwide. They also are climbing the charts at CMJ’s Loud Rock genre for their current single “Love Hate (On and On).” For more information and tour dates, visit www.disciplerocks.com. (from Big Machine Media)

FFH
FFH is kicking off the new year with a hits record in February, but they're already planning on a new studio album as well... "It's 2007 and we are looking ahead at a great year. It looks like it will start off in February with the release of our greatest musical moments to-date on our album Far From Home: The FFH Collection, which will be in stores February 6. Then in just two months, we will release our first ever worship album. It is scheduled to hit stores April 3rd. It is a mix of popular worship songs and some original FFH worship songs. We are looking forward to finally putting on tape what we love to do live...lead worship." More details soon... (from FFH; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Haste The Day
Solidstate Records’ Haste The Day is preparing for their new album, Pressure The Hinges, which hits stores nationwide on March 20th. Promotion has already started as they are hitting the road on tour co-headlining with From Autumn To Ashes. Indiana born Haste The Day, displays a solid metal show that pulls an audience in, one by one. Performing roughly 300 shows a year, it seems no one could miss Haste the Day in the past as they hit the road with everyone from Strung Out and From First to Last to Bleeding Through and Every Time I Die. They have sold over 100,000 combined copies of their last two releases. Pressure The Hinges will be the 3rd Solidstate Records release for band members Stephen Keech, Michael Murphy, Devin Chaulk, Jason Barnes, and Brennan Chaulk. For more information and tour dates, visit www.hastetheday.com. (from Big Machine Media)

33Miles
INO Records’ newest addition, group 33Miles, hit a milestone even before their national debut self-titled album releases on April 10. The group’s debut single, “What Could Be Better” was most added at AC Indicator during its first and second week out. This musically driven pop vocal group made up of Jason Barton (lead vocals), Chris Lockwood (vocals/guitar), and Collin Stoddard (piano/vocals) describes their album as having pop, rock, country and worship moments with songs destined to become part of the fabric of the church. INO’s A&R Director, James Rueger, comments, “In this project, you will hear commercial music at it’s very best. 33Miles brings a very well balanced mix of powerful ballads with a touch of country infused pop songs. With our hope being to connect with those who are fans of artists like Rascal Flatts, Casting Crowns, Keith Urban, and MercyMe, there is a great collection of songs here that listeners will enjoy from start to finish.” Not only does each member of 33Miles bring an array of musicianship to this group, but also bring songwriting ability as well with Jason and Chris co-writing 4 out of the 11 songs on the album. 33Miles brings together credentials reaching from writing to arranging to instrumentals. Beyond the talent, their purpose is reflected in their name, which is a simple metaphor for the 33 years that Christ spent on earth, and how He lived them. “We want to just love on God’s people,” Jason says of the group’s mission to encourage the church. “Just because you are a Christian, doesn’t mean you live a perfect life. There are plenty of hurts. If we can come into a church and encourage them, build them up, edify them, and get them to a place where they are excited about what God’s going to do in their life, then we feel like we’ve accomplished our purpose.” In anticipation of the forthcoming April release, 33Miles, which is managed by Thomas-Vasquez Entertainment, is touring in more than 17 cities nationwide visiting radio stations and retail stores. Signed with booking agency, Jeff Roberts & Associates, 33Miles will be playing numerous church dates and festivals throughout 2007. For more information on their schedule log onto www.myspace.com/33miles. (from The M Collective)

Mandisa
America met Mandisa when she stepped into the national spotlight as a standout contestant on the fifth season of Fox's mega-hit show “American Idol.” This spring and summer they will get to know her even better when she releases her debut album (EMI/Sparrow) and book (Tyndale House) in May and June. Produced by Shaun Shankel (Destiny’s Child, Kimberly Locke), Doubledutch—Robert Marvin and Josiah Bell (tobyMac, Mat Kearney), as well as others to be announced, Mandisa’s national debut is scheduled for release this May and will feature songs that reflect her personal journey, struggles, success as well as her contagious joy and passionate heart. Mandisa’s solo debut will showcase the talent that captured hearts on “American Idol” as well as super star guest coach Barry Manilow. “I’m such a fan already,” Manilow exclaimed on air after Mandisa’s rehearsal session of “I Don’t Hurt Anymore.” “Mandisa is one of those girls that has range, she can sing from bottom to top without any trouble. She’s one of a kind.” In her upcoming book, IdolEyes, on shelves June 1st, Mandisa gives an in-depth view into her journey on the No.1 reality show in America. Co-authored with Angela Hunt, Mandisa shares how both difficult and triumphant events put her faith to the test. Speaking openly and honestly about her life-long battle with food addiction, Mandisa shows how it has affected her personally, and how the now famous, derogatory remarks made by judge Simon Cowell on live television have provided her with the opportunity to become a positive role model for millions of women who are struggling to live up to popular culture's image of the "ideal woman.” Mandisa offers women the hope that they can be beautiful at any size, and that healthy self-esteem and personal beauty come only when they accept themselves as a unique and much-loved woman of God's creation. “I am a living witness that God can do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine,” exclaims Mandisa. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be a recording artist, an author and a model! I am so thankful for my experience on ‘Idol,’ both the good and the hard times. Because of it, I am living my dream. As a child I could always be found either singing in the bathroom with my curling iron as a microphone or sitting at my desk writing the most elaborate stories my imagination could muster.” Since becoming a household name, Mandisa has had many doors opened to her. She recently joined musical legend Gladys Knight and other performers such as Lalah Hathaway, Shirley Murdock and The Boys Choir of Harlem on stage at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater at the first Benefit Gala “Back to Harlem,” sponsored by the Ashley Stewart Stores Community Foundation. The premiere event raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for three outstanding charities: the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Dress for Success and The Boys Choir of Harlem. Mandisa also recently contributed vocals to Gold-selling recording artist tobyMac on his upcoming release Portable Sounds (EMI/Forefront). Mandisa has also signed on to be a spokesmodel for Ashley Stewart Stores, the trend-setting fashion retailer that outfitted a number of her performances on “American Idol.” Prior to “American Idol,” Mandisa performed backup as well as studio work for a wide variety of artists including Shania Twain, Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, Take 6, Twila Paris, Sandi Patty, Charlie Daniels, Travis Cottrell and more. She has also traveled across the nation with various worship conferences and women’s events and retreats (Integrity Music, Living Proof Live featuring Beth Moore, LifeWay Christian Women’s Conventions) as a worship leader. For more information on Mandisa, log on to www.myspace.com/Mandisa. (from The M Collective)

Mark Harris
INO Records’ Mark Harris ends 2006 with his first solo project and 2005 release The Line Between The Two receiving critical acclaim and reaching No. 22 on Soundscan’s Christian/Gospel Digital Tracks Chart for 2006 with single, “Find Your Wings.” “Find Your Wings,” the album’s hit radio single became an anthem receiving R&R’s Top Insp Song of 2006, Top 15 on R&R’s Top Christian AC songs, and stayed at No. 1 for 9 weeks on the INSP Chart and for 2 weeks on the AC Indicator Chart. The song’s popularity continued to grow in 2006, spurring the sales of Harris’ latest project to 99,965 units. With the release of this single came a flood of letters praising the song. KSBJ Music Director Jim Beeler writes, “’Find Your Wings’ touches the heart and lights up the phone. That’s the definition of a hit.” A fan exclaims, “[For] our oldest daughter’s wedding…it was the perfect song for my husband to walk his little girl to the altar area—not a dry eye to be found!” Media’s response to Mark Harris has been equally strong. Coverage thus far includes features in CCM, Stars & Stripes Military Paper, Dallas Morning News, and a guest appearance on Hour Of Power. Harris is currently working on a new studio album with a 2007 release date TBA. For more information on Harris, go to wwww.markharris.com (from The M Collective)

Kutless
BEC Recordings’ Kutless will take to the airwaves and web at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time this Friday, January 19 on Radio U to announce the three winners of its online sweepstakes promotion during the band’s recent Hearts of the Innocent Tour Powered By Suzuki. The worldwide announcement will be made live on Radio U with all five members of the band (Jon Micah Sumrall, James Mead, Ryan Shrout, Jeffrey Gilbert Dave Leutkenhoelter) participating together on the radio broadcast. More than 150,000 Kutless fans registered on kutless.com for an opportunity to win an all new 2007 Suzuki SX4 compact sport X-over, a 2007 Suzuki RM-Z450 motorcycle and a 2007 Suzuki DR-Z400SM motorcycle as part of a special promotion of the band’s recent Hearts of the Innocent Tour Powered By Suzuki. Kutless will call the grand prize winner live on the radio broadcast. To find a local Radio U affiliate or to listen to the live stream, visit www.radiou.com. In addition to surprising three fans, Kutless will also take time on Radio U to talk about what is going on with the band, including the upcoming Newsboys “go” tour which kicks off in February. The band will also be giving away Kutless CDs including the new Kutless Live in Portland CD/DVD. (from Big Machine Media)

