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JFH Music News

JFH Music News Archive

June, 2005



*Wednesday, June 29th, 2005*


JoC
Acclaimed pop alternative band Jars of Clay have been added to the list of chart-topping superstars including Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, Destiny’s Child, Linkin Park, Maroon 5, Sarah McLachlan, Rob Thomas, Stevie Wonder, Toby Keith, Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas and Will Smith who will play the Live 8 concert in Philadelphia on July 2. Celebrity presenters also participating include Salma Hayek, Chris Tucker and Natalie Portman. “I watched Live AID as a teenager, and it was inspiring,” recalls Dan Haseltine, Jars of Clay’s lead singer. “There is never a moment in this age when we can rest on what we have done to serve the poor and the suffering,” he continues. “As long as there are people without access to water, and people who do not even have the basics for survival, we who have so much, should never rest. I believe we can make poverty history.” The Live 8 event will be broadcast entirely online at aolmusic.com, with special programming set to air on MTV, and on radio at XM Satellite Radio and on Premiere Radio Networks. Live 8 will feature concerts in Philadelphia, London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Cornwall, Toronto, South Africa and Tokyo to raise awareness about poverty in Africa and encourage the leaders of the G8 nations to eliminate Third World debt, increase aid to Africa and adopt fair trade practices. While celebrated for its music and writing, Jars of Clay is most concerned with the needs in Africa. Compelled to make a difference, members Dan Haseltine, Stephen Mason, Matt Odmark and Charlie Lowell founded the Blood:Water Mission in early 2002. The first effort of this non-profit was the “1000 Wells Project” with a goal of raising funds to build, rebuild and repair 1000 wells in urban and rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. To date, 42 wells have been constructed bringing clean water to more than 34,000 people. (from Provident Music Group)

toby
Not one to slow down, Forefront recording artist TobyMac will release a brand new remix project, Renovating Diverse City, on August 30, 2005. At the low, permanent price of $9.99, and the first run in digipak form, the album is full of remixes from the best-selling, Grammy-nominated and Dove-Award winning Welcome To Diverse City project. In between the WORLDWIDE DIVERSE CITY tour and current summer tour dates, TobyMac hooked up with some of the best remixers around to cut new versions of tracks including the No. 1 hit singles "Slam," "Gone," and "Atmosphere." The project features the remix and production talents of Matt Bronleewe (Natalie Imbruglia, Michael W. Smith), Tedd T. (Stacie Orrico, Mute Math), Max Hsu (Superchic[k], Church Of Rhythm), Diverse City band leader and keyboardist Dave Wyatt, Chris Stevens (Shawn McDonald , TobyMac's WTDC ), and DoubleDutch (zoegirl). Sure to light a fire at radio once again, Forefront plans to release the first remix single, "Burn For You" to Christian CHR and Rock radio on July 1st! For a full track listing (not necessarily final order), click here! (from The M Collective)

Building429
Celebrating a banner year of success following the launch of their debut album in July, 2004, “New artist of the year” Dove Award winning rock band Building 429 is releasing Space In Between Us – Expanded Edition August 30. Featuring songs from the band’s national freshman bow, Space In Between Us, the expanded edition CD is additionally enhanced to unlock video and music content at www.Building429.com. Originally released with 12 tracks, the expanded edition includes five additional tracks including two previously out of print songs, “All You Ask of me” and “Free,” a remix of “No One Else Knows,” an acoustic version of the No. 1 hit, “Glory Defined” plus a new recording of the worship classic “Famous One.” Along with the unplugged cut, the album includes the original “Glory Defined” that was recently honored at the 2005 BMI Christian Music Awards with their highest accolade, “Song of the Year.” Published by Dayspring Music, “Glory Defined" writers Jim Cooper and Building 429 frontman Jason Roy accepted the BMI Crystal for the most performed Christian song of the year. “Once again it proves to me that my little plans are nothing compared to the plans God has for me,” says Roy on the BMI award. “‘Glory Defined’ was such a small thing when it was written – just another song to share my heart with those around me. I am honored that God would use me and I am thankful that these personal songs continue to be embraced by listeners.” Building 429 will support Space In Between Us – Expanded Edition as the band performs at multiple key music festivals this summer and while opening for Casting Crowns’ “Lifesong Tour” later this fall. The tour will visit 38 cities from September 29 through December 4 and will additionally feature guest speaker/emcee, Tony Nolan. (from Word Label Group)

Ginny Owens
Rocketown recording artist Ginny Owens is embraced by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, at Habitat for Humanity's Jimmy Carter Work Project 2005 last week in Benton Harbor, Mich. The event is one of several Owens has supported in conjunction with Fingerprint Initiative, a humanitarian organization she launched earlier this year. Click here for a photo of Ginny with the Carters.

King Street Media has acquired one of the world’s leading Praise and Worship music publishers and labels, The Corinthian Group and Maranatha!. The venture was jointly announced yesterday by Randy Alward, President of The Corinthian Group and Alex MacDougall, Executive Vice President/General Manager of Maranatha!, as well as Richard Rowe, Executive Vice President of King Street Media. Founded in 1970, The Corinthian Group/Maranatha! has become one of the most successful Praise and Worship publishers in the world with an unparalleled catalog of more than 3,500 copyrights. The catalog embodies such noted compositions as “Lord, I Lift Your Name On High”, “You’re Worthy Of My Praise”, “I Love You, Lord” and “You Are My Hiding Place”. Recent artists covering Maranatha! songs have included Jeremy Camp, Chris Tomlin, Natalie Grant, Crystal Lewis and Selah. Maranatha!, one of the original Praise and Worship labels, is noted for its highly acclaimed products and resources for the church which have garnered numerous awards including a Grammy for Best Children’s Recording, multiple Dove Awards and RIAA Platinum and Gold certifications. As a label partner in the WOW WORSHIP series, and participant in the Songs4Worship collections, Maranatha! songs are sung worldwide by the worshiping church. The Corinthian Group / Maranatha!, will continue to operate as a free standing creative operation in the U.S. and U.K. Randy Alward, President of The Corinthian Group will report to Richard Rowe, who heads King Street Media in the U.S. Alex MacDougall will continue as Executive Vice President/General Manager of Maranatha!. King Street Media will handle administration globally, as well as provide additional support services. Richard Rowe commented “We are very excited about our acquisition of this wonderful company and what it stands for, and look forward to helping the excellent management team take the company to an even greater level of success and awareness than has already been achieved.” (from King Street Media)

Cherie Adams, former member of Sparrow Records’ group Avalon, has signed an artist representation deal with Fruition Artist Agency. Plans are under way for extended touring this summer and fall in support of Cherie’s debut solo album, The Sweet Life (Dolce Vita Entertainment). Fruition Artist Agency is a Brentwood-based full-service entertainment agency, representing nationally recognized Christian music artists including Scott Riggan, Staci Frenes, David M. Edwards, Michael Priebe, and the critically acclaimed Margaret Becker/David M. Edwards Faithfully Yours: Psalms project among others. “I am personally very excited about signing Cherie Adams to our agency,” said Fruition Artist Agency President Carla Archuletta. “Cherie has a proven ministry and is one of the most genuine, talented and multi-faceted artists in Christian music. I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with Cherie and seeing what the Lord has in store for her as she continues to move forward in this new chapter of her life and ministry.” The Sweet Life, Adams’ first solo offering, focuses on the tangible presence of God and what it means to know Him intimately. It also showcases Adams as a songwriter in her own right, having written or co-written 8 of the 11 songs with heavyweights that include Robert White Johnson (who wrote for Celine Dion) and fellow artists Scott Krippayne, Paul Brandt, and Cindy Morgan. “There’s a story behind every song on this record,” explains Adams. “I wanted to write and sing songs that came from my heart, I wasn’t thinking commercially when I wrote or selected these songs. I simply wrote about what was going on in my life at that time. Sometimes I wrote in strong faith and sometimes I wrote when my faith seemed to be reduced to nothing but a smoldering ember.” The first single “Water,” which Cherie co-wrote with Paul Brandt and Steve Rosen will be serviced to AC and CHR radio formats in July. As a speaker, Adams is passionate about ministering to broken, hurting people and has a heart for singles and teaches on the topic of loneliness. "I have such a soft spot for people who are broken, because I was broken,” shares Adams. “There was a time when I didn't think I could live another day. The Lord changed that for me, and if He could change my life he can do the same for you. I want people who don't know the Lord to come to know Him in a tangible way. He is faithful to reveal Himself to those who really seek Him. This is my mission; this is what I've been called to do." (from LB PR)

*Tuesday, June 28th, 2005*


GMA
The Gospel Music Association (GMA) and several artists praised yesterday’s Supreme Court decision to rule on the side of copyright protection by overturning a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that had affirmed file-sharing companies like Grokster, Morpheus and KaZaA are not liable for their users' copyright infringement. “The gospel music community joins the rest of the music industry in thanking the Supreme Court for its thoughtful, and we believe, correct decision,” said GMA President, John W. Styll. “Today, gospel music artists and everyone making its livelihood in our industry rests easier, knowing that we can continue to create uplifting and edifying music knowing the highest court in our land has declared ‘thou shalt not steal.’” “MGM vs. Grokster," the lawsuit which the Supreme Court reviewed, was brought by 28 of the world's largest entertainment companies against the makers of the illegal peer-to-peer software products. The GMA has been part of an unprecedented coalition of movie and music organizations through the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in asking the Supreme Court to overturn the lower court ruling and thus, reaffirm the fundamental principles of the protection of private property, including intellectual property. Several gospel music artists provided their prospective on today’s Supreme Court decision:
Steven Curtis Chapman (Sparrow Records): “Hopefully, this ruling is the beginning of the end of the rapid growth of illegal downloading. It’s often forgotten that there are so many people who are affected by this issue from tour bus drivers to music retailer sales clerks to aspiring young artists. These new artists may never have a chance to be heard if this problem isn’t addressed. The music community needs to continue to stand together to share the gift of music and to also promote traditional and newer technologies that can get music properly to fans.”
Jason Crabb of the Crabb Family (Daywind Records): “I commend the Supreme Court on their stand to protect individuals who draw their income from the music and film industry with today's ruling. I pray the world takes time to educate themselves on the subject of 'file sharing' and the depth of its effect on the world of music. Most people think when they 'file share' it only takes the standard $15 out of the Crabb Family's pocket, but they don't think about my father, who mainly writes our songs, our mother, our wives, our husbands, our children, the dedicated friends who run our office, our bus driver, and so on. This is our life, as well as our livelihood.”
Bart Millard of MercyMe (INO Records): “I think it is a great victory for the music industry, but ultimately a huge victory for fans of music. To have both sides striving to find a way to get music into the hands of the fan while still allowing people to make a living can only mean good things for the consumer.”
Nichole Nordeman (Sparrow Records): “The Supreme Court has given a voice to countless individuals like me who make their living in the creative arts, and are constantly jeopardized by the epidemic of illegal downloading. Their decision is an important victory for us....and a clear warning for many others."
TobyMac (ForeFront Records): “This is a big victory for young artists that are coming up. It is getting harder and harder to break new artists and without decisions like this that protect them, we may lose some of the artistic voices of the next generation."
(from Spinhouse PR)