Jonas Brothers
Jonas Brothers are officially out of their deal with Columbia Records and have inked a new one... "As most of you already know we are no longer with Columbia Records... but we are VERY happy and excited to announce we have signed with Hollywood Records. We are currently very busy in the studio where we have already begun the first stages of our new CD which is tentatively due to release late summer 2007!! We have written so many new songs and can't wait for you to hear them." Interesting! We'll keep you posted as more develops... (from MySpace.com/JonasBrothers; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Offering CDs on demand at Christian retail outlets for the first time, Franklin, Tennessee-based Just-In-Time Digital is unveiling isMOD™ (in-store Manufacturing-on-Demand), the company’s patent-pending point-of-sale CD manufacturing technology, in 12 test-markets around the country this month. The isMOD™ system is initially being offered exclusively to Christian retail outlets, with future plans to impact niche general market retail. Combining the ability to store inventory electronically with the production of CDs on demand, a unique line of personalized children’s audio products from Just Me! Music, featuring VeggieTales™, Elmo™, The Wiggles™ and Barney™, among others, is available on the isMOD™ system. Just-In-Time Digital is the first provider of these popular personalized products to Christian retail customers. Just-In-Time Digital also offers nearly 1000 performance track titles on isMOD™ from Christian World, Inc., the sales leader in 3-key accompaniment tracks. In the next few months, 2000 additional selections will be added, allowing retailers to better serve the significant consumer base that regularly purchases accompaniment music. “The essence of the Just-In-Time Digital vision is to ultimately make a world of inventory available to the touch,” said Paul LaRue, president and CEO, Just-In-Time Digital. “Retailers will be able to offer hundreds of thousands of additional selections, including DVDs, software, audio books and choral products, and never be out of stock. We are humbled to be in a position to lead the way with excellence.” The isMOD™ technology, which has already successfully produced more than 900,000 on-demand personalized children’s CDs via sales at mall kiosks around the country, is currently being test-marketed in LifeWay Christian Stores in Houston; Nashville, Tennessee; and Shreveport, Louisiana, as well as at The Vineyard Christian Bookstore in Evansville, Indiana. Company plans call for the installation of the isMOD™ system in an additional eight test stores before the end of the month. Later this month, Just-In-Time Digital also plans to sign-up stores at CBA Advance in Indianapolis on a first-come, first-serve basis. Rapidly becoming a leader in retail technology, Just-In-Time Digital was founded last year by entertainment industry veteran Paul LaRue. In response to the inventory challenges that arose from the success of LaRue’s Just Me! Music company, which produces personalized children’s audio products and books, he developed the Just-In-Time Digital business model of storing inventory electronically and burning CDs on demand. In addition to LaRue, Just-In-Time Digital executives include Chris Riley, chief operations officer; Dan Mann, vice president, sales and marketing; and James “Cole” Young, vice president, information technology. (from Turning Point PR)

*Wednesday, January 17th, 2007*


Third Day
More details were announced today regarding the pending March release of Third Day's Chronology, Volume One.... Fans of multi-platinum, GRAMMY and Dove Award-winning rock band Third Day all over the world can expect a calendar year 2007 filled with opportunities to see their favorite group in ways never before imagined, beginning with the release of the first installment of a two-part career retrospective titled Chronology, Volume One (1996-2000), March 27. Featuring rare, previously-unreleased video and audio, this exclusive collection includes early video of Mac Powell and Mark Lee performing at their home church, band commentary on music videos, brand-new recordings of classic songs “My Hope Is You” and “Thief,” Chronology, Volume One’s CD/DVD combo showcases the first five years of Third Day in a way you will not see or hear anywhere else. Taking cues from the pop-culture presentation of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Chronology, Volume One’s DVD will feature the band silhouetted against their videos, commenting on performances, specific shots, who wore what and why, and so much more, peeling back the behind-the-scenes curtain on videos such as “Consuming Fire,” “You Make Me Mad,” “Your Love Oh Lord” and two versions of “Cry Out To Jesus.” (CD/DVD tracks listed here) Together with the August release of Chronology, Volume Two (2001-2006), which will feature a full ten-year video documentary on the band, these new projects will give both longtime fans and new listeners a look at the humble beginnings, yet meteoric rise of the Atlanta-based five-piece rock group. “With the release of Chronology, Volume One and Two, we’re looking back and celebrating those experiences that formed who we are today,” says Mac Powell, the band’s lead singer. “The commentary and bootleg videos are hilarious. I mean, I don’t have any facial hair and my voice is a whole octave higher,” he quips. Tai Anderson adds, “These projects were a lot of fun to pull together. I’d forgotten how many different ‘looks’ we actually went through! What was really fun though, was rerecording and remixing the songs that our fans made hits. We’ll always be grateful to them for allowing us to do what we love doing.” The year wouldn’t be complete without a healthy dose of what brought many (if not most) fans to the Third Day experience in the first place: live performances. The band’s passports will be working overtime in 2007, as dates are scheduled for Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica, as well as several European countries and selected festival dates in the U.S. The band will continue its tour showcasing songs from its latest release Wherever You Are through mid-fall before heading back into the studio to complete work on its next studio project, scheduled for release in early 2008. Third Day heads to Los Angeles in February for the 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards where it’s up for an award for the RIAA Gold certified Wherever You Are (11/1/05) in the Pop Contemporary Gospel Album category. In addition, Mac Powell, the band’s lead vocalist, is up for a GRAMMY for co-writing the hit song, “Mountain of God,” a chart-topping track on Wherever You Are. Recently releasing its first Christmas worship album, Christmas Offerings (10/10/2006), and wrapping up a successful headlining tour on Nov. 19, the band is excited about kicking off 2007 with such momentum behind Chronology, Volume One (1996-2000). For more details on the record, visit our page for the project here. (from Provident Label Group)

Matt Redman
A key songwriter impacting churches around the globe, Matt Redman’s Beautiful News released Dec. 26 and debuted at No. 19 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart, moving to the No. 4 spot on the respected sales indicator in its second week. After debuting at No. 7 on the SoundScan® compiled Christian Retail chart, the album is currently No. 3 on the chart with nearly 10,000 units sold in its first two weeks and tracking 87.3 percent ahead of the sales of Redman’s previous critically acclaimed album, Facedown. In addition to the jump in sales numbers, Redman’s first radio single from Beautiful News, “Shine,” has become an R&R Most Added AC single as the album continues to receive widespread commercial and critical acclaim. As the momentum continues, Redman will also be playing new music from Beautiful News on the Chris Tomlin How Great Is Our God Tour launching Jan. 25 in Phoenix with label-mate Tomlin and Passion founder Louie Giglio. “One of the things which makes the 'How great is our God' tour special is the team dynamic,” says Redman. “Chris, Louie and I have shared so much life and vision together over the last few years. We've written songs together, we've traveled to different countries together - and as close friends we've dreamed about reaching a generation for the glory of God. Chris' new tour is the next step on that exciting journey, and I'm absolutely delighted to be part of it.” Additional information on the Chris Tomlin How Great Is Our God Tour can be found at www.MattRedman.com. (from Hoganson Media)

The Longing
Indelible Creative Group artist The Longing has committed to a spring residency with citywide, multi-denominational ministry CharlotteONE. Beginning January 16, the band will lead worship for more than 400 local young adults who attend the program weekly. CharlotteONE is a unified movement of local churches in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Its vision is to offer a mid-week worship/teaching gathering across denominational lines in order for young adults and singles in the metro area to come together with ONE heart, ONE mind, and ONE voice to worship ONE God as ONE people. The meetings will include speakers such as Derwin Gray, Stewart Hall, Clayton King, Joel Thomas as well as Dave Edwards, concerts, and prayer events, among other activities. The Longing has been tapped to head up the ministry’s music program through May. “It’s a privilege and an honor to entrust The Longing with this unified movement of local churches called, CharlotteONE,” comments David Hickman, executive director. “We believe what God is doing among young adults in our city will have a ripple effect on our state, nation and world, and it’s no mistake that The Longing will be leading the charge.” “It’s incredible to be able to participate in what God is obviously doing through CharlotteONE,” says The Longing frontman Jason Ingram. “It was our dream for The Longing to have opportunities to join others in awesome expressions of worship. This is the time and this is the event!” Additional details, including a listing of speakers, times, and venue directions, are available at www.CharlotteONE.org. The Longing’s frontman Jason Ingram is an award-winning songwriter who has composed hits for Joy Williams, Rebecca St. James, Building 429, Avalon, and who recently co-produced the latest record from noted singer/songwriter Bebo Norman. Calling on three additional musicians whose credits include a range of touring, production and studio work, the band also comprises guitarist Dave May (ZoeGirl, Stacie Orrico, David Crowder Band, Matt Redman), drummer Matt West (JiB) and bassist Jono Brymer (Vicki Beeching). The Longing’s self-titled label debut, released May 9, was co-produced by Dove Award winner and Grammy Award nominee Tom Laune (Passion, Point of Grace, Michael W. Smith). The project is designed to offer listeners a vehicle through which they may come to a place of complete submission before God. The Longing will be touring most weekends this spring and is planning a summer worship tour. For more information on The Longing and upcoming concert dates, visit www.TheLonging.org. (from Savvy Media)

Phil Keaggy
A concert benefiting the legal defense of Eric Volz, the 27-year old American being unjustly held in a Nicaraguan prison on murder charges, will take place on Wednesday, January 24 at 7:30pm at Belmont University’s Massey Auditorium. The benefit features some of music’s most eclectic artists and songwriters, including Chely Wright, Phil Keaggy, Ashley Cleveland, Butterfly Boucher, Leigh Nash (Sixpence None the Richer), Jeremy Lister with Katie Herzig, Kate York, Charlie Peacock, Sam Ashworth, Phil Madeira, Lalo Davila (and his Steel Drum Band) and Diana Beach, showcasing eclectic genres reaching from Nashville to Los Angeles. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased Belmont Box Office in the Curb Event Center at the door of Massey Performing Arts Center and area TicketMaster outlets. All proceeds will be used for the legal fees of Eric Volz. For information about Eric and the case, visit www.friendsofericvolz.com (from Salem Publishing)

John Waller
Beach Street Records’ new artist John Waller was recently named one of Billboard magazine’s “Faces To Watch” this year in the Jan. 6 inaugural “Best Bets 2007” issue of the premium music publication. As one of only ten artists chosen across all genres of music, Waller is the only Christian music artist to be honored in a feature story this week profiling acts that Billboard calls “hot talent awaiting discovery as 2007 begins.” Worship leader and songwriter John Waller releases his highly anticipated debut album titled The Blessing on March 6. He is the third artist signed to Beach Street, an imprint of Reunion Records, and joins the team behind platinum-selling, GRAMMY Award winning band Casting Crowns. Waller, who currently serves as the worship pastor at Southlink Church in Lone Tree, Colo., originally wrote the songs on his debut for his local church. His powerful lyrical style caught the attention of Mark Hall, lead singer of Christian music supergroup Casting Crowns, which led to Waller’s deal at the band’s same label home. Hall also sings on the album’s title track with Waller, a song that is already gaining attention at Christian radio formats as the project’s first single. For more on John Waller, please visit www.reunionrecords.com. (from Provident Label Group)

Family Force 5
Beginning January 19th, Joshua Fest will start selling "Super-Advanced" tickets for the Fifth Annual 2007 Christian Music Festival in Quincy, California. At that time, our dedicated fans, many of whom have attended previous year's events, will have an opportunity to purchase tickets at a special discounted price of just $35. Also, for the first 300 orders, the fest will be giving away a Joshua Fest 2006 CD with each order. There will be a limited number of tickets sold at this price; also, these special tickets will only be available through the end of February (unless sold out sooner). The lineup for Joshua Fest is nowhere complete, but already includes: Family Force 5, Red, Project 86, and Leeland. Expect to see over 60 bands for 3-days, in addition to many other activities. The festival is on Labor Day Weekend, August 31st, September 1st and 2nd, 2007. For more information and for all the latest info, visit www.joshuafest.com. (from Joshua Fest)

*Friday, January 12th, 2007* - UPDATE


POD
P.O.D.'s San Diego Chargers Anthem is now available for you to download (immediately after the song was debuted on a San Diego radio station). The P.O.D. MySpace recieved hundreds and hundreds of requests for us to put the song on MySpace and with questions of when this song will be available for download. "We know many of you want to use this song for tailgaiting or simply because you have to have every P.O.D. song available," announced the band's newsletter today. "Well as we promised you can download the Chargers Anthem directly from this link: http://shop.inorecords.com/artist.aspx?artistid=15." Wait, wait... Shop.INORecords.com? Could this be a hint as to who P.O.D. recently secretly inked a record deal with? We don't want to speculate here at JFH, but... (from P.O.D.; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

David Crowder Band
sixstepsrecords/Sparrow Records’ David Crowder Band has been selected as MSN’s Artist of the Year 2006. After being named July 2006’s Artist of the Month, the band was nominated alongside INXS, Prince, Christina Aguliera and Kenny Chesney for Artist of the Year. After leading on Dec. 21 with 77% of the more than 270,000 votes, the final tally gave the David Crowder Band the deciding vote as MSN noted, “They've single-handedly redefined what contemporary Christian music should sound like…and earned your vote for 2006's Artist of the Year.” During the voting period, MSN also lauded David Crowder Band, saying, “While Crowder is unafraid to make direct and straightforward pledges to his savior, he seems extremely restless creatively and tries his hand at any style that suits him. Even Crowder's fans in the Christian music community had to be blown away by the album A Collision or (3+4=7), a literate, pensive and complicated album about death. It won the Dove Award for Best Rock Album, and has even secular fans wondering what’s up next.” “Part of the beauty of Crowder's appeal is his passion to be in conversation with all of humanity, not just the narrow band that reflects the average Christian music listener,” says Louie Giglio, sixstepsrecords’ founder and popular speaker/author. “His whole approach risks the known and norm, while seeking to give voice to everyone longing for a connection with the Creator. We are happy to partner in such a venture as we continue to make the story of Christ's redemption accessible to all people.” “David Crowder Band has always done a great job of meeting their fans where they live – and a lot of them live online,” notes Peter York, EMI CMG Label Group president. “The band excels at conveying their message to the world through this creative and interactive environment. It continues to cultivate loyalty and deepen their relationships with their fans. This recognition by MSN.com and the show of support by their fans is just one more in a string of successes for the David Crowder Band in the world of digital media.” The band’s A Collision was recognized last year by the editors of iTunes as one of the Top 100 Albums of 2005. The editors simultaneously picked the recording as their No. 1 favorite of 2005 in the inspirational category. The band also landed three top 10 musictones at www.midiringtones.com, including the No. 1 position! Other artists on the chart included rappers T.I., Dem Franchize Boyz and others. For more band news, go to www.DavidCrowderBand.com, www.sixstepsrecords.com, www.emicmg.com. For the latest MSN artist news, go to music.msn.com/music/artistofthemonth. (from Hoganson Media)

Anberlin
Due out February 20 on Tooth and Nail, Cities--the new album by Anberlin--marks the group's third offering and follow-up to their breakthrough album Never Take Friendship Personal (2005), which went on to sell over 140,000 copies. As a preview to the album release, the new song "Godspeed" as well as the B-side "Haunting" are now available on Itunes as exclusive tracks. Anberlin will kick off a headlining U.S. tour February 21 in Charlotte, NC. The coast-to-coast trek will hit New York's Bowery Ballroom February 27 and the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles March 13. Bayside, Meg & Dia and Jonezetta will provide support for the winter trek. Having watched their career rise while touring with everyone from Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance to Yellowcard and Hawthorne Heights, the Winter Haven, Florida-reared quintet doesn't just build on the energy and determination of recent singles like "Paperthin Hymn," "Feelgood Drag," and "A Day Late." Instead, Anberlin expands its grasp of what a rock record can be with Cities. With the sprawling, epic "Fin" and the gorgeous, lighter-ready "The Unwinding Cable Car," the group vastly widens its musical boundaries. For Cities, Anberlin--Stephen Christian (vocals), Joseph Milligan (guitars), Deon Rexroat (bass), Nathan Strayer (guitar) and Nathan Young (drums)--reunited with producer Aaron Sprinkle (Eisley, MxPx, Pedro The Lion) and recorded the album at Sprinkle's Seattle-based Compound facility, with drums captured at the infamous London Bridge studio (where classic albums by Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Temple of The Dog and Blind Melon were realized). Whether it's the huge-sounding, memorable roar of "Reclusion" or the bright, infectious "Adelaide," the writing team of frontman Stephen Christian and guitarist Joseph Milligan drives Anberlin. "Anberlin has always had really good songs," says Stephen of the group's past output. "Still, I think this is the first time we've got a really great album." Milligan adds, "I'd like to think we have more in us and even broader spaces to cover in the future, but this is our proudest moment. I'd just like it to have it find its way into the hands of as many people as possible. Not for glory, but because we're so proud of it." (Be on the lookout for a JFH PReview of Cities shortly!) (from MSO)