Jeremy Camp
Award-winning singer/songwriter Jeremy Camp recently publicized he will be headlining “The Restored Tour” this fall, hitting almost 40 cities across the nation. Sparrow Records’ Bethany Dillon will be one of the tour’s special guests, and Inpop Records’ band Tree63 will appear on the first leg of the highly anticipated tour, and just announced, Simple/INO/Epic Records band The Afters will take the place of Tree63 on the second leg. In addition, more dates have just been added to the tour The tour, acquiring its name from Camp’s current release on BEC Recordings, Restored, is Camp’s third time to headline in his career. “The Restored Tour” will begin September 2nd and run through November 21st. This summer, Camp is appearing on the main stages at all the major summer festivals. Also, Camp has a song featured on Music Inspired By: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the soundtrack to the upcoming film that is an adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ best-selling classic. Camp penned the song featured on the soundtrack, titled “Open Up Your Eyes,” and is also scheduled to be shipped to radio. Music Inspired By: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is releasing through EMI CMG Music. (from The M Collective)

Todd Agnew
Ardent Records/SRE Recordings singer/songwriter Todd Agnew has announced he will be headlining his “Reflection Of Something Tour” this fall, hitting around 25 markets nationwide. The “Reflection of Something Tour” will feature Sparrow Records’ band Starfield as well as introduce Fervent Records’ artist, Inhabited. Beginning September 15th and running through October, the tour will support the release of Agnew’s sophomore project, Reflection of Something, hitting shelves August 16th. “Todd Agnew's ‘Reflection of Something Tour’ will definitely be a night filled with amazing music as well as Todd sharing his passion for worship,” shares Greg Oliver, President of Greg Oliver Agency, Inc., the agency booking the tour, “I think fans of all ages will enjoy this night of ministry. I am also very excited that Starfield and the new band Inhabited will join Todd on the road this fall.” This ministry-driven artist is taking a step off the big stage this summer as he is currently leading worship at numerous youth camps around the U.S. And while camps are a favorite for him, Agnew is ready for the fall tour to begin, commenting, “I am very excited to share the stage with Starfield, one of the best new bands around, and introduce my friends Inhabited. It will be a great night of music, but we want people to encounter God at the concert, and to leave with experiencing a reflection of His presence and glory.” The tour, currently being finalized, will hit such markets as Knoxville, TN, Lancaster, OH, Hannibal, MO and Alexandria, LA. Agnew will also be performing at Creation East and West as well as Spirit West Coast this summer. Visit www.toddagnew.com and www.GOA-INC.com for the most updated tour information. (from The M Collective)

Joy Electric
Joy Electric has finished their latest studio venture and is already at work on another project! "As of June 20th, the album is done," the band announced last week at JoyElectric.com. "The tapes are being sent to mastering first thing in the morning. The album is released on August 30th. Do with it what you will. I'm starting work on a new album called The Memory of Alpha. I'd like to spend a year on this one." The project releasing August 30th is entitled The Ministry of Archers. (from JoyElectric.com, thanks to "Tim W")

Charity Von
Slanted Records recording artist Charity Von will be participating in a yearlong campaign launched by Ronald McDonald House Charities in an effort to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House of Kansas. The campaign launched on June 23, 2005, and will run through June 23, 2006. McDonald’s is featuring a select number of artists from the Kansas/Missouri region with this music promotion--a web-based initiative that offers free downloads to consumers and urges them to make a donation to the Ronald McDonald House. Charity, a native of Kansas City, Kan., who is featured throughout the campaign, has offered her newly released single “Take Me Through It” as a downloadable song for campaign participants. 100% of proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House. Local radio station 97.3 The Planet will be actively involved with this campaign as the participating artists are featured for ten weeks on the station’s New Music Monday program. This program will include radio advertising for the benefit, artist on-air interviews and the cross-promotion of the benefit’s website. To participate in the promotion or find further details, visit www.imlovinitlate.com. Information about Charity and her music is available as well as the download and opportunity to donate. Plans are underway for a concert at the Ronald McDonald House, tentatively scheduled for spring of 2006, for participating artists, each of whom hopes to raise the most money for the Ronald McDonald House through a download. “It’s great to be a part of this effort,” stated Charity. “It’s fulfilling to know that my music--something I love to do so much--can be used to bring good to someone else’s life, especially when it’s the lives of children being impacted…to know that all of this can be combined in my family’s hometown area is the icing on the cake!” (from Spring Hill Music Group)

The new video for Mae's "Suspension" is now online at Yahoo Music! Click here to check it out! For those MAC users who have trouble viewing the video, you can also check it out right here on the Tooth & Nail site in the Media section. (from Tooth & Nail)

Number One Gun
With a July 19th release date just around the corner, Number One Gun are preparing for what will no doubt be an eventful summer. Already receiving advance praise for their upcoming album, Promises For The Imperfect, Number One Gun are preparing to release their album to the world in just a few short weeks. For now, the band presents their first peak at, "Promises For The Imperfect," with the songs, "Pretend" and "We Are." available now on PureVolume.com. Check them out now at: http://www.purevolume.com/numberonegun (from Tooth & Nail)

*Friday, June 24th, 2005*


Hawk Nelson
Tooth & Nail’s Hawk Nelson again splashes onto the Hollywood scene with a cameo performance in the remake of the 1968 romantic comedy Yours, Mine, & Ours singing “Bring Em Out,” a song they penned specifically for the film. Yours, Mine, & Ours will open nationwide in late November. The remake film features Dennis Quaid portraying Frank Beardsley, Henry Fonda's role in the original film, and Rene Russo co-staring in the role played by Lucille Ball. The story follows two single parents, one with 10 children and the other with eight, who fall in love and elope left to deal with the kids' attempts to sabotage their union. Directed by Raja Gosnell (Scooby Doo, Scooby Doo 2, Never Been Kissed). The film also features Nickelodeon star, Drake Bell (“The Drake and Josh Show”), Jerry O’Connell (“Crossing Jordan”), Katija Pevec (“Listen Up”), and Miranda Cosgrove (School of Rock). Hawk Nelson enters the film when the disgruntled kids throw a massive party. During the party, the band performs their song, “Bring Em Out,” with Drake Bell joining them in their “live” performance. Hawk Nelson’s song “Things We Go Through,” which is on their current CD, is featured in the film. Bass player Daniel Biro comments, "Film, Hollywood and California have always intrigued us. Long days, a lot of waiting around and hurrying up are reality; however, that rewarding feeling at the end of the day is priceless. The other actors and actresses were so welcoming. Raja (the director) was such an encouragement to the band. If I could do it all over again there would be no hesitation. I only hope that this is the start of much, much more." Hawk Nelson’s lead vocalist Jason Dunn also enjoyed working with the cast specifically Russo, "Rene is truly an amazing woman. She invited us back to her trailer and offered us dinner. It was amazing to see an actress of such caliber go out of her way for people like us. She is a great example and very inspiring." Music supervisor for the film, Spring Aspers, says of the band’s involvement, “Working with Hawk Nelson was fantastic. They are very talented and work quickly. Hawk was a perfect fit for this film, and we were fortunate to have them. When they performed for the party scene, they lit up the whole party... everyone on set got involved and began singing and chanting the words; it was such a fun moment.” Their appearance in Yours, Mine, & Ours follows their television debut in NBC’s American Dreams, which the band emulated rock legend The Who singing the hit song “My Generation.” Hawk Nelson’s songs have also been featured on the WB’s shows Smallville (“California”) and Summerland (“Like a Racecar”) as well in 2004 NBC Summer Olympic commercials (“Right Here”). For a photo of Hawk Nelson with Rene Russo, click here. (from The M Collective)

Joy Williams
Joy Williams’ record-breaking hit song “Hide” continues to impact radio airwaves claiming a “clean sweep” at No. 1 this week across all Christian AC and CHR formats. Williams’ upbeat “We” also picked up momentum on the mainstream Hot AC format. The song was the third most added on that chart this week. “Hide” began its impressive run at radio with an unprecedented first week, claiming 47 out-of-the-box adds on the Christian AC format, setting all-time records on both R&R Indicator and CRW AC charts. This was an outstanding 60 percent more adds than any previous record holder. While garnering tremendous radio success, Williams has also been connecting with audiences on the road while visiting high-impact markets on her 20-city Genesis promotional tour. She’s also gearing up for a heavy fall touring schedule to be announced in coming weeks. (from Provindent Music Group)

BarlowGirl
Fervent Records’ all-girl rock band BarlowGirl recently visited Nashville-based Mercy Ministries, a non-profit community for girls who are dealing with problems such as eating disorders, chemical addictions, pregnancy, depression and abuse. During the visit, BarlowGirl performed songs from their acclaimed 2004 self-titled debut and premiered a few tunes from their anticipated fall release. (from Word Label Group)

Demon Hunter
Rockers Demon Hunter is gearing up for their next release. "DH III is in the works and we have over half of the album written," the band recently announced on their official website DemonHunter.net. "We are more excited about this material than ever before. We can't wait for everyone to hear it. New songs include "Fire To My Soul," "Not I" and "The Soldier's Song." In other news, we were forced to turn down a slot on the Sounds Of The Underground tour and we've been absent from the road this year due to a wrist injury sustained by Don. However he's now in great shape for writing and recording and after a minor surgery he will have no problem getting back in front of the fans in 2006. We have also been newly energized with fresh blood in the lineup. We will enter The Compound in Seattle this summer with a fall release date coming soon. Our "as-yet untitled" third album will be a guest-vocalist free affair this time, allowing The Hunters to get the purest form of DH possible. Aaron Sprinkle will again produce, having more than delivered the goods on our self-titled debut and last year's SOD release... We enter the studio July 18th!!" (from DemonHunter.net)

Mat Kearney will spend late July and most of August on tour with Blue Merle and Kyle Riabko. He also will be playing select shows with Liz Phair during her "Acoustic Evening With..." series. Visit MatKearney.com for tour dates. (from MatKearney.com)

One of music’s most prolific and significant worship songwriters, Twila Paris, has signed with Integrity Music to release her newest and first live recording project, He Is Exalted: Live Worship, on August 30. “Twila Paris is a Christian music treasure. She has written and performed some of our generation’s most important worship songs, and we are honored that she is now recording for Integrity, and as her friend, I am personally thrilled to be working with her,” said Don Moen, president of Integrity Label Group and executive producer of Paris’ new CD. (from Spinhouse PR)

*Tuesday, June 21st, 2005*


SCC
We have some more information on the forthcoming Narnia project... EMI Music – the world’s largest independent music company – recently announced plans to partner with Walt Disney Studios and Walden Media to produce two soundtracks of music inspired by what is one of 2005’s most anticipated films, a live action adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ best-selling classic, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. EMI Music’s Nashville-based EMI CMG will release both “inspired by” soundtracks and has announced an all-star line up for the first in the series of releases: an Inspirational soundtrack CD, Music Inspired By: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, featuring recordings from artists that combined have sold in excess of 23 million albums. Five-time Grammy Award Winner Steven Curtis Chapman leads the pack with the project’s debut single and video, “Remembering You,” which will release to Christian radio formats nationwide on August 5th. Jars of Clay ("Waiting for the World to Fall"), Jeremy Camp ("Open Your Eyes"), TobyMac, Nichole Nordeman ("I Will Believe"), Rebecca St. James ("Lion"), Delirious ("Stronger"), Kutless, Bethany Dillon ("Hero"), Chris Tomlin ("You're The One") and David Crowder Band round-out the line up thus far. The Inspirational CD will release on September 27th. A second soundtrack of songs inspired by the film will release October 25th and feature mainstream pop and rock artists. Regarding his participation in the soundtrack, Steven Curtis Chapman commented, "So much has already been brilliantly communicated by C.S. Lewis with this story, so writing for it was kind of an overwhelming task," said Steven Curtis Chapman. "This story leaves me with wanting to remember what it means to experience Spring or new life. "Remembering You" is a song from the perspective of a lot of the characters at the end of the story saying, 'whenever I see the first signs of spring, I'll be remembering you, Aslan, the story and what is to come.'" "EMI CMG's partnership with Disney and Walden Media holds an unprecedented visibility and marketing opportunity for the participating artists, allowing their music to reach a global audience," stated EMI CMG's President and CEO, Bill Hearn. "Disney and Walden Media have shown a tremendous amount of passion for the music and we are excited for them to incorporate this ever-expanding genre that perfectly compliments the theme of the film." Promotions for the Inspirational Inspired-by project began recently, when HarperCollins, publisher of the Chronicles of Narnia book series hosted a celebration in New York for the forthcoming movie release in conjunction with the American Booksellers Association. Sparrow Records singer/songwriter Bethany Dillon premiered her song, "Hero," from the project at that celebration. Promotions will also include soundtrack music being featured as part of the interactive marketing plans with www.narnia.com and its development of NarniaMusic.com, which will feature artist interviews, shots from the studio, song samples, promotions and more. The film, produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media, will be released worldwide on December 9. A trailer for the movie can be seen here. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is directed by Andrew Adamson, who also directed the Academy Award winning animated film Shrek and Shrek 2, produced by Academy Award winning Mark Johnson (Rain Man), with a screenplay by Emmy Award winning Ann Peacock (A Kiss Before Dying), and special effects provided by WETA, the winner of four Academy Awards for The Lord of The Rings. (from The M Collective)

Blindside
Blindside's Black Friday tour starts this week and the band will be bringing fans their favorites from each album as well as some of the new material from their stunning new album The Great Depression. The band have been putting the final touches to the set list and working out which songs from each album will be played. For the first time ever, the guys will be playing multiple songs from each record – a kind of “Blindside Greatest Hits Show.” (from Blindside)

Amy Grant
Best-selling, multiple GRAMMY and Dove Award-winning singer and songwriter Amy Grant is set to perform live as part of NBC’s “Today Show” Summer Concert Series on June 24. The performance comes as commercial and critical acclaim for her newest project, Rock of Ages…Hymns and Faith, continues to pour in. The project was picked as “Critic’s Choice” and given a “four-out-of-four” star rating in the June 20 issue of People Magazine. Rock of Ages is Grant’s twentieth album and made its first week sales debut at #1 on both the Christian and the Christian Overall SoundScan charts. The project entered Billboard’s Top 200 sales chart at #42, and follows the recent Gold certification of Grant’s first hymns project, Legacy…Hymns & Faith. Critical praise for Rock of Ages began in advance of its May 3 release from noted publications such as CCM Magazine, which has featured Grant on two recent covers including their June issue, dubbed “The Amy Issue,” where Grant served as guest editor. Barnes and Noble.com has described the project as, “the rare sequel that rivals the original,” while Christianity Today.com said, “…Rock of Ages delivers on all you could hope for from another hymns album from Amy Grant—worshipful, musical, and creative, with her familiar, warm alto voice topping it off.” Produced by Vince Gill and Brown Bannister, Rock of Ages…Hymns & Faith contains twelve classic hymns and worship songs, including a “Rock of Ages” duet with Gill, along with a newly recorded version “El Shaddai,” which was named “A Song of the Century” by the RIAA in 2001. (from The WMG)

Brian Head Welch
Ex-Korn Guitarist Brian "Head" Welch, known for his recent conversion to Christianity, has been actively working on his new record. Amidst his recordings, Welch is spending time with another one of his loves- a passion for helping kids get off the streets. This passion has turned into the idea of planting Brian's first "Head Home." "Throughout all of my life I have always had a heart for people that are hurting especially those that have no one to help them. My eyes have been opened to children on the street and I feel like for me that is who I want and need to help!" says Welch. Head has linked up with new manager, Steve Delaportas, of Fortitude Films to develop his musical career, launch his upcoming documentary on his life and partner with Welch in his "Head Home" projects. Delaportas has provided funding and assistance to successfully help orphans country wide in India with the company "Good News India." This company helps house, train and educate some 1600 school aged children thoughout India. With Delaportas' track record of success already in India, HEAD will be focusing his "Head Home" to help children of all issues such as the leper communities to help introduce the leper children back into the community, help children where their parents have sold them into brothels, to other poverish situations. Delaportas echos Welch's sentiments, " I am so excited to be helping HEAD in his mission to assist those in need world wide! HEAD has brought so much to the table with new ideas and solutions to help in the fight to help with the next generation. These children are wanting for little and HEAD is wanting to give so much! I stand in amazement." HEAD will be in for not only an adventurous journey but also a potential dangerous one because one of the main homes of orphaned children that HEAD will be visiting is adjacent to a cannibal tribe! Welch and Delaportas as well as Welch's documentary crew will be traveling to Bombay, Kolkata, Balasore, and Kurseong. Updates of their journey can be viewed at HEAD's website www.headtochrist.com (from Big Machine Media)

Phil Keaggy
Nashville-based Christian music distributor TAG Artist Group has added six-time Dove Award winner Phil Keaggy to it's roster of artists. His new CD Freehand: Acoustic Sketches 2, which includes classic hits such as "What a Day," "Your Love Broke Through" and "Salvation Army Band," will be released to Christian retail in July, along with a new live DVD titled Philly Live. "It's a joy to work with such a world class talent," says Dan Huisinga, President of TAG Artist Group. "He completely fits in with our vision of serving the Church through retail with music and DVD's of excellence. The retailers and international distributors I've spoken with are very excited to receive his new offerings for their customers." Keaggy's solo career has spanned more than 30 years, and has included close to 50 solo albums, both vocal and instrumental, as well as 8 releases with his band, Glass Harp. He's also one of the most sought after studio guitarists in the world, and has recorded with numerous artists including P.O.D., Amy Grant, Randy Stonehill, Bruce Carroll, Michael Card, Andre Crouch and 2nd Chapter of Acts. Keaggy continues to sell out concerts all over the United States with his ever-changing style, ranging from rock-and-roll to fully orchestrated instrumental compositions. "I'm happy to continue my long standing relationship with Christian retail through a company that is so passionate about serving God and their customers," Keaggy states. "It's good to see the new doors that God is opening in our industry." Keaggy joins the TAG roster alongside such artists as Bryan Duncan, Bruce Carroll, Steve Archer, Anthony Burger, Leon Patillo, Chronos, Substance, Kent Bottenfield and Joy Oliver. (from Nashville Publicity)