*Friday, January 12th, 2007*


The Afters
As a result of the mass appeal for The Afters’ (INO/Simple/Columbia Records) hit song “Beautiful Love,” Nielson Soundscan has named the song as the top downloaded song on the inspirational chart for 2006. This song resounded with audiences as it also received RIAA Gold Certification for Digital Sales in 2006. On the heels of this news and following a successful tour with tobyMac’s Winter WonderSlam, which placed the band in front of more than 30,000 fans, The Afters prepare for their sophomore effort set to release in the fall of this year. Once again working with award winning producers Brown Bannister and Dan Muckala, The Afters are excited about the outlook for the band in 2007. “The songs are some of the best we've ever written. We're working with great producers, and we have the support of a great label... what more could a band ask for,” shares lead vocalist Josh Havens. “We're working hard on the new music and taking our time to get it perfect for our fans. We're committed to making the very best album that we can, and I think it will be worth the wait.” Last spring, “Beautiful Love” was the theme song for MTV’s reality series “8th & Ocean,” which spawned the single selling more than 90,000 digital tracks in a six-week period and over 189,000 in 2006. In addition, the song made its home on four major charts landing on the iTunes Top 100 Downloaded Songs for more than nine weeks peaking at No. 14, Billboard Hot 100 chart (peaked at No. 55), the Billboard Pop 100 (No. 43), and topping at No. 23 on the Billboard Hot Digital Songs. (from The M Collective)

Third Day
From the creative, collaborative spirits of Third Day lead vocalist Mac Powell and evangelist David Nasser comes 2007’s most unique album project, Glory Revealed: The Word of God in Worship. Releasing to retail on March 6, this diverse project features songs crafted directly from Scripture, lending a tangible, familiar base for the overall worship experience, set to a musical canvas drawn from every corner of the modern acoustic mold, touching on folk, rock, country, bluegrass and more. Featured on the album are a group of respected artists who believe wholeheartedly in the album’s concept. “The glory of the Lord is best revealed in His Word,” David Nasser explains. “When we begin to dig into the truth that is found within the pages of the Bible, we will begin to see His glory revealed. Mac Powell says of the sound of Glory Revealed, “Both of my parents played acoustic guitar and taught me, so that was always a big part of music for me. I wanted to have the chance to make a record that was very laid back and simple, and I’m really glad we kept its simplicity.” Both Mac and David reached out to friends to participate in this project. They brought together a set of like-minded, yet stylistically divergent contributors to flesh out this tribute to the Word in song. Established artists including Powell, Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, Brian Littrell and Casting Crowns’ Mark Hall are found on Glory Revealed, but listeners also get the chance to discover the talents of people like Trevor Morgan, Hyper Static Union’s Shawn Lewis, David Crowder, Shane & Shane, Candi Pearson-Shelton, Josh Bates and Starfield’s Tim Neufeld. “We really wanted to use some artists that maybe people don’t know a lot about,” Powell says. “We wanted to find artists we love that have fresh new voices for this record.” The first radio single, “By His Wounds,” written by Powell and Nasser, delivers a powerhouse vocal lineup of industry favorites, Mark Hall, Steven Curtis Chapman, Brian Littrell and Mac Powell. The song has already garnered an impressive 13 adds its first week, debuting at No. 26 on the R&R Christian AC Monitored chart. Of the single, Mark Hall notes, “Working with Mac, Steven Curtis and Brian on this one was a great experience. The song is amazing and all the artists involved are heroes of mine. I hope this is the first of many.” “I have always had a great respect for Mac Powell, as a friend, artist and producer,” comments Michael W. Smith who recorded “Come, Worship The King” with Shane and Shane. “When he called me to invite me to record for Glory Revealed, I was humbled. It’s a unique album I'm proud to have participated in.” Backstreet Boy and Contemporary Christian solo artist Brian Littrell feels Glory Revealed will have a powerful impact. “I think it’s going to bring families together,” he says. “It’s not just a wonderful project, it’s also educational. Because the songs are directly from scripture, it’s a way to be educated about Biblical terms and understanding what Jesus and others went through.” With a March release, the album will also have a touring component. More information on the tour, including dates and cities, will be released in coming weeks. More information can be found online at www.gloryrevealed.com. For track information and album cover art, click here! (from Provident Label Group)

JoC
We recently announced the new Jars tour with Burlap, but here's the official press release... After wrapping up a successful, acclaim-filled 2006, which featured the release of the much-heralded album Good Monsters, multi-Platinum selling, multi-GRAMMY Award winning band Jars of Clay prepares to launch an ambitious spring schedule of shows throughout the United States and Canada, featuring special guests needtobreathe and Burlap to Cashmere. Reflecting on the band’s time on the road in the fall of ’06, Jars of Clay’s Dan Haseltine said, “It was great getting to play our new songs on the road, but I think my favorite part about touring is being able to reconnect with and make new fans.” Few bands in America could challenge needtobreathe’s sheer number of miles logged and shows played in 2006, with their own year-long club tour interlaced with shows opening for artists such as Train, Collective Soul, Cowboy Mouth and Edwin McCain. The South Carolina-based quartet's debut record Daylight has garnered fans from all corners of the country, and the band will spend their spring bringing their high-energy rock to Jars of Clay's fans before hitting the studio hard for a late ‘07 release. Steven Delopoulus and John Philippides comprise the core of Burlap to Cashmere, the Brooklyn-based folk-rock outfit that arrived with a splash with their major label debut Anybody Out There? Now performing as an acoustic duo, Delopoulus and Philippides, cousins offstage as well as musical partners on, bring BtC’s dynamic sound to Jars of Clay’s spring tour. (from Provident Label Group)

Pillar
Following an official Jars tour release after report, here is an official announcement for the upcoming Pillar outing... Pillar, the premiere hard music band in Christian music, has announced dates for the second leg of its “Days of the Reckoning” Tour, presented by Invisible Children, set to kick off Saturday, January 28 in Houston, Tex. Joining Pillar on the tour will be Showbread, Tyler Reed, and a local band at each show. Concert-goers will view a brief version of the film Invisible Children: Rough Cut, and can expect four great bands along with some unique mix-ups and special guests. Dates are still being added. For the most up-to-date schedule, visit www.pillarlive.com. After the “Days of the Reckoning” Tour came through the Spokane, Wash. market in the fall of 2006, Dale Strom, of Spokane, Wash.-based non-profit promotional organization, RAWK the Inland Northwest, had this to say, “Pillar’s ‘Days of the Reckoning’ Tour in the fall of 2006 was one of the highlight shows of the year in the Spokane market. Nearly 600 loyal fans came out to see Pillar. Their support bands deliver an energetic and eminently satisfying night of music. It was also one of the best organized tour packages of the hundreds that we have hosted in the past few years.” Rob Beckley, lead vocalist of Pillar, looks forward to the “Days of the Reckoning” Tour continuing, “We want to thank each and every person that came out and supported us during the fall of 2006. It was a great time of reconnecting and meeting new people and we can’t wait to get back out as the tour goes on. We have wanted to play with Showbread for quite a while; their live show is simply amazing. Additionally, we wanted to get Tyler Reed on the way up. I think they are going to be huge and are definitely a band to watch in 2007. After a decade of touring and playing shows, we know how hard it is to get your start, especially as a rock band. So, with this tour, we want to give exposure to some local bands we have met or heard about during our travels.” Beckley continues by sharing the band’s heart for Invisible Children, “Invisible Children: Rough Cut is a really special film and we want to help bring as much attention and support to it as we can. The first time I saw it I was moved to tears, and we have been trying to organize something to do to support these guys ever since. One of the really cool things is these are young men and women telling the story of other young men and women. Kids all over the country are being inspired that they can play an active role in making their world a better place.” Invisible Children is a non-profit organization that is changing culture, policy, and lives through collisions of power and poverty. The non-profit began in 2005 after an overwhelming response to Invisible Children: Rough Cut, a film made by three young filmmakers from San Diego. The film documents a war in Northern Uganda where children are abducted by a rebel army and forced to fight as child soldiers. Invisible Children is committed to creating sustainable peace in the war-torn area of Northern Uganda through their extensive programs on the ground. Currently, more than 175 people are employed and 450 students are in school with a mentor, with hopes to expand into the thousands. (from Provident Label Group)

*Thursday, January 11th, 2007*


Third Day
For a celebration that has been ten years, nearly six million albums, millions of fans and miles on the road, 23 No. 1 radio singles, 23 Dove Awards, and two GRAMMY Awards in the making, Third Day is releasing two very special and unique collections in 2007. Chronology Volume One and Two (sold separately) will contain rare and unreleased audio and video recordings from the band, giving fans a view into the history and making-of one of Christian Music’s most recognized groups. From early video of Mac Powell and Mark Lee performing at their home church to a brand-new version of the Third Day-classic “Thief,” Chronology, Volume One (1996-2000) showcases the first five years of Third Day in a way you will not see anywhere else. Celebrate 10+ years of Third Day throughout 2007 – The Year of Third Day! Click here for track and DVD information about Chronology, Volume One (1996-2000), which hits stores March 27! (from Provident Label Group; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