Casting Crowns
Performing rights organization BMI saluted the writers and publishers of the past year’s most performed Christian songs during the BMI Christian Music Awards last night, with highest honors reserved for Building 429’s “Glory Defined” as Song of the Year and Casting Crown's Mark Hall as Songwriter of the Year. In a ceremony staged at BMI’s Nashville offices, Citations of Achievement were presented to 22 songs in five categories: AC [Adult Contemporary], CHR [Christian Hit Radio], Contemporary/Traditional Gospel, Rock, and Southern Gospel. Jim Cooper and Jason Roy won the BMI Crystal for Most Performed Christian Song of the Year as writers of “Glory Defined." Published by Dayspring Music LLC, “Glory Defined" was recorded by Building 429; Roy is frontman/guitarist and Cooper is producer of the group. “Glory Defined” was recognized for AC and CHR airplay. Mark Hall, lead singer of Casting Crowns, earned the title of BMI Christian Songwriter of the Year. Hall led all writers with four awards for the Casting Crowns hits “If We Are the Body” and “Who Am I,” each included in the AC and CHR categories. Both songs are from Casting Crowns’ self-titled, platinum debut (Beach Street/Reunion Records). In addition to Roy and Cooper, four additional songwriters picked up two Citations each: Aaron Sprinkle, Marc Byrd for “God of Wonders,” Kenny Greenberg and Brendan Graham (IMRO). Other 2005 BMI award-winning songwriter/artists were rockers Pillar, John Cooper of Skillet, Michael Tait & Chad Chapin of Tait and Thousand Foot Krutch; urban stars Fred Hammond and Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson; and Southern Gospel voices Gerald Crabb, Wayne Haun, Annie McRae, and Rodney Griffin of Greater Vision. (from BMI Nashville)

WOW#1's, launched April 5th as the debut release of the 10th anniversary celebration of Christian music's best selling brand, has been officially certified by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as a Gold Multi-Disc Album. Reflecting sales of more than 250,000 units, the gold certification came as WOW#1's climbed to the top of the Billboard Christan Album charts--initially reaching #1 during the chart week ending May 22nd. Announcement of WOW's latest RIAA certification is celebrated by the unique partnership that parents the brand. WOW#1's is released by Provident-Integrity Distribution in partnership with EMI CMG and Word Entertainment, the three industry leaders in Christian music who in 1995 formed an alliance to offer music fans the ultimate brand and the collection that has consistently produced the most in-demand albums of the year. Noted Dean Diehl, Senior Director of Marketing for Provident-Integrity: "WOW#1's gold certification fittingly celebrates the first full decade of the brand that consumers consistently tell us through the sales charts is perceived as the definitive 'must have' collection in Christian music. Provident-Integrity joins EMI CMG and Word Entertainment in the commitment to make the second decade of WOW even greater in its reach to bring increased awareness to Christian music and the family of artists we collectively present through the WOW series." (from Morningstar PR)

Ron Winans, a legendary Gospel artist and member of the first family of Gospel, the Winans, passed away at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, June 17, 2005 from complications due to pneumonia. Earlier this year, Winans stated that, “The songs on Family & Friends V [Winans’ last recording] are my testimony. I hope this project … reminds them just how precious life is.” We are reminded today with his passing, of how precious life really is. God did a miraculous work in Winans’ life when he healed him against all odds eight years ago, and Winans celebrated each day of the life he was given. Ronald Winans was part of the quartet of brothers: Marvin, Carvin, Michael and Ronald, The Winans. Discovered by Andrae Crouch, they released ten projects, which led to numerous accolades, including Grammy awards. Ron Winans, however, is probably best known for his series Family and Friends. Winans released five in this series and songs like the Grammy winning Abundant Life, recorded by his brother BeBe, showcased Winans’ production skills. Earlier this year Winans released his final project on CD and DVD, Ron Winans Family & Friends V: A Celebration, which was recorded live at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit. Ronald Winans will be remembered for his impact in the Gospel music industry, and through his living testimony, his music. The Winans family states that they appreciate the support people are offering through prayer. They are receiving letters of sympathy at the Perfecting Church, 7616 East Nevada Street, Detroit, Mich., 48234, (313) 365-5378. (from FIVESTONES music)

Delays, delays, delays. The most recent release date for Switchfoot's much anticipated follow-up to The Beautiful Letdown has been delayed once again from August 30th until its newest release date, September 13th! Hopefully this is the last time it will be delayed, but in the meantime, catch a short clip of their hit-to-be "Stars" at Switchfoot.com... (from Sparrow Records)

*Friday, June 17th, 2005*


Supertones
The O.C. Supertones may be playing their final show this October, but it doesn't look like it's all over quite yet for the California ska/rock band. John Wilson, the band's drummer, recently confirmed a rumor on the Supertones.com forums that the band has a final studio EP in the works! Details on the EP are scarce, but it will not be released to stores and will apparently only be available at the band's live shows this Fall on the final leg of their farewell tour! Wilson also revealed that there's a slight possibility that their final show may get recorded for a future project, however, it isn't confirmed (legalities need to be worked out, etc). Keep an eye on Supertones.com and this page for more details! (from Supertones.com; thanks to W. Jones)

Starflyer 59
Starflyer 59 have a brand new live album titled Never Play Covers. It was recorded live in Atlanta Georgia in 2004 and contains 10 tracks. This limited pressing is available now from Starflyer59.com or at the band's live shows. In other news, the band's Silver and Gold album reissues will be out on the 28th of this month. Included on the Silver album will be the She's the Queen EP, and included on the Gold album will be the long out of print Le Vainqueur EP. These have also been digitally remastered for improved audio quality from the original masters! (from Starflyer59.com)

Joy Williams
Joy Williams’ record-breaking hit song “Hide” seals the No. 1 spot this week across multiple formats, landing atop both Billboard’s Hot Christian Adult Contemporary and Hot Christian Singles and Tracks charts and R&R’s AC Indicator and CHR charts. Further, this blockbuster lead single off new album Genesis spends its second No. 1 week on CRW’s CHR chart. “Hide” began its impressive run at radio with an unprecedented first week, claiming 47 out-of-the-box adds on the Christian AC format, setting all-time records on both R&R Indicator and CRW AC charts. This was an outstanding 60 percent more adds than any previous record holder. Already hitting the 10,000 spin mark, Williams’ proven audience-winning song is also this month’s recipient of the Nielsen BDS Certified Christian Spin Award for outstanding Christian radio airplay achievement. While garnering radio success, Williams has been connecting with audiences on the road, visiting high-impact markets on her 20-city promotional tour in support of Genesis. She’s also gearing up for a jam-packed fall schedule, with major tour plans being finalized. Details are forthcoming. (from Provident Music Group)

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is now accepting entries for 2005. One of the largest songwriting competitions in the world, ISC offers entrants a chance to compete for over $100,000 in cash and prizes, including an Overall Grand Prize package of $10,000 (US) in cash and $20,000 in merchandise. Winners benefit from extensive press and publicity, giving exposure and recognition to an international music market of industry professionals and fans. Internationally renowned for its high-caliber judges, ISC offers entrants a unique opportunity to have their songs heard by some of the most influential decision-makers in the industry. Early bird deadline for submission is July 15, 2005. Final deadline for submission is September 15, 2005. Entries are accepted online or through regular mail. For more information, judges, and to enter, go to http://www.songwritingcompetition.com (from ISC)

Casting Pearls
Nebraska-based rock band Casting Pearls has joined Inpop Records’ roster and will release its self-titled label debut on August 16th. Releasing with a limited edition CD/DVD package, the CD will feature 10 new studio cuts. The DVD, a full-length concert taped live at the historic Rococo Theater in front of a sold-out crowd, showcases Casting Pearls electrifying stage show. The band is fronted by newsboys guitarist Bryan Olesen and will open for the newsboys on select dates this summer and fall. Comprised of lead singer Olesen, bassist Case Maranville and drummer Scott Rutz, Casting Pearls formed in 2002 when Rutz completed the lineup. Having had recorded two independent projects, including the EP, Rock, Casting Pearls caught the ear of newsboys frontman Peter Furler and ultimately landed its first label deal. Prior to signing with Inpop, the band honed its chops and built an impressive fan base on the road. “I'm very excited to be signed with Inpop,” says Olesen. “Peter Furler has provided every opportunity for Casting Pearls to thrive. The Inpop staff believes in our band and our songs. I'm humbled and honored by their enthusiasm and the effort they have made in preparing for our upcoming release,” he says. “Casting Pearls is a great live band,” says Furler. “My first exposure to the guys was when they opened a newsboys show. I’ve worked with Bryan for several years now as he’s played guitar for us, and it’s awesome to see Casting Pearls sign on with Inpop. We’ve been following this band for years,” he says. The band’s August release features 10 pop/rock tunes aimed to make the listener think and move. The songs are comprised of universal lyrics born from the band’s personal experience. Production credits for the album come from the Grammy Award-winning team of Jason Burkum and Nathan Dantzler (Audio Adrenaline, Tree63, Kids In The Way), and the album features guest vocals by Phil Joel (newsboys) on “Alright” and “Wasting Time.” Tunesmiths Tim Hughes and Mark Heimermann contribute cuts to the album as well. Casting Pearls first single, “Weighted,” from the forthcoming release has escalated up Radio & Records’ Christian Rock chart, and “Alright” will go for adds at all formats in coming weeks. The K-Love Radio Network is one of the earliest supporters of the song, having added “Alright” into rotation right out of the box. (from InPop Records)

Itching to hear new music from Canadian rockers Thousand Foot Krutch? While their newest effort hits streets July 19th, you can hear a brand new track from The Art Of Breaking entitled "Absolute" on their Purevolume.com page! Surf on over and check it out...

Olivia The Band jumped to the top of TV-U’s video countdown show, “Ten Most Wanted,” with its new video “Saturday.” It debuted on the countdown June 2 and went to No. 1 in just six days, remarkably quick according to John Owens, director of television operations TV-U. “We were really surprised to see ‘Saturday’ jump to No. 1 so fast,” said Owens. “It’s going to be a strong song on our countdown for the rest of the summer due to viewer support.” Videos are chosen by viewers through email votes and calls to a toll-free voter hotline. Olivia The Band has received outstanding response from viewers. A few of the voters offered comments such as, “Olivia Rocks!”, “Coolio video!” and “Olivia is an awesome band and will go a long way!” Olivia The Band is also sponsoring the “Surfs Up” contest with TV-U in which they will give away 20 Olivia The Band albums, 15 pairs of Cobian sandals and a custom Olivia The Band surfboard from U.M. Surfboards as the grand prize. Viewers can register to win at www.tvulive.com where they can also see the “Ten Most Wanted” on a live stream. The “Ten Most Wanted” airs on TV-U weekdays at 4 p.m., 7 p.m., and 10 p.m. EST. Other bands currently on the Ten Most Wanted include Disciple, Kids In The Way, Relient K and Toby Mac. (from Provident Music Group)

Petra
The music and fun are scheduled to set sail September 12th as Premier Christian Cruises' 'Music Boat 2005' takes to the high seas with a boat load of the biggest names in contemporary Christian music. With 2005 marking the inaugural year of Premier's 'Music Boat Cruise' series, excitment is building around this the latest voyage, set to leave dock from Miami for a September 12th-16th ship's itinerary that will include port stops in Key West and Cozumel, Mexico. Announcement has just been made that legendary Christian rock band Petra has been added to the ship's talent register, for the event billed as 'The Ultimate Christian Cruise Vacation.' The cruise will mark one of Petra's final appearances since the recent announcement of their retirement after 33 years in Christian music, four Grammys, 10 Dove Awards, and sales of more than 7 million records as a 'pioneer' rock band in the genre. In making the announcement, Premier's Roy Morgan noted: "Petra's addition to 'Music Boat 2005' is a major acquisition to a line-up that is undoubtedly one of the strongest to date for the Premier Group's cruise concert event series." In addition to Petra and the music of more than a dozen top artists in contemporary Christian music, the Premier getaway cruise will feature a full schedule of non-stop, family-oriented fun in the sun, fellowship, and worship for five days aboard Carnival's luxury fleet ship, 'ms. Fascination.' For more information, and all upcoming schedulings of Premier Christian Cruise events, resource online at: www.premierchristiancruises.com

Word Records recording artist David Phelps is releasing his anticipated solo album, Life Is A Church, September 27. Produced, arranged and recorded by Greg Bieck (Barbara Streisand, Jessica Simpson), the album follows Phelps’ Word debut, Revelation, which garnered top-10 SoundScan positioning during its first week of sales. Life Is A Church combines Phelps’ renowned vocals with themes encompassing his relationships with God, family and the world around him. Overall, the project says simply that we can no longer confine God to Sunday mornings. With his departure from the Gaither Vocal Band with whom he has impressed audiences internationally at over 100 performances a year, Phelps is excited about dedicating his career fully toward a solo direction. With endorsements from Bill Gaither such as, “David has to be one of the most outstanding talents that I have witnessed in the last 50 years,” Phelps’ decision to begin a new season in life came after much prayer. “For over a year now I have been grappling with leaving the Vocal Band,” says Phelps. “With the council of family, friends, my pastor and more, I mustered up the courage to take this step of surrender and obedience. Of course I will miss Bill, Gloria and the wonderful family I’ve grown to love on the Homecoming tour. However our paths are too intertwined for it to be over. “I’ve had incredible success with my solo career and that’s where I need to spend my energy right now. I’m looking forward to having the time to be out on the road reaching more people with the gifts God has given me.” (from Word Label Group)

*Tuesday, June 14th, 2005*


Sarah Kelly
Sarah Kelly recently packed the Allentown, Pennsylvania Hackman's Bible Bookstore for a special in-store event, where Jesusfreakhideout.com was in attendence. Sarah played an extended acoustic set, playing a total of seven songs to a staggering crowd of well over two hundred. Kelly played three new songs, including the title track from her new record At About Midnight that is tentatively looking at a November 9th release from Gotee Records. While some pretty exciting details are still pretty confidential, it looks like some big things are on the horizon for Kelly and her sophomore effort will be one Fall release to indeed save up for... (from Jesusfreakhideout.com)

Casting Crowns
Christian music sensation Casting Crowns announces their first headlining “Lifesong Tour” in support of the band’s upcoming new project, Lifesong, to be released on August 30th. This certain-to-be record-breaking Fall 2005 tour will visit 38 cities from September 29th through December 4th. The “Lifesong Tour” will feature GMA’s reigning New Artist of the Year, Building 429 and Guest Speaker/Emcee for the night, Tony Nolan. In an unprecedented effort to make the show affordable for everyone, the band has desired that ticket prices remain very reasonable and will make them available to fans at www.castingcrowns.com. Additionally driven by a desire to connect with and encourage local youth pastors, Casting Crown’s Mark Hall will be leading youth-worker clinics in several cities visited on the tour (to be determined). Some markets will hold an afternoon clinic on Saturdays and all others will have an intermission meeting with youth pastors. As the Gospel Music Association’s reigning Group of the Year, Casting Crowns has just wrapped the extremely successful “All Things New” tour with Steven Curtis Chapman and Chris Tomlin, having hit 72 cities with multiple sellouts, and reaching a combined audience of more than 350,000. Including their Group of the Year win, Casting Crowns and Mark Hall were honored with seven total Dove Awards at the 2005 Gospel Music Awards, including Song of the Year (“Who Am I”) and Songwriter of the Year for Hall. (from Beach Street)

Dove Awards
The 36th Annual GMA Music Awards (also known as the Dove Awards), filmed in Nashville this past April, is now airing in syndication throughout the United States during June and July. Among the featured EMI CMG artists are co-host Steven Curtis Chapman as well as performances from Best New Artist nominees Bethany Dillon and Matthew West, plus a special worship segment with Passion artist-worshipers David Crowder Band, Matt Redman, and Chris Tomlin. For JfH's coverage of this year's GMA Week, click here (from Sparrow Records)

John Reuben
For one night only, fans can get the new record from John Reuben, The Boy Vs The Cynic for only $5 on super Tuesday, June 21st, at Alive festival in Canal Fulton, Ohio. See John Reuben perform that night along with House of Heroes, LA Symphony, Mars Ill, 4th Avenue Jones, Family Force Five, Jeff Anderson, and Sarah Kelly! For more details go to Alive.org. For the brand new JfH interview with Reuben, click here! (from Myspace.com/JohnReuben)

Riley Armstrong
Canadian Riley Armstrong has officially returned with his independent online release of his brand new record La Loop. The record is available in download or CD form online first before it hits shelves this Fall. This is Riley's first recording since his 2002 Flicker Records album Whatever The Weather. La Loop gets its title, says Riley, from the book of Ecclesiastes. "King Solomon, in all his wisdom writes beautifully about life and his quest to find meaning," wrote Armstrong in a recent newsletter. "He couldn't find it in the pleasures or riches of this world but only in the awe of God our creator, we find our meaning in Him. God has engineered this world with a balance that is absolutely amazing, with a quote from chapter 1 verse 5, 'the sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises... what has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.' So La Loop is a work exploring my journey to find meaning, through love, riches (or the lack there of), success, disappointment and folly, only to return to where I began a life surrendered to the Lord. Of course there's also a song or two that are just plain crazy and have no deep meaning..." You can order La Loop online right now for just $9.99! (from Riley Armstrong)

Falling Up are working on their new album, Dawn Escapes, right now in Virginia Beach. They have a temporary new website up (http://www.fallinguponline.com) where fans can view photos and videos about their time in Virginia. Dawn Escapes is slated for an October 2005 release... (thanks to B. Goad for the news)

The Choir
Pioneering Christian alternative and modern rock bands Undercover, The Choir, Altar Boys, and Crumbächer are to perform a reunion concert in celebration of over 20 years of music, ministry and friendships. Twenty years ago, in 1985, Broken Records saw the release of albums by four trendsetting Southern California alternative bands who would forever change the face of Christian music. Long before Switchfoot, Underoath, Third Day, and Skillet, these artists were stretching the limits on what was considered acceptable for Christian music. The Choir, Undercover, The Altar boys and Crumbächer helped to create the Christian alternative/modern rock genre. From a small counterculture throughout Southern California came heartfelt, honest, God-centered songs written purely for the sake of the ministry and the music. Broken Records was a youth music ministry outreach sponsored by Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, CA and a part of Maranatha Music. These bands were label-mates over 20 years ago, yet have remained connected through the years. Each band comments on the live concert event below. Take Two Productions is pleased to present a concert event featuring some of the best alternative Christian bands from the 1980's with Undercover, The Choir, Altar Boys, Crumbächer, and special guests 441. The concert will take place on August 19th. Ticket prices and additional information available at http://www.taketwoproductions.net (from Galaxy21 Music)

2005 Grammy Award winner Steven Curtis Chapman (All Things New) is honored to be performing at the Billy Graham Crusade on June 24 in the greater New York City area. Learn more about the event at BillyGraham.org. (from Sparrow Records)

Kirk Franklin
As he continues work on his upcoming summer new release, platinum-selling Gospel artist Kirk Franklin has added yet another duty to his already full plate of activities: blogging. The latest phenomenon to sweep the online world, blogging has quickly become one of the most popular ways to communicate thoughts, ideas and experiences with the worldwide audience that the internet provides. Franklin plans to use his blog, located at his website www.KirkFranklin.us, to communicate with his fans and share about his personal, professional and spiritual experiences. Fans can look forward to candid journal entries, commentaries and insider information as Franklin gives the public a look at what is going on behind the scenes during this season of his life. Visitors to Kirk's website will also soon get a front row sneak peek into the making of his new album via several "webisodes," a series of behind-the-scenes documentary-type videos that will be made available exclusively online. Franklin will soon be hitting the road in support of the forthcoming release, with upcoming key performances at the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International Conference on July 14-15 and T.D. Jakes' Mega Fest in Atlanta on August 3-5, where Franklin will headline the kick-off concert at Phillips Arena. Stay tuned to www.KirkFranklin.us for more dates as they are announced. Kirk Franklin's new album, the first release on his own Fo Yo Soul Entertainment label in association with the Zomba Gospel Group, is due in stores this summer. (from Fo Yo Soul)