SCC
For Christian music’s top concert promoter, Premier Productions, January means Winter Jam and the opportunity this year to top 2006 records of more than a quarter million attendance to the spectacular annual event presentation that will reach more than 30 markets nationally beginning this Friday, January 12th. Winter Jam 2007 heats up with the strongest artist billing to date, topped by first time Jam headliners Steven Curtis Chapman and Jeremy Camp, who bring a collective strength of proven name power and strong tour histories—in the case of Curtis Chapman as the most honored artist in the history of Christian music—in the case of Camp—recent radio and touring milestones that have made him among the most successful artists to emerge in Christian music over the past five years. Special guest artists will include Hawk Nelson, Sanctus Real, debut artist Britt Nicole, evangelist/speaker Tony Nolan, comedian/presidential impersonator, John Morgan, and illusionist with fire Andre the Hollywood Cowboy. As in the past 12 years of Jam presentations, the event will be hosted by award winning group, NewSong, whose founding member Eddie Carswell was also a creative partner in Winter Jam’s original creation as an annual event. Again this year, key to the success of Winter Jam in its’ history of sell-out concerts will be the $10 at the door* admission price that puts the spectacular within the reach of the largest percentage of concert goers. Notes Roy Morgan of Premier Productions on this year’s presentation: “Last year’s Winter Jam topped all expectations and put the event in the record books with Pollstar. We anticipate the strength of this year’s billing and the addition of some key sponsoring partnerships will set a new benchmark for live Christian concert events in both attendance and quality of the presentation. Winter Jam is an event with heart and an integrity to present a message of God in concert. From VanLiere-Wilcox who produce the Jam, to Eddie Carswell and NewSong’s commitment to the original vision, we continue as a team to challenge ourselves each year to present the ultimate Christian ‘jam session’ and further challenge the excellence that Winter Jam has come to represent.”. Visit online at www.jamtour.com for all ticket details. (from Morning Star PR)

Pillar
The second leg of the Days of the Reckoning Tour, is going to be presented by Invisible Children. Joining Pillar on this leg will be Showbread, Tyler Reed, and a special local band at each show. This tour will be hitting several spots that were missed during the last tour as well as making up some time missed in Colorado due to the crazy weather. So be sure to check out the list completely and mark your calendars for any stops in your area (www.pillarlive.com). Invisible Children is a non-profit organization that is changing culture, policy, and lives through collisions of power and poverty. The film documents a war in Northern Uganda where children are abducted by a rebel army and forced to fight as child soldiers. Band leader Rob Beckleye shares the band's heart for Invisible Children, "Invisible Children: Rough Cut is a really special film and we want to help bring as much attention to it as we can." At each show there will be a viewing of the film Invisible Children: Rough Cut. Rob talks about the line up, "We have wanted to play with Showbread for quite a while. Their live show is simply amazing. We wanted to get Tyler Reed on the way up. I think they are going to be huge and are definitely a band to watch in 2007. After a decade of touring and playing shows, we know how hard it is to get your start, especially as a rock band. So, with this tour, we want to give exposure to some local bands we have met or heard about during our travels." For tour dates, keep your eyes tuned to www.pillarlive.com! (from Pillar; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

TFK
Thousand Foot Krutch is working on their follow-up to The Art Of Breaking. Frontman Trevor McNevan posted in a recent blog, "I'll give ya an update. Since I last wrote, I've moved countries, houses, cars, worked on 4 records, and have had 2 hair cuts. That bring you up to speed? There's been a lot going on in all of our lives, but one thing in particular. The songs for the new TFK record are finee, and I've never been so amped in my life. We head into the studio in a week for the next few months down in L.A. to record it. It'll be called The Flame in All of Us and I feel like it's the best music we've ever made. When writing, it just felt so appropriate. Some songs are smash you heavy, and others tone it right down, but you will definitely find things pushing some limits, always trying something fresh in new directions. You may hear a 30 piece orchestra, or a full on choir, followed by an assault of guitars, who knows..you'll have to wait n' see... Heck, it might be a country record (that was a joke). It should be ready for a Summer or Sept/ Oct release. We'll have a new single and video released way before that though. Hope you kats dig. Love you all, see ya soon." (from MySpace.com/ThousandFootKrutch; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Kirk Franklin
The January 16th talent competition deadline is quickly approaching for the Gospel Music Association’s GMA Academy event in Dallas. The GMA Academy event is the Christian and gospel music industry’s official weekend training camp and its highlight is the industry’s oldest and most respected talent competition for signed and aspiring artists and songwriters. The Dallas event, to be held on February 16-17, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas in downtown Dallas will feature Fo Yo Soul Entertainment/Zomba Gospel superstar Kirk Franklin and Ardent/INO recording artist Todd Agnew. For more information or to register, please log on to www.gospelmusic.org or call 615/242-0303. Detailed information about the talent competition entry guidelines, instructions and prizes is also available there. The GMA Academy event in Dallas begins on Friday, February 16 for two days of intensive training with tracks for songwriters and performers alongside the talent competition. Artists Franklin and Agnew will participate in the GMA Academy event as Artists-in-Residence and present a teaching concert on the first night, along with the GMA Academy Regional SONG of 2007 Competition. The event concludes Saturday night with the GMA Academy Regional ARTIST 2007 Competition and showcase performances of the talent competition winners. Winners from the GMA Academy Dallas will be invited to go on to the prestigious Artist & Song of 2007 National Competitions at GMA Music in the Rockies, held in August 2007 in Estes Park, Colo. The GMA Academy was originally established to encourage and train musical talent interested in developing a ministry or career in Christian and gospel music. Through various seminars and critique sessions, individuals receive in-depth instruction, covering practical business concerns to improving artistic and songwriting skills, taught by music industry professionals. “The GMA Academy events are intensely rewarding. In one, focused weekend, registrants will make time to focus on their individual calling in music, learn more about the inner-workings of the Christian and gospel music industry, network with influential industry executives and receive valuable feedback about songwriting and performance skills. I cannot think of any more important way to spend two days if I were an aspiring or independent artist or songwriter,” said John W. Styll, president of the GMA. In addition to Franklin and Agnew, GMA Academy Dallas will feature influential professionals from all areas of the music business who serve as faculty for the weekend event. Additionally, author and speaker Reed Arvin will offer keynotes for each morning. Arvin is an accomplished author, with his legal thrillers published around the world in 13 different languages. His latest work, Blood of Angels (2006, HarperTorch), has been named to numerous Top 10 lists since its release. Prior to becoming an author, Arvin was an accomplished musician/producer touring with artists Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant and producing 12 #1 songs for the late Rich Mullins. Arvin served on the original GMA Academy Advisory Council as dean, and was the managing editor for the first GMA Academy music curriculum, which was published in 1999. (from Spinhouse PR)

*Wednesday, January 10th, 2007*


POD
P.O.D. will be performing today at the San Diego Chargers Playoff Power Rally which runs from 3PM to 6:30PM in the Qualcomm Stadium Parking Lot (Section F2) in San Diego. The band is out to support the San Diego Chargers by recording a theme song for the team. "Turns out the song is blowing up in Southern Cali and is already being played in the stadium at the games," the band stated in their official newsletter. Fans can check out the "Charger Anthem" on the P.O.D. MySpace profile at MySpace/PayableOnDeath. Details are being worked out to get the "Chargers Anthem" available on iTunes soon! (from P.O.D.; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

*Tuesday, January 9th, 2007*


JoC
Jars Of Clay have announced their Spring tour plans as the group is gearing up to head out to Canada as well as reaching both coasts of the U.S. Beginning the tour on February 16th in Memphis, TN, the band will be bring out with them, on a majority of the upcoming dates, their friends needtobreathe and the reunited Burlap to Cashmere. In the U.S., the tour will be making major city stops in Washington, DC, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and New York City, among others. Keep an eye on the band's myspace page for more details and a complete list of dates! (from Jars Of Clay; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Red
Current GRAMMY nominees Red are two-for-two at radio as the band’s second-ever single, “Already Over,” reached No. 1 on Radio and Records’ Christian Rock Chart on Monday, December 18, 2006. “Already Over” is the second single from Red’s Essential Records debut, End of Silence (June 6, 2006). The first single, “Breathe Into Me,” made it to No. 1 during July of 2006 on both Radio and Records’ and CRW’s Christian Rock Charts. Overwhelmed by the continued support from radio and its fans, Red guitarist, Jasen Rauch, comments on the band’s second No. 1 at radio, “When we learned about our first No. 1 at radio with ‘Breathe Into Me,’ we couldn’t hardly believe it. Then came our GRAMMY nomination for End of Silence, which made this all seem kind of surreal. Now with the success of ‘Already Over’ at radio, we simply know we are doing what we were put on this earth to do, and that’s to deliver the good news we have in our hearts through our music…and we plan on doing it for a long, long time.” At the end of January, Red will begin a 15-city tour opening for Three Days Grace that will see concerts from Texas to California to Washington State. www.redmusiconline.com or www.myspace.com/dropofred. (from Provident Music Group)

Nichole Nordeman
Nichole Nordeman, Christian radio’s most popular female artist for the past two years according to R&R magazine, will release Recollection: The Best Of Nichole Nordeman via Sparrow Records on March 6, 2007. The single disc set features two exclusive new songs, “Sunrise” and “Finally Free,” and fifteen Nordeman favorites from her first four studio albums: “Holy,” “To Know You,” “This Mystery,” “Every Season,” “Brave,” “Legacy,” “Is It Any Wonder,” “I Am,” “What If,” “Fool For You,” “Even Then,” “Why,” “Real To Me,” “Who You Are,” and “River God.” “Finally Free” is the theme song for Women of Faith conferences in 2007 and will have an accompanying music video. “Sunrise” is the first single from Recollection and went to radio stations for adds on January 5. Since her debut in 1998, Nichole Nordeman has won nine Dove Awards (including two for Best Female Vocalist), sold nearly one million records, toured with Steven Curtis Chapman, and charted five #1 radio singles. Acclaim and word-of-mouth buzz for landmark songs like “Every Season,” “Holy,” and “Legacy” continues throughout churches and online today, years after their original release. Known for her in-depth lyrics and thought process, Nordeman also currently writes a column for CCM magazine called “Loose Ends . . . Confessions Of An Unfinished Faith.” Learn more at www.NicholeNordeman.com. (from Sparrow Records)

Passion
Passion 07 came to a close in downtown Atlanta last Thursday afternoon. Though more than 22,000 college students made their way home and Passion Conferences began looking at future gatherings to reach students around the globe, a legacy of compassion and mission-minded purpose was left behind. Speaking to students at the gathering’s closing, Passion Conferences founder/director Louie Giglio said, “Colossians 1:6 says, ‘All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit.’ The same changing power in your lives is working all over the world. This gospel is bearing fruit and growing, and we can see that in what you’ve done through the Do Something Now campaign.” Passion 07 set a goal for individual students and student groups to raise $500,000 for global aid through its Do Something Now campaign. As the Global Awakening: The World Mobilization Area officially closed in the Georgia World Congress Center Thursday, students and groups had pledged over $700,000 toward various global initiatives. Even as Passion 07 asked students throughout the gathering to consider global impact, Giglio announced that Passion Conferences was thinking globally. “Passion didn’t set out to do 40 years of conferences because we’re not in the conference business,” he said. “We are praying for an explosion in the lives of this student generation.” Giglio announced that in place of one four-day conference in January 2008, Passion Conferences is planning smaller gatherings similar to the four-day conference format in cities around the U.S. for Fall 2007 and Early Winter 2008. “At these larger four-day gatherings, like Passion 07, a majority of students come from neighboring states,” said Giglio. “From there, students trickle in from more distant states like California or Massachusetts. Passion wants to get closer to the students who haven’t had a chance to experience this gathering.” The global reach of the Passion message is evident as 33 countries were represented at Passion 07, and Passion Conferences consistently receives requests for overseas events. Looking forward to Late Spring 2008, Passion Conferences plans to launch out to 20 cities in 15 nations. “After years of hating to say ‘we can’t right now,’ the Passion team began asking how it could go to the nations,” Giglio said. “It takes 19 hours to fly to South Africa, and we thought, ‘Once we get started, why don’t we just keep going?’ Go seven more hours, then eight more, nine more, until we’ve gone around the world?” At the opening of the gathering on Monday, the tally showed that 49 U.S. states were represented at Passion 07, all but South Dakota. As Giglio led students in prayer for college campuses during Wednesday’s evening General Session, specifically mentioning South Dakota, it came to the gathering’s attention that one student from South Dakota State University, Nick, did make it to Passion 07, confirming that all 50 states were represented. Passion 07 opened Monday at the Philips Arena and Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta with over 23,000 in attendance and students representing 50 states, 33 countries and 1,165 campuses. Passion 07 was a four- day indoor gathering for college students and was led by renowned speakers Louie Giglio, John Piper, Francis Chan and Beth Moore, among others, as well as artist-worshipers Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Charlie Hall, Matt Redman and more. (from Hoganson Media)

*Saturday, January 6th, 2007*


GMA
The Gospel Music Association (GMA) and Nielsen Christian SoundScan have announced 2006 year-end sales data for the 52-week period ending December 31, 2006. "2006 was a good year for Christian/Gospel music. Album sales were up, albeit slightly; digital sales continue to rise and most importantly, the impact of the Gospel through music reached beyond even what our sales reveal. Everywhere you look, in books, games, TV and movies, music that is inspired by faith seems more prevalent than ever before," said John W. Styll, president and CEO of the GMA. "There may be many reasons why this is true, but I think chief among them is that people seem to be drawn to the inspiring and compassionate message of Gospel music amid uncertain times." Christian/Gospel music sales in 2006 represent music that is sold at both Christian and mainstream retail and is compiled by the GMA from Nielsen Christian SoundScan, the data information system that tracks point-of-purchase sales of recorded music product. In "overall music sales," 2006 saw 44.9 million dollars worth of CDs, cassettes, digital albums and digital tracks sold while 2005 had 43.5 million, showing a 3.4% increase. In "overall album sales," 2006 saw 40.2 million dollars worth of all albums and digital track equivalent albums sold while 2005 had 39.6 million, showing a 1.5% increase.

2006 TOP-SELLING CHRISTIAN AND GOSPEL MUSIC ALBUMS
(Reflects sales for all titles in the Nielsen Christian SoundScan system sold at Christian and mainstream retail and through digital channels. It excludes Christmas catalog titles. Listed as Album title/Label, Artist, and total sales in 2006)
  1. Precious Memories (Arista/Sony/Provident), Alan Jackson - 1,288,595 units
  2. Flyleaf (Octone), Flyleaf - 488,828 units
  3. Hero (GospoCentric), Kirk Franklin - 424,269 units
  4. Lifesong (Reunion), Casting Crowns - 398,160 units
  5. WoW Hits 2007 (Sparrow), Various - 363,395 units
  6. Define the Great Line (T&N), Underoath - 316,128 units
  7. Coming Up to Breathe (INO), MercyMe - 309,423 units
  8. WoW Gospel 2006 (Verity), Various - 301,534 units
  9. Wherever You Are (Essential), Third Day - 295,721 units
  10. Piece of My Passion (Flow), Juanita Bynum - 287,028 units
  11. WoW Hits 2006 (Sparrow), Various - 277,663 units
  12. Arriving (Sixsteprecords), Chris Tomlin - 253,757 units
  13. Mary Mary (Columbia/Integrity), Mary Mary - 252,323 units
  14. WoW Worship Aqua (Provident), Various - 234,557 units
  15. Testify (Atlantic), P.O.D. - 225,850 units
  16. All I Really Want for Christmas (Sparrow), Steven Curtis Chapman - 220,836 units
  17. Restored (BEC Recordings), Jeremy Camp - 216,175 units
  18. See The Morning (Sixsteprecords), Chris Tomlin - 203095 units
  19. Three Wooden Crosses (Word), Various - 193,867 units
  20. Open the Eyes of My Heart (INO), Various - 188,483 units
  21. Casting Crowns (Reunion), Casting Crowns - 175240 units
  22. Chronicles of Narnia (Disney/EMICMG), Various - 162,352 units
  23. Day by Day (Atlantic), Yolanda Adams - 156,224 units
  24. Hearts of the Innocent (BEC Recordings), Kutless - 156,052 units
  25. MMHMM (Gotee), Relient K - 155,585 units
"Alan Jackson represents the significant impact that various country artists are having in our culture with faith-inspired recordings," said Styll, who noted that the Christian/Gospel music industry shares Nashville/Music City as its "home" with country music. In addition to Jackson's record, Three Wooden Crosses, a compilation CD featuring Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Amy Grant and others was among the top-selling Christian/Gospel music albums sold in 2006. Also notable, Alabama released Songs of Inspiration, claiming the top spot on Billboard's "Top Country Albums" and "Top Christian Albums" chart, marking the first time the legendary country group entered any album chart in the top position. Country was not the only story in 2006, Styll added, noting that the breakout success of artists like Flyleaf, Underoath, Juanita Bynum, Kutless and Mat Kearney and the continued popularity of Kirk Franklin, Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns and others contribute to a positive outlook for the long-term health of Christian/Gospel music.