*Thursday, June 9th, 2005*


Petra
Organic pop band Farewell June will be performing with Petra on their Farewell Tour this fall. The tour is scheduled for September 30-November 20, 2005. "Petra has been the blueprint for Christian rock musicians. Farewell June is ecstatic that Petra chose us to be part of this historical and epic tour!" Farewell June's debut album, 1939, released on Whiplash Records in early February. 1939 was produced by the legendary Jonathan David Brown. Brown helped to establish Christian rock through the development of Petra, who broke into the marketplace with "Coloring Song" and then "More Power To Ya." For more information on Farewell June, please visit Farewelljune.com! (from FIVESTONESmusic)

Skillet
In addition to performances at top summer festivals, Skillet is hard at working on new songs for their next studio recording. The band will record this fall for an early 2006 release with Ardent/SRE (CBA) and Lava (General Market). In the meantime, check out Skillet on the cover of the premiere issue of Christian Guitarist and Bassist magazine, published by the editors of Guitar Player magazine! You can also see the band live on the broadcasts of the 36th Annual GMA Awards! For local listings, go to http://www.gmamusicawards.com/newsroom/synd-list.cfm (from The M Collective)

Rock N Roll Worship Circus
The Rock & Roll Worship Circus have been pulled from the massive Frenzy event in Edinburgh, Scotland this Saturday (11th) for reasons which have been left as "personal." The good news is that they have been replaced at the last minute by Newsboys, who, in a very "Rock & Roll" move will be flown by private jet from a gig in Holland earlier that same day. Newsboys will now close the show at Frenzy, which also features Third Day, Delirious? and David Crowder Band. For more details visit www.frenzyfrenzy.com Exclusive live coverage of the event, including live sets by the top three bands as well as excerpts from other acts, will be provided by The Word, who can be found online at www.thewordismusic.com Coverage begins at 11.00BST through 23.00BST presented by Steve Best, Sian Contell and Chris Mountford. (from Steve Best)

Audio A
Audio Adrenaline has finished recording and mixing their brand new, and eighth studio album, Until My Heart Caves In, and it is being mastered at this very moment! Keep an eye on AudioA.COM as the band will be releasing exclusive news and video straight from the studio between now and the release date, August 30th. Also, catch the guys on tour this Summer on several major festival lineups and look for a headlining tour in the Fall! (from AudioA.com)

Can't wait for the new Switchfoot record Nothing Is Sound to hit stores on August 30th? We can't either! But to tide yourself over a bit (or to torment yourself, it depends how you look at it), visit Switchfoot.com for an extended clip of the brand new song "Stars!" (from Switchfoot.com)

The Myriad is preparing to release their national debut CD You Can’t Trust a Ladder June 14, 2005 on Floodgate Records. Distribution is through Word Entertainment / WEA. Album release shows are planned in Seattle, WA and Redding, CA. Produced by Aaron Marsh of the band Copeland, “You Can’t Trust a Ladder” tackles the topics of day to day life – faith, frustration, failure, forgiveness – all in a package that is creative, artistic and emotional. Steven Tracy, guitarist and songwriter states, “We wanted to write an album that allowed people to think about and plug in their own experiences. Everyone’s story is unique, and we wanted to create a forum for sharing our stories while allowing people to find their own significance within thealbum.” When asked about the recording, producer Marsh expressed, “"The Myriad is one of those bands that you just really want to work with. They merge intelligent lyrics, creative instrumentation and wrap it in a package that is as artistic as it is accessible. Making this record was a great experience." (from Biscuit PR)

*Wednesday, June 8th, 2005*


SCC
Steven Curtis Chapman is now enjoying some time off at the lake with his family, but only after he took an international detour - a 48-hour whirlwind trip to China. What would make Steven want to spend roughly the same amount of time on a plane traveling there and back as he spent on the ground in China? You guessed it - for his passion of sharing Christ through his music and visiting orphans. Steven was invited by the Chinese government to perform on their popular television program, “Loving Heart For Orphans.” The show airs on CCTV, one of the few outlets that reaches all of China and is their main television broadcast network, reaching one billion people. Steven performed “When Love Takes You In” with Chinese subtitles, and sang the last verse and chorus in Chinese! Steven also performed a powerful song he has never recorded but has often sung at numerous adoption events, titled “A Mother’s Love.” Steven’s appearance on “Loving Heart for Orphans,” which aired June 1st, also featured popular Chinese actors and musicians and was part of the Chinese government’s plan to raise awareness about their “Tomorrow Project.” The “Tomorrow Project” is a five-year plan that is investing resources into bettering the lives of over 30,000 orphans living in Chinese orphanages. Steven also visited with orphans at Hope Foster Home near Beijing, as well as Beijing’s Children’s Hope International Foster Home, doing what he loves to do so much - singing to and loving on orphans. He then hopped on a plane and traveled through numerous time zones just in time to walk on stage for a concert in Montgomery, Alabama. While Steven was in China, wife Mary Beth was visiting orphans on a different continent, in the country of El Salvador. The U.S. Embassy contacted Mary Beth with an invitation from the First Lady of El Salvador, Anna Ligia De Saca. Mrs. De Saca had seen and was impressed by the care that the Chapmans were generating for orphans in the United States and desires the same for the orphans in her country. In other SCC news, Steven will be performing at the upcoming Billy Graham Crusade in New York City this month, is finishing recording his upcoming holiday project and going overseas again as he’s planning a trip to Uganda... (from The M Collective)

Casting Crowns
Beach Street Records announced recently the August 30 release of Lifesong, the much anticipated sophomore project from Dove Award-winning, Atlanta-based group, Casting Crowns. This follows the group’s hugely successful self-titled debut that has already sold over one million copies, and has scored the band three consecutive number one radio hits, each holding the top spot for multiple weeks. This new album explores what an authentic life of worship looks like, desiring to ask the hard questions of why-are-you-doing-that, instead of just what-are-you-doing. “Lifesong,” the project’s first radio single, is undeniably a worship song, but as lead singer and founder of the group, Mark Hall says, “It’s our kind of worship song—one that asks questions first. What is worship really? Why are you doing this? Worship is not a song, it’s the heart that lifts the song. It’s the motivation behind it. Life is worship, not singing.” Once again produced by Mark Miller, frontman of country music sensation Sawyer Brown, Lifesong continues in the same vein as their debut, delivering messages that cut to the heart of the matter, not mincing words to appease the masses, but choosing to poke and prod the church out of indifference and apathy. With songs like the album’s anthemic track, “Love Them Like Jesus,” and “Praise You In This Storm,” Hall has again written a stirring collection of songs that unapologetically and effectively targets believers, with most of their material being taken from their continued involvement in their home church. “It’s the ministry that creates the songs, not the other way around,” states Hall. “From 14 years of being a youth pastor, if I haven’t been through it myself, I’ve been through it a hundred times with someone else. The songs are just about life, it’s where we all live.” With their self-titled debut album having reached RIAA Platinum status (for sales of one million copies), and the Platinum certification of their Live From Atlanta DVD release, Casting Crowns continues to notch up remarkable achievements for a new artist. Including their Group of the Year win, Casting Crowns and Mark Hall were honored with seven total Dove Awards at the 2005 Gospel Music Awards, including Song of the Year (“Who Am I”) and Songwriter of the Year for Hall. Delivering one of the industry’s most anticipated fall releases, Casting Crowns is positioned to continue their trend of breaking records, not only on the charts but on the road as they embark on their first headlining tour this fall... (from Provident Music Group) For the Jesusfreakhideout.com PReview of Lifesong, click here.

Matt Redman
Songwriter and artist-worshiper Matt Redman is set to release his first collection of key worship songs entitled Blessed Be Your Name: Songs of Matt Redman Vol. 1 on July 19. The project is a compilation of Redman’s top CCLI songs together for the first time. Seven songs on Blessed Be Your Name penned by Redman currently appear on the Top 200 CCLI chart, including “The Heart of Worship,” “Better Is One Day” and “Let Everything That Has Breath.” Also featured on the project is the title track “Blessed Be Your Name,” which earned Redman his first GMA/Dove Award this year for Worship Song of the Year. Redman’s songwriting is synonymous with integrity and is impacting churches around the globe. Leading a generation of worshipers, his songs have been recorded by artists such as Michael W. Smith, Rebecca St. James, Tree 63, Out Of Eden, Kutless, and Passion, among others. “I can look back on the past few years of writing songs and see what God has been doing in my life,” says Redman. “It’s a bit like journaling. It’s just part of me and it’s how I let my heart overflow before God. But on top of that, when you’ve poured out your heart to God in a little room somewhere, and then one day you visit a church in another country and they’re singing your song, it’s a great encouragement because ultimately that’s what the songs are for.” A companion book by Redman and his wife Beth, also entitled Blessed Be Your Name, will release in August from Regal Books. In the book the Redmans explore their song through the words of the Psalms to show how to stand in the place of praise in the midst of hardship and pain. They share from their own experience and show how painful circumstances and our choices can either propel us toward God or away from Him, build up our faith or break it. This newest book from Redman is a part of Regal’s best-selling Worship Series, which also includes his best-selling book, The Unquenchable Worshipper. (from Hoganson Media)

Just in time for the summer, Tooth and Nail is has announced the newest addition to their series of video compilations, The Nail DVD Vol. 2! Featuring videos from the likes of Underoath, mewithoutYou, Hawk Nelson and more, as well as brand new artist commentaries from the likes of Dead Poetic, Project 86, Norma Jean and Emery! Check it out in a store near you. Click here for a complete track listing! (from Tooth & Nail)

After much deliberation and countless hours, the name of the fifth album from rockers Project 86 is ...And The Rest Will Follow. The album is scheduled for release on September 27th. (from Project86.com)