Additional Year-End Notes and Facts:
*According to Nielsen SoundScan's 2006 Year-end report the Christian/Gospel category of overall album sales joined classical, soundtracks and Latin as the only genres that grew in sales in 2006. Christian/Gospel music sales are the largest of those four genres and represents 6.75 percent of all album sales.
*Overall Christian/Gospel album sales were up 1.5 percent for the year when factoring in digital track equivalency compared to the overall music industry's overall music sales downturn of 1.2 percent. (Nielsen SoundScan calculates digital track equivalency by converting every 10 individual tracks to one album unit). Excluding digital track equivalents, Christian/Gospel album sales are still up, 1.3 percent.
*Legal digital music sales continue on an impressive growth trajectory, with a total of 5.2 million tracks sold a 22.9 increase over 2005. Digital albums sales nearly doubled from 597,000 in 2005 to 1.1 million in 2006, a 91 percent increase. The top-selling digital album was Mat Kearney's Nothing Left to Lose which had 28,456 in digital sales, and the top-selling digital track was "Beautiful Love" from The Afters, the 2006 recipient of the Dove Award for New Artist of the Year, with 189,461 units downloaded.
*Mainstream retail outlets sold 64 percent of all Christian/Gospel music sales while Christian retail accounted for 36 percent of gospel music sales.
*The top 10 markets in 2006 were Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Chicago, Washington D.C., Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle-Tacoma and Tampa/St. Petersburg.
*The most popular styles of Christian/Gospel music were AC/pop (23%), black gospel (20%) and rock (16%). Praise & worship followed with approximately 10 percent of sales.

*The top-selling albums in the AC/pop category were:
  1. Lifesong (Reunion), Casting Crowns
  2. WoW Hits 2007 (Sparrow), Various
  3. Coming Up to Breathe (INO), MercyMe
  4. WoW Hits 2006 (Sparrow), Various
  5. All I Really Want for Christmas (Sparrow), Steven Curtis Chapman
*The top-selling albums in the rock category were:
  1. Flyleaf (Octone), Flyleaf
  2. Define the Great Line (T&N), Underoath
  3. Wherever You Are (Essential), Third Day
  4. Testify (Atlantic), P.O.D.
  5. Hearts of the Innocent (BEC Recordings), Kutless
*The top-selling albums in the praise & worship category were:
  1. Arriving (Sixsteprecords), Chris Tomlin
  2. WoW Worship Aqua (Provident), Various
  3. See The Morning (Sixsteprecords), Chris Tomlin
  4. Open the Eyes of My Heart (INO), Various
  5. Anything Worth Saying (Brash Music/Word), Aaron Shust
*The top-selling digital album downloads were:
  1. Nothing Left to Lose (inpop), Mat Kearney
  2. Flyleaf (Octone), Flyleaf
  3. See The Morning (Sixsteprecords), Chris Tomlin
  4. Precious Memories (Arista/Sony/Provident), Alan Jackson
  5. Chronicles of Narnia (Disney/EMICMG), Various
*The top-selling albums in the black gospel category were:
  1. Hero (GospoCentric), Kirk Franklin
  2. WoW Gospel 2005 (Verity), Various
  3. Piece of My Passion (Flow), Juanita Bynum
  4. Mary Mary (Columbia/Integrity), Mary Mary
  5. Day By Day (Atlantic), Yolanda Adams
(from Spinhouse PR; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Switchfoot
Switchfoot has just launched a brand new website project inspired by their latest record, Oh! Gravity at ohgravity.com. It features video clips of gravity at work with clips of surfing, biking, and various other vehicular accidents. Fans can also contribute to the celebration of pain, as the site will continue to grow and develop the more people send in videos. Visit ohgravity.com not to watch or share your videos! (from Switchfoot; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

POD
P.O.D. has released more information on the re-instating of guitarist Marco Curiel and the exit of guitarist Jason Truby. Band manager Tim Cook had the following to say about the news in a recent band newsletter, written while on a flight to New York City... "Many have asked me if the boys are going to make any "official" statements. The answer for the time being is "no." For one, they are also on flights to NY right now, but more importantly it's a time of re-building friendships and writing music... For some time leading up to the "Going in Blind" video, Truby was questioning whether he could continue to tour, etc. For those that are wondering, this is not an easy life. Sure, we've been fortunate, but you pay for it with your life, family, and everything else. After the "Going in Blind" video shoot, Marcos was calling Wuv and they were having conversations... just talking as friends, but this led into the idea of Marcos coming back to P.O.D. [and] at that point, Marcos said he wanted to call everyone else, explain what's going on in his life, and reconcile the friendships. Marcos called me on Wednesday, Nov. 1st. I was in the parking lot of a local deli, late for a lunch meeting. Five minutes into the call, Truby was calling on the other line. I wasn't able to take the call because I hadn't heard from Marcos in a long time and it was, of course, an emotional time. I called Truby back that night and he said, (I'm probably paraphrasing a bit) 'I got home and I really have the sense that I need to bow out of P.O.D. I can't explain it, but it just feels right for me to do this.' You can imagine how STUNNED I was! Marcos calls out of the blue -AND- Truby calls out of the blue - ON THE SAME DAY. Neither one of them had any idea this was going on until a couple weeks or so after! This is the kind of stuff that seems to surround this band... On Nov. 9th, the five of us met together for lunch. It was the first time we had been in same room together for years. Marcos showed up with this heavy backpack. We all kept asking what was in there. During lunch he pulls out copies of the new U2 book, "U2 BY U2" and he gives one to each of us. He said, "man, I just want to INSPIRE people again." It was such a divine moment and so obvious that the four of these guys need to be doing music together. After lunch, they couldn't wait any longer to jam together, so they drove over to their rehearsal studio. Marcos wanted to share some ideas that he had. He told us that he's been up 'til 3 or 4 AM every night playing music and unable to put his guitar down. We arrived at their rehearsal space and marcos plugs in and starts playing. I called my office and my wife and said, 'THIS is why I love being a manager.' It was just electrifying. It brought tears to my eyes to see them back in a room and to feel such greatness. Hearing them talk through ideas, bounce things off of each other... it was brilliant... So, what's next? They are already writing and have signed a very interesting new record deal (more on that later). I believe the boys are on to an extraordinary record. I'm not just talking about a good record, or a record "hyped" by the industry and all that nonsense. I'm really getting the sense this one has greatness on it. Very few bands make it this far, overcome so much, with such belief from their fans..." Well, you heard it folks. We're definitely interested in this new chapter in P.O.D.'s career, so we'll keep you posted as more unfolds! (from P.O.D.; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Seventh Day Slumber is gearing up for the March 20th release of their third release Finally Awake. You can hear the first single from the record, entitled "Missing Pages," on their MySpace page now here: MySpace.com/7thdayslumber (from MySpace.com/7thdayslumber; Jesusfreakhideout.com; thanks to Patrick)

Amy Grant
The Invitation, a unique evangelistic tool narrated by pastor and author of The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren, is impacting seekers and believers everywhere with 500,000 albums sold since the July 25th, 2006 release into the marketplace by Maranatha! Music. The Invitation's "Invite A Million" campaign, launched at the time of the CD release, set a goal to share the innovative tract with one million people. Available exclusively at the CBA market, The Invitation features Rick Warren guiding the listener through a conversion experience toward becoming a born-again Christian. The narration addresses the sequential topics “What On Earth Am I Here For?”, “Our Creator Loves Us,” “We Are Separated By Sin,” “Accept, Believe, And Receive,” and then finishes up with “Life Has Meaning,” “Invitation Prayer,” and “God’s Promise.” Nestled within the narrative are songs from Christian recording artists Amy Grant, Pocket Full Of Rocks, Casting Crowns, Chris Falson, Joel Engle, Matt Papa, and Evan Wickham. This CD is inspired by and a companion to the Nelson Bibles’ 2005 initiative, The Million Bible Challenge, which aimed to get one-million Bibles in the hands of seekers. To date over 3.5 million Bibles have been distributed through this challenge and as a result thousands have come to Christ. The Invitation is being sold in boxes of 20 at a cost-effective $1 per CD. Follow up resources are available online to help new believers grow in their faith at www.theinvitation.tv. This spring, Maranatha! Music will make available to retailers the "Seed Hope" program, an extension of the "Invite A Million" campaign. The program includes a free merchandising kit containing "Seed Hope" promotional items which can be used in store to create awareness for The Invitation and online resources available at www.theinvitation.tv. (from LB PR)

Big Idea
What could be more fun than watching a mother porcupine pop the tires on a van driven by a red tomato, while a tall asparagus plays the guitar without hands and three squealing sprouts sing a little ditty called "Billy Joe McGuffrey?" Join these zany VeggieTales characters, with Captain Bob the Tomato and First Mate Larry the Cucumber at the helm, on Premier Christian Cruises¹ VeggieTales and Friends Cruise 2007. Offering "Saturday morning fun with Sunday morning values," The VeggieTales and Friends Cruise 2007 will set sail on the lavish 855 foot-long Carnival Cruise Lines¹ ship Inspiration, bringing the ultimate family vacation to the high seas. The cruise will open its cabins to public sale starting January 8, 2007 and will offer special rates for children. Cabin reservations can be made by calling 1-800-889-5265 or by visiting the Premier Christian Cruises website at PremierChristianCruises.com. The VeggieTales and Friends Cruise 2007, which departs Tampa, Florida, on August 9, 2007 for Cozumel, Mexico, and returns August 13th, will truly be a family affair, full of activities for the young and young at heart. Kids and parents alike will be treated to private sessions with their favorite VeggieTales characters, who will be joined by special guests Chagy the Clown, Miss Patty Cake and Go Fish. Young cruisers ages 2-15 can enjoy the Camp Carnival program, full of food, fun, games and activities designed for that age group. Parents can benefit from the Nautica spa program, which features healthy meal choices and a state-of-the-art exercise facility, or indulge in onboard ship services including a hair salon, day spa, 24-hour pizzeria and free room service. Cruisers will experience all the marvelous amenities Carnival Cruise Lines is known for, such as fabulous dining, modern health and spa facilities and shopping at the beautiful ports of call. (from McCain & Co. PR)