*Sunday, June 5th, 2005*


Pax217
PAX217 has decided to call it quits. The band has released this official letter regarding their decision... "This past Saturday, PAX217 took the stage at Spirit West Coast festival in Del Mar, CA. What seemed to be a 'normal' day of rock n roll bands performing, was much more monumental for the members of PAX217 (David, Josh, Jesse, and Joey). The band took the stage at 3pm, beginning their set with the energetic and welcoming 'Tonight,' and pounded through the first few songs. By the 4th song in the set, something dramatic and unexpected took place. Lead singer, David Tosti, said with a calm tone, 'Today is a bit of a sad day for the four of us, PAX217 has been able to do great things over the past 10 years," and then announced that the band was ending. 'The vision of this band is to access the hearts of the world through our music,' David said, and although the four of us are laying 'PAX217' to rest, the vision is not dead." Shouts from the crowd came hurling, 'No don't do it!' and 'We'll miss you,' brought a sadness in the air and even tears to David's eyes. 'We'll miss you too,' David said. The band went on to finish the set with comments in between songs of great gratitude for the years of support. 'I can honestly say that I never thought this day would come,' said David, 'but we are at peace and yet feel as though we are grieving the death of something great.' PAX217 has for many years referred to themselves as the 'PAX family.' Even fans would attest to that. The friendships between the four members has rooted deep over the years. 'We are so grateful to have been able to do this. We have experienced God's love and grace from our family, fans, and people in the music industry, it is just time to lay this band down,' said David. 'Each individual in this band has brought a lot of heart and soul to make up PAX217 and we are ready to move on in our lives to new things. We thank you, all of you who have given us so much. We are truly, truly blessed to have been a part of your lives in so many ways.' The band is finishing out the summer dates that are booked and will be planning some 'spectacular last shows' in the early Fall. Drummer, Joey Marchiano's last show was Saturday at Spirit West Coast. He will be rejoining the others for the last show. David asked that all the fans stay close to the website and emails throughout the Summer, 'We really want to connect with as many as possible in the next few months and hope to see thousands at the last show!'" Frontman David Tosti spoke for about an hour after the band played answer questions and share his personal testimony regarding pornography. Tosti has started doing speaking engagements for www.XXXchurch.com also he has a site his own personal site at www.davidtosti.com. (thanks to J. Tinker and H. Nielsen)

*Saturday, June 4th, 2005*


EMI CMG
EMI CMG will release two soundtracks of songs inspired by one of the year's most anticipated films, a live action adaptation of the best-selling C.S. Lewis classic, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. The projects are being produced through a partnership between EMI CMG's parent company, EMI Music, and the film's producers, Walt Disney Studios and Walden Media, according to a joint press release. The film will be released worldwide on Dec. 9. The first project, a soundtrack of original songs inspired by the film featuring Christian artists is scheduled to be released on Sept. 27. The artists who will be participating on this album include Steven Curtis Chapman, tobyMac, Nichole Nordeman, Jars of Clay, newsboys, Jeremy Camp, Rebecca St. James, Chris Tomlin, Delirious?, Bethany Dillon and the David Crowder Band. This album will be followed by a soundtrack featuring mainstream pop and rock artists, which is scheduled to be released on Oct. 25. “EMI CMG's partnership with Disney and Walden Media holds an unprecedented visibility and marketing opportunity for the participating artists,” said Bill Hearn, EMI CMG President and CEO. “Disney and Walden Media have been hands on partners in the creative process for this recording. Their passion for the music is contributing to an extensive marketing campaign for this soundtrack, integrating it seamlessly into the marketing effort surrounding the film’s release.” In addition, EMI CMG Distribution and Walt Disney Records (WDR) also announced a partnership that will give CBA retailers access to Walt Disney Records' vast library of family-friendly audio products. “Walt Disney has created movie classics and beloved animated characters that have been loved from generation to generation, and with Baby Einstein, Playhouse Disney and the upcoming Chronicles of Narnia, Disney continues to be the most recognized and sought-after brand in family entertainment," said Rich Peluso, president of EMI CMG Distribution. "We are pleased that Disney has allowed us to partner with them in bringing selected content to the CBA market." Added Robert Marick, Sr. Vice President and General Manager, Walt Disney Records, "We are pleased to have EMI CMG deliver our valuable brand to serve the Christian retail marketplace with our diverse line of music and products. EMI CMG holds an impressive track record in the marketing and distribution of children's products to Christian retail and shares our goal of offering consumers quality choices in family friendly entertainment. Our new partnership will augment WDR's existing distribution agreement with Universal Music & Video Distribution. We are excited for the immense opportunity that lies ahead and we welcome EMI CMG's experienced sales, marketing and distribution team.” (from Spinhouse PR)

Blindside
On October 25th, 1929, the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange prompted a severe economic crisis in the United States. And, in its wake, around the world. Experts credit this as the start of The Great Depression. This day is called "Black Friday". On June 22nd, 2005, Blindside will return to America for their first US concert dates in almost a year. They will bring with them a brand new live show, new songs and two very exciting new bands. The tour will be called "Black Friday." Tour support will be the Showbread, a 7 piece powerhouse that has developed a reputation for a crazy live show that must be seen to be believed. Opening the show is The Showdown, a young band is being courted by several majors and is sure to make a very loud noise in 2005. Rumor has it the band's new album will release on August 2nd and is titled The Great Depression. (from Blindside)

Norma Jean
The Sounds Of The Underground Tour is the the hugest metal and hardcore tour of the summer and Solid State's Norma Jean, is part of the line-up! The band will be joining other mainstream heavyweights (*note: who are not part of the Christian music industry) such as Lamb of God, Clutch, Poison The Well, From Autum To Ashes, Every Time I Die, and many more. Norma Jean will be playing the dates from June 25th through July 31st, so check out the Sounds Of The Underground Tour site for more information. (from Solid State Records)

RSJ
Fervent Records will release Every Young Woman’s Battle compilation album on June 28. Supporting the 2004 best seller of the same name by Shannon Ethridge, covering the topic of purity in one’s mind, heart and body for young women, the project further presents songs of encouragement and insight into not compromising and showing integrity when it comes to guy/girl relationships. Every Young Woman’s Battle features 11 songs from the industry’s top female artists and girl-fronted bands that together have shipped over nine million records. A complete track listing includes: Rebecca St. James' “Wait For Me,” Jaci Velasquez's “I Promise,” ZOEgirl's “Dismissed,” Rachael Lampa's “Honest,” Superchic{k}'s “Barlow Girls,” Inhabited's “Everybody Listen,” Bethany Dillon's “Exodus (Faithful),” Nicole C. Mullen's “The Ring,” Jill Phillips' “Sacred,” Point Of Grace's “Waiting In The Wings,” ans Sarah Brendel's “Breathing In.” (from Word Records/Fervent)

Spring Hill Worship, the new imprint launched by Spring Hill Music Group, Inc., has announced the September 24th release of Adorar, the label’s first Spanish praise and worship release, a partnership with producer/songwriter Phil Sillas' new label TSG Records. Known for penning hits such as “The Promise” and “God Is in This Place” and producing artists including Plus One and Natalie Grant, Sillas produced Adorar, which is translated as “worship” in English. The project, which contains 10 worship songs, was recorded in Spanish and is targeted toward the Hispanic church. These all-new recordings of worship favorites are performed by a “who’s who” of musicians and vocalists. They have recorded with artists and producers such as Santana, Luis Miguel, Alejandro Sanz, David Foster, Tower of Power, Jaci Velasquez, Kurt Carr and others. Featured songs include “Friend of God” (“Amigo de Dios”), “Open the Eyes of My Heart” (Abre Mis Ojos O Christo”), “None Like You” (“Mereces La Gloria”), “We Will Worship You” (“Te Alabo”) and “Majesty” (“Majestad”), among others. Adorar, the first volume in a continuing worship series, will be featured in August as a LIVE concert from The Awakening, taking place in Austin, Texas. The project is a “snapshot” of the worship that is captivating parts of the country and growing exponentially in popularity as it meets the specific needs of the Hispanic community. These songs will also be performed on the Trinity Broadcasting Network in Latin America. "As the Hispanic church evolves in the United States, modern worship is being integrated at services as well,” stated Sillas. “This project has been a labor of love." Last year, Sillas produced the Top 25 Alabanzas Para Hoy (Maranatha), which debuted at number one on the Latin Christian Soundscan charts. (from Spring Hill)

Vicky Beeching
Vicky Beeching, a 25-year-old worship leader who holds a Masters Degree in Theology from Oxford University, is releasing The Journey, her debut limited edition EP, via Sparrow Records. The five-song set is produced by Steve Hindalong ("God Of Wonders") and Christopher Stevens (tobyMac). Already well known in Europe as an innovative, classically trained musician, songwriter, and contributor to Vineyard Music albums including Hungry, Holy, and Surrender, Beeching is often compared to artist-worshipers like Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman. And as the first UK-based female worship leader signed to Sparrow, she meets a unique need in the worship community. "I want to lead people into a closer and deeper revelation of God, whether they've known Him for years, or are coming face to face with Him for the first time," Vicky said. "This is my passion, and what I'll spend my lifetime doing...Searching for new words to create songs of worship, and then getting out on the road and leading people into His presence." The Journey is available now at select retail outlets, and all five songs from the project will be available as downloads on various Web sites beginning June 28. Beeching will also be in the United States this summer appearing at major music festivals in connection with WorshipTogether.com, where she is a mainstay artist and host of the site's New Song Café. Read more about Vicky Beeching's unique journey to becoming a worship leader and purchase her debut, The Journey, at VickyBeeching.com. (from Sparrow Records)

*Friday, June 3rd, 2005*


EMI CMG
EMI CMG Distribution and Walt Disney Records (WDR) are striking an alliance that will give CBA retailers access to Walt Disney Records vast library of family-friendly audio products, announced Rich Peluso, president of EMI CMG Distribution and Robert Marick, Sr. Vice President and General Manager, Walt Disney Records. The new agreement, which allows for EMI CMG Distribution to have exclusive rights to the distribution of Disney audio products to the CBA market, provides Christian retailers an opportunity to make their children's sections the most complete and trusted source for family-friendly educational and entertainment products. "Walt Disney has created movie classics and beloved animated characters that have been loved from generation to generation, and with Baby Einstein, Playhouse Disney and the upcoming Chronicles of Narnia, Disney continues to be the most recognized and sought-after brand in family entertainment. We are pleased that Disney has allowed us to partner with them in bringing selected content to the CBA market," said Peluso. Robert Marick adds: "We are pleased to have EMI CMG deliver our valuable brand to serve the Christian retail marketplace with our diverse line of music and products. EMI CMG holds an impressive track record in the marketing and distribution of children's products to Christian retail and shares our goal of offering consumers quality choices in family friendly entertainment. Our new partnership will augment WDR's existing distribution agreement with Universal Music & Video Distribution. We are excited for the immense opportunity that lies ahead and we welcome EMI CMG's experienced sales, marketing and distribution team." Beginning August 30, key Disney brands that will be available through EMI CMG Distribution will include 9 titles from the successful Baby Einstein audio series. These titles have earned WDR the #1 Top Midline Classical Imprint and #1 Top Midline Classical Label for the last two consecutive years. Titles such as Baby Mozart, Lullaby Classics and Baby Beethoven continue to dominate the Classical and Children's charts. Additional releases for the fourth quarter include two "Sunday Morning Series" Read Along audio titles "Noah's Ark" and "David & Goliath," three Playhouse Disney titles, CDs from the Winnie-the-Pooh audio franchise, a new CD from Jim Brickman (expected in October), They Might Be Giants ("Here Come the ABCs" DVD and CD), plus selections from Disney's Lullaby Series. The final release of the year (November) will be audio products from the highly anticipated Walt Disney Pictures film "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe." Another beneficial facet of the Disney and EMI CMG partnership will be the access to the large variety of titles in Disney's massive catalog stretching back more than 70 years -- products that appeal to kids of all ages, but often are hard to find at most general market stores. EMI CMG Distribution will be able to help Christian retailers expand their children's sections to include selected titles, giving them an advantage in attracting customers and sales. (from Spinhouse PR)

The Afters
The Afters have been accepted for MTV’s Advance Warning. Advance Warning is a 30 minute show featuring up & coming artists that will air multiple times on M TV during the month of June. The show will repeat on MTV2, as well as an online component on MTV.com. (Air times to be determined) The band's music video for “Beautiful Love” continues to be on the “Dean’s List” on mtvU. You can check out The Afters on their site at http://www.mtvu.com/music/deans_list/ American Eagle stores have also selected “Beautiful Love” for their “Back-to-School” campaign. The song will be featured in more than 860 stores as well as online. Similarly, "Beautiful Love” will air during American Airlines' in-flight video during June and July! (from The M Collective)

GMA
The Gospel Music Association (GMA) yesterday announced the artist lineup for the 31st Annual GMA Music in the Rockies Concert Series which will be held Sunday, July 31 through Friday, August 6 at the Estes Park Center YMCA in Estes Park, Colo. Six nights of concerts, which begin at 7 p.m. each night, will feature a diverse lineup of gospel music artists including newsboys, Joy Williams, Tree 63, Karen Peck & New River, Martha Munizzi, Jeremy Camp, Ginny Owens, ZOEgirl, Natalie Grant, Chris Rice, Salvador, Caedmon's Call, Paul Baloche, Anointed, BarlowGirl, FFH, Tonéx, Superchic[k], Big Tent Revival, TAIT, Matthew West and many more. Additionally, the final concert on Friday, August 6 will include performances by the winners of Spotlight 2005 and Song of 2005, GMA's official talent competition for unsigned artists and songwriters. A detailed nightly artist lineup follows and can also be found at www.gospelmusic.org. Tickets go on sale on May 30 at www.ticketforce.com or at 877-840-0457. They may also be purchased at area Christian retail stores LifeWay Christian Store in Denver and Sword & Scroll Bookstore in Estes Park. Tickets for each individual night's concert as well as discounted series and group tickets are available. In addition to the concert-goers, the Rocky Mountain resort town of Estes Park will welcome aspiring songwriters, artists, musicians and worship leaders who will come from all over the world for the 2005 GMA Music in the Rockies (previously known as "Seminar in the Rockies") for six days of educational/professional development seminars and the premier talent competition for gospel music. (from Spinhouse PR)

Reuben Morgan
Rocketown Records announced today the signing of well-known Australian worship leader Reuben Morgan. As a pastor on the Hillsong church leadership team, Reuben works alongside Darlene Zschech to accomplish a team goal to “create an atmosphere of praise and worship that draws people into God's presence and helps soften hearts to Jesus' message.” Morgan’s Rocketown debut, World Through Your Eyes, will release in the United States on Sept. 13. In addition to leading worship at Hillsong—which attracts more than 17,000 attendees each week on multiple campuses—Reuben has written many songs over the past eight years for the church, including “I Give You My Heart,” “My Redeemer Lives,” “Hosanna,” “Hear Our Praises,” “I Adore You” and “You Said.” His songs are featured on numerous albums with artists such as Michael W Smith, The Katinas, Jeff Deyo, Rita Springer and Robin Mark recording his work. On the most recent Christian Copyright Licensing International survey (CCLI Feb 2005), five of Morgan’s songs appear in the Top 25 Worship songs list for Australia while Top 25 charts for the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Sweden also show the impact his songs are making in churches around the world. In the U.S., Morgan has 17 songs in the Top 500 of the CCLI chart, more than any other writer. Don Donahue, president of Rocketown Records, said, “I have sung Reuben's songs for years in church without even realizing it. To meet the heart behind the melody and lyric has been an honor. I truly feel like America is the last part of the world to discover Reuben Morgan is the artist behind this rich body of work. We are humbled to partner with Reuben to introduce this already well known worship leader to churches in the U.S.” Reuben Morgan will be touring the United States in July and August, doing 20 worship events in markets such as Los Angeles, Denver, Austin, Jacksonville, Tulsa and Orlando. His first radio single, “My Redeemer Lives,” goes for adds at AC/INSP/CHR on June 24. (from Rocketown Records)

*Wednesday, June 1st, 2005*


Relient K
Relient K is releasing their critically acclaimed and fastest selling record to date, Mmhmm in vinyl form this summer as a double 12". The vinyl version will include a brand new song exclusively available on this project entited "Apathetic Way to Be," and the band has made it available to listen to in its entirety on their Purevolume page! "Apathetic Way To Be" was originally recorded during the studio sessions for Mmhmm but never made the final cut. Visit http://www.purevolume.com/relientk to listen to it now! (from Relient K, thanks to G. Morris)

The Choir
Grammy Nominated and Dove Award winning veteran alternative band The Choir has released their eleventh studio album, O How the Mighty Have Fallen, to immediate acclaim from critics, industry veterans and die-hard fans. The independent release, produced by band member and award winning songwriter Marc Byrd, returns the band to their ambient, picturesque roots with all new songs that hearken back to their glory days and reference the members' recent success as writers and producers. In a moment of clear non -rock-star candor founding member Derri Daugherty admits that emotions run high surrounding the release of this album. "I'm really proud of it," Daugherty admits. "It's hard for me to talk about it without gushing." Daugherty and Steve Hindalong founded the band Youth Choir in 1981 as one of the early class of alternative Christian bands from southern California. Existing somewhere between the hinterlands of the underground Christian alternative scene, and the obscure corners of the mainstream music culture. Youth Choir, who eventually changed their name to The Choir, released genre-shaping albums that defined the very identity of the alternative Christian scene, while always looking for points of entry into the culture at large. After a series of critically acclaimed atmospheric and ambient albums on Myrrh / Word Records, their sound morphed into the edgier raw style of the 90s alternative era. But while their music served as an inspiration to countless young bands, (including Sixpence None The Richer, Jars of Clay and Switchfoot,) the rigors of touring had taken their toll and The Choir officially retired from the road in 1994. Though no longer cruising the country in one of the six vans they wore out, the band was far from over. Daugherty and Hindalong moved from Orange County California to Nashville Tennessee and established themselves as leading producers, engineers and songwriters. Their series of modern-yet-classic worship albums At the Foot of the Cross are credited with sparking the "Modern Worship" phenomenon that still dominates the Christian music scene. After running their own label, Glasshouse Records, for several years with band member Dan Michaels, the crew moved into independent mode once again. Michaels entered the industry as an A&R Executive for Tattoo Records, and currently serves as the Vice President of Promotion and Marketing for INO Records (Mercy Me, Darlene Zschech, The Afters,) while Hindalong has become what CCM Magazine described as one of the five most influential producers in Nashville for his work on the ground breaking City On A Hill worship series, which also featured songwriting contributions by Daugherty ("Beautiful Scandalous Night,") and Byrd ("God Of Wonders.") Somehow in the midst of their new roles they managed to revisit The Choir as a studio project periodically, earning a Grammy Nomination for Best Rock Gospel Album in 2002 for their independently released Flap Your Wings set. But where most of their 90s era recordings existed as quick, low budget, and admittedly "fragmented" vamps, the band members decided to take an entirely different approach for their most recent studio album. "There comes a point with all of us where, after working on other people's music for so long, you have to do your own or you go crazy," Daugherty explains. "It just seemed like the right time." The resulting work is already earning favorable comparisons to the bands seminal late 80s sets Circle Slide and Chase the Kangaroo, and the band couldn't be happier. "More than any of our other records this is one where we went in with a real distinct plan musically," Daugherty explains. We knew it would be more low-key, we knew the songs would be more mellow than before." Hindalong adds, "The only motivation is to do music that we feel good about. I'm very happy with how this record has turned out... very pleased." Daugherty insists that O How the Mighty Have Fallen is actually one of the most inspiring projects in the band's resume. "To be able to keep playing music after 25 years, to still be able to wake up and play guitar is pretty humbling. Spiritually, you get up and take another breath and realize that even in our fallen state, God is still merciful enough to allow us to have some great things in life. To me that's the whole thing. The bottom line is that we are still very thankful for God's really great gift to us. More so than any of our records in the past, I think this one really means that to me." O How the Mighty Have Fallen is being released exclusively through the band's website at www.TheChoir.net through the summer. Following rare live appearances at the internationally influential Cornerstone Festival (with Sixpence None the Richer's Matt Slocum on bass), and in their former stomping grounds of Southern California the album will be made available to other on-line distributors and eventually brick and mortar retail. (from Galaxy 21 Music)


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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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