*Thursday, January 4th, 2006*


Jaci Velasquez
Nic Gonzalez, lead singer of the award-winning Latin Jam band Salvador and multi-Platinum artist Jaci Velasquez wish to announce their recent marriage. Nic and Jaci celebrated their vows in Austin, Texas on December 17th. The two artists – no strangers to touching moments – were visibly moved during the service. Their message: “Our hearts are full and we are richly blessed.” The newlyweds will reside in Nashville, TN. For officially public-released images from the wedding, click here and here! (from Big Machine Media)

Bride
Although the band has just released a new project entitled Skin For Skin, legendary metal band Bride may be calling it quits in 2007. "There is a reason for all things," stated longtime frontman Dale Thompson in a recent band newsletter. "I truly believe that, no matter if we understand it or not. There is a season for all things whether they live or die. This year 2007 will be that year for Bride. I have been in deep meditation and contemplating all that I have ever been led to do and have faithfully done. 2007 will be spectacular no matter what may come." Thompson concludes the newsletter, asking "What would the Christian rock scene be without Bride? Feel free to respond." Fans can email them to offer their feedback... (from Bride; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Beginning in March, Rebecca St. James will be hitting the road with Delirious? and special guest Vicky Beeching for The Worship Revolution Tour! Some dates are now up on iTickets.com and RSJames.com, so surf on over to see if the tour will becoming to your town... (from RSJ; iTickets; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

The Afters
The Afters are continuing work on their sophomore record due out sometime this year. "We're going into the studio this month to work on the new album," announced the band on their MySpace page. "This is the year of a new Afters album! We are really excited about the songs we have written and cannot wait for you to hear them! This album is going to blow away anything we've ever done!" (from MySpace.com/TheAfters; Jesusfreakhideout.com)

*Wednesday, January 3rd, 2006*


Newsboys
Longtime bass player (and sometimes vocalist) Phil Joel has left the Newsboys to devote more time to family and personal goals. He finished up with the band December 31st. "I'll always be a newsboy, it will remain a strong part of who I am", said Joel. "I've grown up with the guys and they'll always be brothers to me and the past twelve and a half years have been amazing." "We will miss him,", said frontman Peter Furler. "We appreciate him, and wish he and his family only the best for the future." The band has just completed a successful tour of Singapore and China without Joel as a four-piece with Paul and Jeff taking up additional vocal and bass duties. The boys have decided at this time not to replace Phil, but to perform on their upcoming North American tour as a four-piece. "The four of us have known each other for many years now," says Furler "It would feel strange for us to bring someone new in at this point." To find out more about what Phil is doing, visit www.deliberatepeople.com. The newsboys kick off their 40-city North American Tour on February 15th in Jeff's home town, The Motor City, Detroit. For all the tour dates and more, visit the tour page. (from Newsboys.com)

FiF
Former Five Iron Frenzy frontman Reese Roper is rejoining some of his Five Iron buddies this summer at Soul Fest on Friday, August 3rd at the Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford, NH. This a confirmed appearance by Reese and a few former 5 Iron members that a Fest member has stated is "going to be like a Five Iron reunion." To see for yourself, check out the artist line up for Sould Fest 2007 here: www.thesoulfest.com/sf_artists.html (from TheSoulfest.com; Jesusfreakhideout.com; thanks to Caleb B.)

Jeff Deyo
Jeff Deyo has officially finished his new recording. It was produced by an awesome young and upcoming producer named Josh Deane (a.k.a. The Kurnoll), and it was mixed by J.R. McNeely (Jeremy Camp, Relient K, Anberlin, Kutless) at the Sound Kitchen in Nashville. The only thing left to do is mastering, which will be done February 1 at Sterling Sound in New York with Ted Jensen. Then, it's photo shoots for Jeff and the guys and album packaging to work up. And somewhere in late February or early March, fans should begin hearing the first radio single! Deyo will also begin putting clips of the new songs on his website and at his myspace. So keep your eyes on www.jeffdeyo.com and www.myspace.com/jeffdeyo. (from Jeff Deyo)

Passion
Passion 07 opened at Atlanta’s Philips Arena and the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta with over 23,000 in attendance and students representing 49 states, 32 countries and 1,165 campuses. Passion 07 is a gathering for college students from around the nation and world January 1 – 4, 2007, and is the third consecutive conference, following Passion 05 and Passion 06, which were held in Nashville, TN. “Part of the equation here at Passion 07 is to move to the place in our journey where we are living a life that is pleasing to the Lord,” said Louie Giglio, Passion Conference founder/director. “The Kingdom of God is ever growing and we are here to celebrate that Kingdom. God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us to the Kingdom of his Son. This story is our story of rescue by Jesus. It’s all about Jesus, the rescuing one. He’s the one we’re celebrating.” More than being led by speakers and artist-worshipers throughout Passion 07, students will have the opportunity to impact lives worldwide through Passion 07’s Do Something Now campaign. The Global Awakening: The World Mobilization Area at Passion 07 serves as the hub for the Do Something Now campaign. It is the area where people can interact and learn about the plight of the poor and respond in practical and attainable ways. The Do Something Now campaign kicked off through Touch Atlanta as students brought towels and a pair of socks as they arrived to registration to provide 20,000-plus items for Atlanta’s homeless. “These people may not know anything about Passion but we want them to know that followers of Christ have been here,” said Giglio. With the goal of raising over $500,000 in global aid, Passion 07 is also challenging students to collect and pledge monies for seven other mission projects including Blood:Water Mission, the Compassion Child Sponsorship Program, The Seed Company’s One Verse campaign, Antioch Ministries International, Cure International, Bibles Unbound/Voice of the Martyr and Stop The Traffik. In addition, representatives from 35 organizations are on hand in the Passion 07 Global Awakening: The World Mobilization Area to help students discover service opportunities available to them and practical next steps on how they can participate. Passion 07 is being held at the Philips Arena, the Georgia World Congress Center and other neighboring venues. Leading the worship, teaching and prayer gathering are renowned speakers Louie Giglio, John Piper, Beth Moore, Francis Chan among others, as well as such acclaimed artist-worshipers as Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Charlie Hall, Matt Redman and more. As at past gatherings, Passion 07 will provide smaller sessions through Community Groups, Breakout Sessions and Late Nights at the Philips Arena, the Georgia World Congress Center and other neighboring venues. The Passion 07 main sessions will be posted online at www.268generation.com at the conclusion of each session and will be available online for 24 hours so that anyone with Internet access can join with those registered for the gathering. (from Hoganson Media)

Jonah33 is hard at work on a new record, writing and recording for their followup to their 2005 release The Strangest Day. Head on over to their MySpace page now to check out a brand new demo called "No Song To Sing." www.myspace.com/jonah33 (from MySpace.com/Jonah33)

Our friends at CMWired.com have just released a new Christian music blog that joins many of the industry resources together. Check 'em out and tell them we sent you! (from CMWired.com; Jesusfreakhideout.com)


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Music Out This Week

This Friday, October 19
Gawvi Panorama [Reach]
Hollyn Everything and More / Isaac - Single [Gotee]
Iron Bell Music Glory to Glory [Essential]
Matt Maher The Advent of Christmas [Essential]
Planetshakers Heaven on Earth Part III EP [Integrity]
Planetshakers Heaven on Earth CD/DVD [Integrity]
Switchfoot Native Tongue - Single [Lowercase People]
Tenth Avenue North The Things We've Been Afraid To Say EP [Reunion]
CeCe Winans Something's Happening: It's Christmas with CeCe Winans [Thirty Tigers]

NEXT Friday, October 26
Francesca Battistelli Own It [Word]
Lauren Daigle Behold: Deluxe Edition [Centricity]
Ben & Noelle Kilgore A Resting Place EP [Integrity/The Creak Music]
Lovelite Apocalypse Hymnal (independent)
Marc Martel My Way, Vol. II: The Queen EP (independent)
Matthew Parker Daydreamer [DREAM]
Fight The Fury Still Breathing EP [Atlantic]
Chris Tomlin Holy Roar [Sparrow]


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